Gingrich to gay man: Vote for Obama
December 21st, 2011
03:23 PM ET
10 years ago

Gingrich to gay man: Vote for Obama

(CNN) – Asked how he plans to engage the gay community in his bid for president, Newt Gingrich on Tuesday told a voter he wouldn't be the right choice for those basing their decision on the issue of same-sex marriage.

"If that's the most important (issue) to you, then you should be for Obama," Gingrich told Scott Arnold, a man who identified himself as gay.

"Okay. I am, but thank you," Arnold replied.

The comment ended a rather cordial exchange between the two at a campaign stop in Oskaloosa, Iowa.

Arnold, an adjunct professor at William Penn University, approached the former speaker, asking Gingrich how he would sway voters who disagreed with him on same-sex marriage.

"How do you plan to engage and get the hope of gay Americans and those who support them?" Arnold asked.

Gingrich replied saying he doesn't expect to get the backing from voters solely focused on changing the definition of marriage.

"And I accept that that's a reality," Gingrich said.

Gingrich has frequently taken a conservative line on the issue. Last week, he signed a pledge with the National Organization for Marriage, promising, among many things, to back a constitutional amendment defining marriage between a man and woman.

"On the other hand, for those for whom it's not the central issue in their life –if they care about job creation, if they care about national security, if they care about a better future for the country at large-then I think I'll get their support," Gingrich said.

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Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Newt Gingrich • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (554 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    People who feel threatened by gay marriage are pretty insecure, either in their own sexuality or their belief system (IMHO). Either way, why should society enable/coddle this folks? Shouldn't they instead deal with their issues instead of demanding that the world change for them?

    December 22, 2011 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  2. Bryan

    Do all conservatives and independents a favor and just go away Newt.

    December 22, 2011 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  3. cosmo

    Theres more important things to take care of in this country. Rather than worry about what a president will do foy gays.

    December 22, 2011 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  4. Bill

    Newt's working up emotional social issues to distract from his agenda of serving the rich. I wish the Republicans would get a new playbook.

    December 22, 2011 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  5. MazeAndBlue

    This is a very dangerous man. We had enough of him when he was in congress.

    December 22, 2011 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  6. vivian

    Obama has my vote. Again.

    December 22, 2011 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  7. KenneyP of Colorado

    If the most important issue to you is NOT where you are allowed to live, if you are allowed to keep your job, if you are able to pursue happiness with a partner not of the government's choosing, if the person you vote for engages you on your issues, represent you as oppose to seeking to combat you. Then yes by all means vote for Newt. Otherwise the Republican party doesn't need you included in their base of supporters.

    December 22, 2011 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  8. navin johnson

    Maybe if Newton had married a man the first time around, he wouldn't of had to do it two more times.

    December 22, 2011 03:04 am at 3:04 am |
  9. Gay Founding Father

    Who defined marriage? I do not see that in Constitution or any of our founding documents? But I do see word liberty mentioned. A strict constructionist would do better to first define liberty before they define marriage

    December 22, 2011 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  10. Kyle

    First of all – I don't get what's wrong with what Gingrich said. He doesn't have a stance the man approves of, and didn't waste time trying to show him. Very blunt, honest answer.

    Second of all, President Obama was against gay marriage when he ran in 2008. Amazing how short memories are.

    December 22, 2011 04:00 am at 4:00 am |
  11. Navyboyp

    I beleive Newt has already defined the definition in his mind of marriage between a man and....lets see......three women?????? Thats right 2 marriages and one affair....Is that the correct definition in his mind?

    December 22, 2011 04:01 am at 4:01 am |
  12. hjs3

    Ah the Party of inclusion......

    December 22, 2011 04:12 am at 4:12 am |
  13. eddie

    How ignorant of the man to vote on one issue only because it has an effect on him.
    National security, the Economy, the debt, jobless rate, no give me gay marriage!!
    It was a good and honest answer by Gingrich, something you would never hear from Obama. According to Obama prior to the elections, he supposed everyone, yet has been the most polar president of all time.

    December 22, 2011 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
  14. desireuben

    perfect answer newt! I ilke you to hold on to the truth of the life and not compromising on it just to get elected. If gay right is the your central issue then go for who likes gays, leave rest of the world to worry about more important things in life

    December 22, 2011 04:30 am at 4:30 am |
  15. Mike P

    Good for Gingrich! At least he didn't pander.

    December 22, 2011 05:12 am at 5:12 am |
  16. neverquit

    I give credit to Newt and this circus of Republican candidates: any doubts I've had about Obama have now been erased. You're right, Newt...I'll just vote for Obama...thanks for making that crystal clear.

    December 22, 2011 05:27 am at 5:27 am |
  17. Myk

    First let me say, that I would not vote for him, but I have respect for Mr. Gingrich. It is simply for the fact that he answered the question posed to him, thank you Mr. Gingrich for being honest about that point. Our President, whom I voted for and will again, still does not answer that question when asked.

    December 22, 2011 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
  18. T'sah from Virginia

    ►Keeping It Real
    Dominican mama 4 Obama
    My question is: How many times can Newt shoot himself in the foot(feet?) before he keels over? How many bullets does he have in that gun of his?
    I guess I had two questions.
    I guess you'd rather have Obama lies than the truth from Newt.
    December 21, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |◄

    Wow – you are NOT "Keeping it Real" with a reply like that!!! Newt ginGRINCH doesn't LIE???? Every time he opens his mouth "denying" his past is a LIE!!! You should begin "Keeping it Real" or change your name!!

    Obama 2012 – He is NOT a LIAR – He is NOT a Warlock – He is our president NOW and will be again in 2012!!

    December 22, 2011 05:44 am at 5:44 am |
  19. Arthur

    Newt is very bright but an absolute moron.
    He who lacks morals and ethics, the supposed basis for the neo con group, should not be casting stones.

    December 22, 2011 05:44 am at 5:44 am |
  20. Reality Check

    A follow up question, such as; Who should monogomous people vote for? – seems fair to me 😉

    December 22, 2011 06:03 am at 6:03 am |
  21. Vince

    I find his remark to a voter disgusting. I don't care if he was gay or not. He is an American and the President represents EVERY American in this country. I have no idea what type of person would fit for this guy.
    He needs to get out now!

    December 22, 2011 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  22. J R Brown

    The problem with his answer is that Obama doesn't support gay marriage either and said so publicly in the Presidential debates. His administration has left the gay people who thought they were going to have an advocate in the White House out in the cold.

    December 22, 2011 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  23. Charlie in Maine

    Good advice Newt. So often good acvice can be used in more than on situation. In fact I have compilde a list of people in other situations who should vote for President Obama:

    1. Anyone who makes less thann $35,000 a speech should vote for President Obama.
    2. Anyone who would like a clean environment should vote for President Obama.
    3 Anyone wholikes having a sane foreign policy should vote for President Obama.
    4. Anyone who loves our Constitution should vote for President Obama.
    5 Anyone who has or knows and likes children should vote for President Obama..
    6. Anyone who has a pre-existing condition should vote for President Obama..

    Thanks for bringing it up Newt, there a few folks who should vote for President Obama.

    Hey America.. "the heck with Wall Street, occupy the voting booth"

    December 22, 2011 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  24. jimbobjellytree

    Wow, angry comments from a simple honest answer. I do not agree with Newt, but I respect that he said he is not the guy to vote for on that issue.

    December 22, 2011 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  25. Scott

    I'm beginning to think that the government should get out of the marriage business altogether since we as a society don't really seem to care about it anymore (divorce rates etc). Our kids are raised by the state now, so they don't need a stable mom and dad. That way, there's no discrimination because if you want to have a husband and a wife or a wife and a wife or a husband and a wife and a wife and a husband with two extra wives just in case, you can.

    December 22, 2011 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
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