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:

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

    John–plan wronge, seriously? Did you mean plain wrong? I think the wrong plan for america would be to elect Newt.

    December 22, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  2. Liz

    Any Politician that signs some ridiculous pledge for a particular group of people should NOT be voted into any office especially president. It only proves they don't care about America as a Whole just themselves and trying to look fancy.

    Newt and other politicians like him who have signed these pledges are NOT worth of our votes. They are not worth of an office or any sort of power. They're the reason america is in the hole. Look at our government currently. THey can't do whats right for the nation at all. THey keep talking about scaling back government yet they want to impliment more government in order to look productive in the job market.

    Our government right now is a Joke...and Newt will only make us a bigger joke. I'd vote for Romney anyday over Newt.

    December 22, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  3. justin

    OK...everyone claims they want 'straight talk' (no pun intended) and when they get it, then they complain. That is a problem but interestingly, for most who have lived for quite a while, the federal government used to shy away from such issues as that was not their constitutional; mandate. How many of us want the federal government to 'mandate' social issues that go against what we want. There is no social issue everyone is for and so we were given the ability at the community and state level to deal with these things. If you want the federal government to mandate all social issues, then there will forever be disatisfaction with that government and it loses the ability to bring us together. That is alrgely the difference in parties but we never get to that as a true discussion becasue we use the human weakness in our leaders to personify each group and , each side sees the other equally as insincere, ignorant, illogical, and stupid. No big simply gives us what we have now and, gee, I guess we are all happy being unhappy about that becasue we continue to maintain this culture. Anyway, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukka, peace and joy to all others celebrating their religions and fulfillment in life and spiritual growth to those who believe there is not a God. Whatever it is we believe, we all inhabit this floating marble together and it is wise to remember that wise rocker who stated, "you don't always get what you want'. My best to you all.

    December 22, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  4. Well, well..

    While I appreciate Newt's honesty on this matter, it baffles me as to why he hasn't been as forthcoming with "truthful" answers on some of the other issues/questions that have been asked of him? Anyone? What a joke.

    December 22, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  5. pachecosita

    The smartest thing I heard from this guy. I will do that Newt and all my friends too

    December 22, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  6. Deligoer

    Please, let's not let the media pick our next president. I love the media, I am a reader. But they have somehow gotten into the business of opinions – which is not the true domain of a free press, unless it's in an advertisement. Please, this time, make this choice OURS! Get the facts! Go to your Caucus! VOTE! then pray for our country – in whatever way you choose to pray. Last time I looked we were still free.

    December 22, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  7. Why

    well agree with him or not I give him credit for not pandering and telling them he will make no effort to win thier vote. Its sad we are still at a point where we dont believe in equal civil rights, but he told it as he sees it. Thats really all we can ask for.

    December 22, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  8. Gumboz1953

    Because well, you know, Newt really respects the sanctity of marriage.

    December 22, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  9. Bob

    Newt is correct. If the only thing you care about is Gay marriage or Gay rights, or whatever the progressive cause of the week for Obama. If you are concerned about REAL issues like the Economy, Social Security, and protecting Amercia vote for the GOP nominee...whoever that is.....even if it ends up being Newt. Obama has proven with a failed adminstration he cannot lead and does not stand up for America.

    December 22, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  10. Annatala

    Rather than explain his position, he simply stated: "I don't care about your vote."

    Given the fact that Gingrich tried to "redefine marriage" himself a few times, I can't take his "moral advice" all that seriously.

    December 22, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  11. indifferent

    I've got to be honest, I don't really think about gay marriage at all. It's so low on my list of priorities for the next president to take care of, that I could really care less how he feels about it. I personally don't have an issue with gay marriage but if the next president wants to outlaw it, I don't really care as long as he takes care of what I personally view as much higher priority items. Conversely if he wants to make gay marriage legal across the board I'm also ok with it, once again as long as those other things are taken care of.

    All that being said, though, I do appreciate his honesty here. So many politicians come up with a pre-bottled answer that doesn't actually answer anything and only skirts around the issue. At least he's being up front about his views and allowing the voter to make a more educated decision about who to vote for

    December 22, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  12. Emma

    Whether you agree with Newt or not...he stood up for what he truly believed in. I don't like to be labled as a Democrat, Republican, Independet, etc. just a voter.

    December 22, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  13. Giggle Snort Guffaw!


    Wait, let me rephrase that: "Really?"

    Newt was the only hope for the Republican party against Obama. Luke Skywalker he's not. Oh, well...

    Let me see if I can get this straight:
    The anglo-saxon-decended male middle-aged Christian Conservative representative has signed a pledge that requests signers to change a secular document (The US Constitution) to reflect prejudiced religious views (amendment to define marriage as one man, one woman)??? Right?

    And how does that jive with Newt's adultery and divorces?

    Have a nice day.

    December 22, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  14. prettywordsmeannothing

    why is everyone all ticked off about this? he was honest and straight forward with his answer. at least he wasn't giving lip service just to get votes.

    December 22, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  15. Hassan Chop

    Well, Newt doesn't lie, at least not all the time. He's certainly being honest and truthful in telling those who believe in equal rights for all Americans (including gays) should vote for Obama.

    Hee's not quite on the ball on who should support him though. What about those who care about "job creation, national security, a better future for the country at large" and gay rights? And what about those who believe equal rights is a significant component in being a better future for the country at large?

    December 22, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  16. Dennis

    I think Newt was maybe reckless but did make a point. If you don't like my position on a particular issue and that is your central issue, vote for the other guy.

    December 22, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  17. Barry In Las Vegas

    Great Answer – the fact is Gingrich couldn't have given a right answer as far as the gays are concerned and this was obviously a setup question by the gay's.

    December 22, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  18. MTP

    That may have been one of the most honest things I've seen a politician say in a long time.

    December 22, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  19. DebW

    I find it interesting in reading a majority of these comments, that people fail to appreciate that a politician gave an honest answer. He could have told the man what he wanted to hear. He could have said whatever was needed to get a vote. Yet he chose to give his honest feelings, based on his beliefs. It is not up to us to judge his beliefs, but I do have to respect that he was honest about them.

    December 22, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  20. epicjourney

    I would not vote for Gingrich because he is style over substance, something we have had enough of with slick Willie and Obama. I am not concerned about his stance on same-sex marriage, it that is the single issue that voters care about over the economy, etc. then America is indeed doomed.

    December 22, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  21. epicjourney

    Based on the comments on this board, I don't think the average American knows how to determine who to vote for. They seem to think the candidate must match their views on each and every issue – how unreasonable.

    December 22, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  22. Dave Harris

    To rephrase it, anyone who thinks the government has no business telling people who they can marry should vote for Obama (or Ron Paul). And, given Newt's history with marriage, taking orders from him on this subject would probably not be the best idea.

    December 22, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  23. JohnTX

    Don't worry, Newt. We do plan on voting for Obama in droves! Unless Fred Karger were the GOP nominee, there is absolutely ZERO reason for any LGBT of sound mind to vote Republican.

    December 22, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  24. finally

    Although I disagree with the stance he is taking on same sex marriage, how can everyone critisize him for being honest and expressing his views? So wait, your telling me someone asked him a question on his stance of same sex marriage, and now he is getting crap because he didnt lie, or straddle the fence and avoid the question altogether. I won't vote for him, but I do commend him for showing a little honesty. The average person commenting on this is an idiot " Oh he hates gays, clearly not fit for presidency"....He never mentioned not supporting the gay community, nor that he wouldnt work for the gay community, he simply said that he supports marriage between a man and a woman. Im sure most of you would be cowards and lie just to get the gay vote....exactly what is wrong with this country

    December 22, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  25. Pete

    I am not a Republican and not a fan of Newt, but I do have a bit more respect for him right now. Not because of his stance on gay marriage (I disagree and believe we should allow same sex marriages) but at least he was brutally honest. He could have evaded the question, or gave a noncommital answer like most politicians, but he stood by his convictions and answered truthfully. I can respect that, even if I can't respect his stance.

    December 22, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
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