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. Phil in KC

    It's William PENN University, not William Penny.
    That said, I will give Newt credit for being honest and straight-forward with the guy and for being realistic in his expectations. That can't have played too well with some in his party, though. Telling someone he should vote for Obama may be the greatest sin in their eyes.

    December 22, 2011 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  2. Inrealityhere

    Can tell by most the comments that it won't be long before marriage between a man and a dog is considered normal. I wonder if the Godless will still be singing "God bless America..."

    December 22, 2011 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  3. Jesse from KC

    I'll never vote for Newt. I don't like him, and most of his views are so old-fashioned they make me sick.

    That being said, you have to respect a man who is that honest in such a big spot-light. He's right, his voting history in Congress, dozens of quotes and campaign ideas all show that he doesn't support gays or gay marriage. It's pretty obvious he won't get their vote... So why lie about it? Why try to make it sound like you want their vote when you're not going to get them at all? Just come out with it, admit you're not going to get their vote, and talk about whose vote you DO hope to get.

    I guess that's why he's the front-runner for the GOP right now.

    December 22, 2011 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  4. JS

    Nice to see any politician being honest. There's room for people to disagree on issues and he's right – since he believes strongly in this, if you disagree with him on this one and it's what you have decided you vote is going to be based on, your going to vote for the other guy no matter what he says.

    December 22, 2011 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  5. Sergio D. Monterroso

    He does not have my vote yet, but this statement gain my respect!
    For all of you that think that this can hurt him, just check the statistics –
    Gay community in the country less than 5%
    Conservative community in the country more than 40%
    Christian community in the country more than 70%

    December 22, 2011 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  6. DaveC

    I remember watching the 2008 republican convention on TV and remarking to my wife that there were only white people there. Doesn't the Republican party get it? This is coming from a former die hard republican now independent voter. The tea party is a flash in the pan (just like Ross Perot). Here today; gone tomorrow. If you are a minority or gay and voting republican you get what you deserve. It's that simple.

    December 22, 2011 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  7. Puddin

    Marriage is between one man and one a time, so says Newt.

    December 22, 2011 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  8. dede

    Well, Mr. Speaker, you will then turn away people such as myself who will do as you suggest; I will vote for President Obama. I care about a great many issues, not just gay marriage, but your unwillingness to support the LGBT community will cause you to loose a lot of votes, including mine.

    December 22, 2011 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  9. glyder

    seems that many of you here can't handle a difference of opinion.

    December 22, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  10. Rich

    Newt needs to crawl back under that rock he came out from in the 90's.. nobody likes you.. go home!

    December 22, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Keeping It Real wrote:

    I guess you'd rather have Obama lies than the truth from Newt.
    We are familiar with the litany of "lies" that right wing tries to lay on Obama's feet. The following are typical.

    – Promised to close Guantanomo within a year, but hasn't. [ Republicans opposed it to a man.]
    – Promised to get exit Iraq within a year. [ the Iraqis renegotiated a new deal right after 2008 elections ]
    – Promised to keep unemployment under 8% [ a foolish forecast made using Bush data in Dec 2008 by an aide ]
    – Promised to end the Bush Tax Cuts for the wealty. [ Republicans opposed it to a man.]

    December 22, 2011 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  12. Travis

    I thought it was a pretty good answer. Why is the issue of gay marriage even important in this election? Third quarter GDP growth only 1.8%??? The Obama stimulus plan was a joke!!! Get that guy out of office immediately.. ANYBODY BUT OBAMA.

    December 22, 2011 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  13. saf

    Does Newt think he is taking some "moral stand" when discussing marriage–him? Moral?? Newt is a joke–no, not even that. He is disgusting in too many ways.

    December 22, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  14. Conservative Patriot

    Obviously this is a liberal news outlet, with severely lopsided opinions. If you would look at his answer, he didn't condemn the man and explained that he wouldn't be the right choice. Gringrich knew that. If he tried to convey any other thought you liberals would be calling him other names. You are the first to scream TOLERANCE but the last to bestow it. Jerks

    December 22, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  15. The Real Tom Paine

    Inrealityhere, at no time in our history was this country governed by so-called "biblical standards". This country was, currently, and always will be governed by standards that have very little to do with religion. Religion has been used to justify both slavery and abolition, as well as to educate and indoctrinate people into a particular sect or creed ( look up the origins of the Catholic school system in this country). As far as your comments about inter-species marriage, the possibility only exists in your mind, and that seems to be a rather sad, dark place, inhabited by shadows and your own lonely, angry interpretations of Scripture.

    December 22, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  16. trppnfule86

    fair answer! personally I am hoping he gets the gop nomination cuz he is will never be elected folks. too many bible thumpers cant look past his infidelities, THANK GOD! 😉

    December 22, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  17. unretired05

    I doubt if we ever see what the campaign paid Newt for his "consultation."

    December 22, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  18. Rich

    @Rudy.. exactly.. Most things that Obama promised, that have not been followed through on, or took longer than expected, is because of the republicans giving him such a hard time.

    December 22, 2011 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  19. Michael Q

    "Do unto others as you would have them do onto you", unless you're a Republican. We definitely need another Republican in the White House who is set in his/her ways. Yeah, right! Well, this should help push Obama's approval rating back over 50%.

    December 22, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  20. Non sequitor

    Cant say I agree with (or even like) the guy, but at least he is being honest with this voter rather than hedging and giving a wishy-washy answer, or making a promise he wouldnt keep...

    December 22, 2011 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  21. Barry G.

    Let's be honest, there are only two issues in this election: the economy and the economy.

    Oh, and there is one other issue, which I forgot to mention: the economy.

    December 22, 2011 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  22. NVa Native

    In a Democratic society such as we have a difference of opinions are normal, expected, and usually healthy.
    But when the other person is trying to manipulate and distort the facts, history, science, and basically anything that has to do with reality to justify their personal opinion – as the current Repubs do with EVERY issue – that can destroy a Democratic society.
    The Democratic Party has their flaws, but the current Republican Party is flawed.

    December 22, 2011 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  23. Dave

    I'm sure there's nothing better to Republicans than an arrogant, bigoted, serial adulterer.

    December 22, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  24. Numyorangay

    Newt's hair is starting to look like his wife, the wife who helped him cheat on his former wife. . .is he subconsciously going trans?

    December 22, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  25. jbsnowboarder16

    I'm not a fan of Mr. Gingrich, but I do respect him in this case for his candidness and his honesty with this man. While I disagree with Mr. Gingrich on this particular topic, he being honest and courteous with the gentleman is a nice change from the majority of the GOP candidates who say things like the Kinsey reports or the other scientifically backed studies prove that being gay is not a choice, but most likely biologically ingrained.

    December 22, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
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