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. Chuck D.

    "That is why our country is in the condition it is in. We keep changing the morals to fit. Who needs marriage at all? We should just make it legal to mate with anyone, or anything you want. Dogs, cats who cares? there is a reason men and women get married. It is called procreation. 2 men will never be able to do it. Medical science can't get you there. The monstrosities of the trans gender community now that is a different story altogether"...

    Hey Joe, the last I heard, you do not need to get married in order to procreate (enough drama from '08). There is also no guarantee that you will remain faithful, or even be a caring spouse, if you marry. Oh, in case you still aren't aware, your scriptures were not completely correct either (God did NOT create the earth a few thousand years ago).

    Get off your high horse, and focus on being a good HUMAN instead of a close-minded bigot. There are things that cannot be "prayed" away.

    December 22, 2011 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  2. PoBoy

    For once I actually agree with something Newt says. His answer is honest and reflects his personal beliefs, whether or not you agree with him is another matter. Most politicians would have spouted off a bunch of nonsense and lies even though they know in their hearts that they're against gay marriage and homosexualty in general just to try to win the gay vote.

    December 22, 2011 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  3. johnmenacherjr

    I would make a comment on Mr. Sanctomonious here but I am wondering what happened to the jobs they had been elected to make and then theres the tax holiday for the middle class – can't have that either! What a bunch of really bad loosers and liars! Oh yeah they are Republicans. Anyone interested in a used but dirty govenor from wisconsin? Walker is free for the asking and we dont care if he even gets a good home, he does'nt care in reverse either. What a joke Tea-publicans what a work!

    December 22, 2011 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  4. 2buttercups

    If gay people shouldn't vote for Newt, then who should? It sounds as if the election has already been decided.


    December 22, 2011 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  5. Don

    Whatever your view of that "lifestyle"... Gingrich did not handle that exchange correctly. He does not even want that guy's vote – I'd expect a little more respect for an American and their vote... that they both count – no matter what the dude's personal life are about. Seems like Gingrich is not serious about winning – but I'm sure he does not mind pocketing unspent campaign contributions, once he drops out. He's the Herman Cain for December...thats all.

    December 22, 2011 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  6. MakeThemEatCake

    No where in his statement, or in this specific conservative restriction toward marriage, does he limit the number of marriages one can be in. If he wishes to, a man (or woman as well) can enter into multiple simultaneous marriages as long as they are between a man and a woman. And as president, isn't it implied that he will treat all Americans equally? I wish all candidates will be as open about who they WILL treat fairly if elected. In order of preference, of course

    December 22, 2011 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  7. Bobby

    As a gay man, I appreciate many of the comments posted here in response to Mr. Gingrich's statement. Thanks to many of you for your support. And, Mr. Gingrich, thank you for your candid and honest response as well. I will happily vote for President Obama again, and I hope others will do the same.

    December 22, 2011 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  8. DaveinPA

    Vote for Obama ? ... Will Do ! ... by the MILLIONS ! We don't need an bigot like Newt in the White House. What does this "historian" not understand about equal rights for EVERYONE ?!

    December 22, 2011 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  9. Marie MD

    Good answer for a backwoods catholic candidate. I wonder what newterman thinks about people who cheat on two wives and is on his third. Actually we know because while he was accusing Clinton he was himself cheating before being thrown on his fat and fined for ethics violations.
    What a guy.

    December 22, 2011 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  10. Mr Jimmy

    Newt has finally declared outright that in his administration gays would be second class citizens and aren't worthy of the governments interest... bet he will still accept our tax money.

    December 22, 2011 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  11. Dina

    GOP definition of good, patriotic Americans: Conservative white, upper class males (and females if they agree with those males).

    December 22, 2011 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  12. parnell in canada

    At least he was honest about what is important to him. If money and jobs are more important than human dignity to you, vote for Gingrich. It makes it a lot easier to chose when candidates are candid. Interesting, though, he doesn't explain why it has to be one or the other. Interesting and sad.

    December 22, 2011 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  13. J.

    I actually respect the fact that he was honest and up front and did not try to give the guy lip service. I wish politicians would be more forth coming and direct on their positions...he still isn't getting my vote though.

    December 22, 2011 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  14. PGones

    How Newt stands on this issue is not the most relevent part of this article–it's the fact that all these candidates are running around the country signing special interest pledges at every turn...that is what I find truly abhorrent–especially at the presidential level. We've already seen what it has done to Congress.

    December 22, 2011 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  15. Scott S.

    I would hope, compared to Newt, that this man wouldn't be the only one voting for Obama. Unfortunately, it seems like somehow Newt is getting support. I don't understand some of the people in this country sometimes. Newt represents everything that would continue to destroy the middle class.

    December 22, 2011 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  16. Hobbits

    Thanks, Newt! I'll head to the polls and follow your advice. I don't know why President Obama would need to leave the White House to campaign, the GOP is doing it for him. And all you bloggers thought the GOP was mean-spirited.

    December 22, 2011 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  17. charms

    Hey Gingrich, I am an Obama supporter but I applaud your sincerity on this one and I won;t call you a bigot. I'd rather that than someone who will lie just to secure a vote.

    December 22, 2011 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  18. charms

    Hey Gingrich, I am an Obama supporter but I applaud your sincerity on this one. I'd rather that than someone who will lie just to secure a vote.

    December 22, 2011 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  19. Chedar

    The only people that will vote for Newt are the incestous Tea Partier.

    December 22, 2011 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  20. HollyRae

    Today's Democrat party: The party of gays, lesbians, illegal aliens, abortionists and drug users.

    December 22, 2011 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  21. ShawnDH

    Gingrich is a terrible human being. BTW, what's up with all these Republicans babbling about "freedom" and "a small unintrusive government" while mindlessly insisting the government dictate who can marry whom; and the government should conduct witchhunts of gay soldiers then ruin their careers; and the government should force women to give birth against their will and on and on? I don't get it. What are their values? They want the most oppressive and intrusive government imaginable.

    December 22, 2011 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  22. Inrealityhere

    @Frank LasVegas – you said it: you are no expert on the Bible. The issue IS addressed in the New Testament AND Christ came to fulfill the law NOT abolish it. Read the whole New Testament before you make your next comment.

    December 22, 2011 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  23. Gurgi

    Gingrich was being realistic, and suprisingly accurate. If being gay is central in someones life then they won't vote for him. The percentage of gays in the population is very low. The problem for him will be when the numbers of gay sympathizers into the mix. That increases the numbers significantly. That being said, I'm not sure I could vote for Gingrich anyway, but for different reasons.

    December 22, 2011 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  24. Keith in SoJax

    As if the GLBT community was amongst his voters anyway. For a Republican like Newt, pandering to the majority by disrespecting a small minority of people (in this case the GLBT community) is a winning strategy. Afterall, its simply a modified bullying strategy and its human nature to divide and conquer. Its much easier when you divide the population into small, easily defeated, groups.

    December 22, 2011 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  25. Inrealityhere

    @Larry L – You mean back in the days when this country was thriving because most of the people were living by a Biblical moral standard? Yeah, Newt's not perfect but he's not defending a lifestyle which is simply wrong.

    December 22, 2011 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
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