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.

Also see:

Iowa faith leader asked Bachmann to consider dropping out, campaign says

Poll: Paul in top spot in Iowa GOP battle

Romney defends negative ads

Gingrich: Super PAC hypocrisy

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

    It's amazing how many posters on here are intolerant of others' opinions. Just because Newt doesn't believe in gay marriage doesn't mean he hates gay people. There's no reason to be a bigot just because someone disagrees with you.

    December 22, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    T'sah and Rudy NYC thank you!

    December 22, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  3. Ojref

    No rights for wrongs. You twinkiees get the same basic rights as everyone else, deal.

    December 22, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  4. ross

    The Gingrinch who stole Christmas strikes again. 🙂

    December 22, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  5. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    If he had told the gay voter he would do something for gays, Gingrich would have alienated the church nazis. It was a no-win situation.

    December 22, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  6. RW20111117

    It's curious that Newton defines marriage as being between ONE man and ONE woman and would have a constitutional amendment added making that the LAW of ALL of the US. At last count, he has been married to THREE different women, so he is already in violation of the very law that he is proposing and if elected and if the amendment were to pass, he would immediately be liable for impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors, as would a very large number of Senators, Congressmen, Governors, and elected state and local officials. Be careful what you wish for!

    December 22, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  7. Monty Python

    I was turned into a newt once. I got better.

    December 22, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  8. David in Georgia

    Way to go Newt you’re shooting yourself in the foot YET AGAIN…I’m okay with that because you will NEVER get my vote.

    December 22, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  9. Go Vote

    He didn't give a runaround answer like the rest of the politicians. He is Catholic so what would you expect him to say? I think his answer demonstrates the strength of character that we need in a leader, regardless of its political correctness or insensitivity to homosexuals. What good are gay marriage rights and equality, if the Country falls apart because we have leaders in congress and in the White house that are weak? The govt's ineptitude is a product of lack of leadership, which results in not being able to do anything; because the elected are afraid that any action will erode their electability, it is stagnation secondary to extreme political correctness, pandering and outright hypocrasy in order to gain popular support.

    December 22, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  10. derp

    How did the Republican field come to this?

    December 22, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  11. NVa Native

    Which is worse – arrogant pandering or arrogant ignorance? Gingeritch is the master of using both to sound intelligent to the fox followers.
    But “stupid is as stupid does” goes a long way with that crowd.

    December 22, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  12. nwatcher

    Honest, appropriate answer to a one-issue voter. Why is it wrong to not be "for" something? If America votes like these posts suggest then the most important issue must be peoples sex life? Sorry state we are in..

    December 22, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  13. demogal

    I'm not gay; those other issues are important to me; I'm voting for Obama.

    December 22, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  14. The Real Tom Paine

    Conservative Patriot, conservatives demand tolerance, and are usually the last to give it to others. Before you call others jerks, take an objective look at the language habitually used on conservative media outlets and ask yourself if their word choice is indicative of tolerance. Gingrich provokes this kind of reaction precisely because the majority of his responses are peppered with the kind of language you are condemning( it was actually referred to as " Newtspeak" when he ran the House). If you knew that and understood that, you can see why most people are skeptical of Newt and his claims of being kinder and gentler.

    December 22, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  15. JohnW

    I don't like Newt, but I really don't see a problem with what he said. He has no interest in any gay agenda and he said so. It's one of the more honest times in his career, and berating him for telling the truth seems silly to me. Berate him for his position, sure, but don't berate him for stating it truthfully.

    December 22, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  16. anthony

    Vote for Ron Paul...Ron Paul will take care of all Gays. Ron Paul would have told this guy he will be fine under a Ron Paul Presidency.

    December 22, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  17. Jimm

    I'll give Gingrich credit, at least he was honest and didn't pander. I don't agree with his stance, but his beliefs are what they are.

    December 22, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  18. Mike

    Brilliant! Great answer Newt. It is fine time a politician tells it how it is.

    December 22, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  19. DN

    As a gay man I believe his response was very appropriate, Gingrich did an excellent job and brought up a very good point. There are many more issues at hand that should garner our attention and sway our vote one way or the other.

    December 22, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  20. Elmer Fudd

    Yeah, I think marriage is a pretty BIG issue in most peoples lives.......

    December 22, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  21. Dean

    He told the truth. And I agree, if you are voting for president on the issue of gay marriage then you deserve more of Obama's hope and change............

    December 22, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  22. Lmo

    Way to go Newt! stand up for your beliefs. Gay marriage should not be the only thing people should be concerned about. There are so many more important things to think about in a president. Marriage is between a man and a woman and should only be that way.

    December 22, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  23. the_dude

    Pretty much Newt is right on this one.

    December 22, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  24. Ray from Austin, TX

    I think Newt's response is brilliant. Whether or not it works in this political climate, we'll have to wait and see.

    Instead of pandering to everyone, he's sticking to his guns and just saying it as it is. I'd rather have that than a candidate that would say one thing to a group of people and then the opposite to another group to sway their vote.

    Or even worse, have a Bachman or Romney moment where it just becomes extremely awkward because they don't want to say what they think outright and just skirt around the topic without actually taking a stand on anything.

    December 22, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  25. tellitlikeitis

    While I applaud the frankness of an answer, I must say that ANY "Log Cabin Republican" WHO ACTUALLY VOTES REPUBLICAN, is basically handing a new stick over to the person who just broke theirs beating on you.

    December 22, 2011 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23