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. CantBe TooPleased

    It's truly sad to see Newt disenfranchise the MILLIONS of GLBT people in this country and simply throw them under the bus this way without rhyme or reason by telling them to go vote for Obama. I'm sure if they were sitting on the fence, they WILL now give their Many Votes to Obama in 2012! But one has to also wonder what his half-sister Candace has to say about this matter? We don't think that she can be any too pleased!!

    December 22, 2011 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  2. TruthNoLies

    gay rights = human rights. PLAIN AND SIMPLE. i dont care what your religious views are, we aren't all religious, and we don't all share the same beliefs. its called seperation of church and state. and NEWT of all people has no business talking about the sanctity of marriage.

    December 22, 2011 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  3. Darius

    I would have thought that this refreshing level of honesty from a politican would have been well received. I guess many people prefer pandering over honesty.

    December 22, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  4. Ronald

    I guess next he will tell Hispanics that if they want fair immigration policies to vote for Obama, and to African Americans, if you want civil rights vote for Obama, and to seniors, if you want social security and medicare vote for Obama, and to students if you want student loans and opportunities to go to school vote for Obama, and if you don't want banks and wall street taking advantage by taking away regulation then vote for Obama, and if you don't want our environment ruined by reckless policies and drilling vote for Obama, if you want health care for all then vote for Obama etc. etc.

    December 22, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  5. Roy Moss

    Its kind of amusing actually – that this totally morally bankrupt human being would sit in judgment on others. The GOP is just a disgrace.

    December 22, 2011 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  6. david

    i am very much in favor of equal civil rights for gay americans. i also think, however, that gingrich deserves credit for answering the question simply and honestly without any attempt to pander to the voting bloc he was confronted by. i would like to see more respectful disagreement in politics.

    December 22, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  7. Conrad Murray

    if they care about a better future for the country at large-then I think I'll get their support," Gingrich said.

    A better future filled with prejudice and bigotry...multiple wives is ok if you're heterosexual. (eyeroll)

    December 22, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  8. Marc in Texas

    You know, I think Newt Gingrich, in his political career, has been a pompous scourge on this country. I have never supported his hypocrisy, but, I MUST say, in these days when the entire GOP field scrambles to pander to the most idiotic common denominator, it's actually refreshing to hear someone distinguish his views and use just a bit of honesty. Those on the right who criticize this "self-destruction" represent the portion of the party that is ruining this country, that offers no ideas, and that lacks the brains and memory to understand why the economy is what it is today. They blame Obama for trying to apply a fix, when they offered failure with arms crossed as their altenative. Shameful.

    December 22, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  9. treetop45

    Oh, my gracious! Is Newt for real? I think perhaps he is missing a few screws up top, if he thinks he is so great that he can afford to alienate folks.

    December 22, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  10. Lizzie

    So a fellow tells you how he feels and you rather have him lie to you. Now I know why we're in the mess we are in

    December 22, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  11. Odds

    I don't see what's so difficult for conservatives to understand about this marriage issue. As it stands, the Church has absolutely no say in the matter whatsoever. Regardless of whether or not legislation is passed defining marriage one way or the other, the Church still has no say in the matter and the spiritual definition of marriage remains completely unchanged.

    This is a government decision, and it's about providing equal rights to all citizens of this country. As it stands, the government provides certain benefits for married couples...unless they happen to be gay. Now, if your Church wishes to refuse to marry homosexuals, the law has no say in that decision. But the government has no business denying rights to legal US citizens over spiritual concerns.

    December 22, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  12. Cooper

    I am a gay man, but there are many important issues I feel are important, or just as important as being gay. Being gay is a small part of me, an important part, but a small part all the same. I cast my vote for the individual that I agree with on most of the major issues in my life. But certainly won't be for a Republican, expecially Gingrich. Not because what he said concerning his stance on gay issues, but because they are all stupid and blind to the needs of the American people.

    December 22, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  13. Primewonk

    Inrealityhere wrote, "Cantell 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..."

    Why is it folks like you spend such an inordinate amount of time fantasizing about doing the doggie?

    December 22, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  14. Republican who supports President Obama

    Thanks Newt for making my decision clear. You are not the choice to represent ALL of the citizens of the US.

    December 22, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  15. Middle America

    Good answer Newt!

    December 22, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  16. su3385

    Oh Please – Obama vs Gingrich! This is the best we can do?

    December 22, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  17. Ed Peters

    Somebody better tell Newt that there are rich gays, they not all poor!

    December 22, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  18. Middle America

    Newt has been my political hero since the 90's.

    December 22, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  19. SwilliamP

    The way this answer was given suggests that the 'marriage amendment' is in fact an equal if not higher priority to Mr. Gingrich and most Republican Candidates, vs. job creation. I gave a reference letter this month for a degreed professional who has not had a real job (if any) since we were both laid off in Feb. 2009. Try telling him that defense of marriage is the #1 legislative priority and job creation and banking/mortgage lending reform can wait..

    December 22, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |

    Newt is not qualified to answer any questions related to marriage, as, he's an abject failure at it. Evidence? Married three times thus far.

    December 22, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  21. Mike

    An illogical assertion. I'm sure gay people are also in favor national security, job creation, and a better future for the country. Way to dismiss a significant portion of the US population, Newt!

    December 22, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  22. Middle America

    I am a Christian and I forgive Newt Gingrich for his past infidelities. I have lived long enough now to know that none of us can ever live a perfect life. Indeed, that is why Christ came to save us. Newt knows this too. I will vote for Newts ideas, knowledge and leadership. Not his measure of human perfection.

    December 22, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  23. James PDX

    People in this country do not believe in anything in our Constitution unless it's what they themselves want. Equal rights? Only if you're like them and want and believe what they want. It's no different with religion. People only believe in the parts of their religion that are convenient to their personal beliefs. Few Christians follow even 10% of the rules laid out in their holy books. We're just a race of awful hypocrites.

    December 22, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  24. Larry

    Newt Gingrich and marriage?!

    He should have said vote for Ron Paul if your gay. Libertarians have the right idea on marriage, its none of the
    governments business.

    December 22, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  25. Jeff

    Just a matter of numbers. He thinks he will offend more people who might vote for him if he caters to the gays than the other way around. He's not after the gay vote, he's after the anti gay vote, it's simply larger. He doesn't care that they are wrong, (not that he disagrees with them) but he knows he has to take this position. I wouldn't vote for the man but what he said is a good answer if you look at it with an unbiased eye towards simply politics and not right and wrong.

    December 22, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
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