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. WhereIsPalin

    "If that's the most important (issue) to you...."

    Gingrich's response was good. We have bigger issues. By the way, would he respond the same way if asked about abortion?

    December 22, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  2. Damian X

    This is stupid.......and Obama doesn't support gay marriage either. He has stated more than once marriage is between a man and a woman. I support gay marriage.......but I wouldn't make it my defiining voting decision.

    December 22, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  3. sicofit

    Listen, i don't care if you are gay or bi or anything else, because at the end of the day if you can't afford to put food in your mouth because of lack of jobs or feed your family who the heck cares. We need people in office who are going to get us on good financial ground again first. That is the priority. Everything else in my opinion and I stress it is only my opinion, can wait.

    December 22, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  4. Matthew

    I agree with others on this board, marriage is for procreation. So instead of just a blood test for marriage, we need fertility tests too. Anyone not able to concieve cannot marry. Any female over 55 cannot marry. They can have civil unions for those that cannot procreate. My father "married" a 64 yo woman. They had no plans to procreate further. Why were they allowed to marry?

    December 22, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  5. Ron

    Any voter who casts a ballot for one of the current crop of republican Presidential candidates is a fool. None of those clowns–including Gingrich, who is an ethical black hole–are fit to carry Obama's water. Barack Obama is more intelligent, compassionate, insightful, aware, and Presidential than the whole republican field combined.

    December 22, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  6. Ambrose Smith

    Not sure why those Log Cabin Republicans want to support a party that hates them. I suppose they just want to keep their guns. That's more important than being supported, I guess.

    December 22, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  7. ddrew78

    Got to give him credi, at least he's honest about it.

    December 22, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  8. Tr1Xen

    While I disagree with Gingrich on this issue, it's not the most important issue to me either. I still don't plan to vote for 4 more years of Obammunism.

    December 22, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  9. Tr1Xen

    While I disagree with him on this issue, it's not all that important to me either. He's still got my vote.

    December 22, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  10. scottf

    NEWT the bomb thrower. Do you really want this narcissistic psychopath behind the nuclear trigger? Look at his record. He is a DIVIDER not a UNITER. He has a much higher opinion of himself than anyone else does. This guy is dangerous. He is the original " LOOSE CANNON"and the founder of " PARTISAN" politics. You think gridlock is bad now, just elect Newt and it will be much, much, much worse.

    December 22, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  11. Robyn

    OK, I get it.

    So, if you are gay, poor, working class. middle class, upper class, liberal, centerist, black, hispanic, asian, educated, uneducated, east coast, west coast, southern, midwestern, northeastern, industrial, rural, suburban, young, middle aged, old, factory worker, office worker, farmer, professional, soldier, unemployed, doctor, lawyer, bricklayer or a woman you should vote for Obama.

    Got it, Newt. Thanks for narrowing it down.

    December 22, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  12. Smokey

    Just where do people think gay people come from anyway? From my experience they come from straight parents!

    December 22, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  13. davon

    How Brash! What would he say if it had something to do with women's' rights or diversity? If I asked, how do you plan to engage minority voters, would he stand in front of my face, a black man, and say tough luck, vote for Obama? I guess so, and so I suppose I will!

    December 22, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. RyanM

    Well, I'll give it to him – at least he gave an honest answer; something that's been lacking in politics lately.
    Still, when the LBGT community gives a conservative estimate of 3-8% of the population being homo or bi-sexual, you're going to need to find a way to engage and embrace the community. Newt's made it very clear he wants to shrink the government – so why does he feel it's the government's responsibility to compose a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage? I think Newt misunderstood Thomas Jefferson's addition to the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." ...did I miss that part where it said all straight men are created equal?

    December 22, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  15. typical white person

    newt is the man. what a thoughtful and smart response. of course, no one is going to vote for obama anyway. in fact, the dems aren't even going to nominate him; hillary will be the democratic nominee. dems aren't that stupid...they want to win or at least have a chance to win.

    December 22, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  16. max

    George B

    I don't understand why everyone says Gingrich is so smart. He uses the same big words over and over again, and "frankly" (aarrgh!) seems like a moron to me. Oh yeah, and now an acknowledged bigot.
    -------------------------------------------------Ever heard the saying, In the world of blind men the one eyed man is king?

    December 22, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  17. LJ

    I'm trying to figure out if the GOP knows where they're campaigning. You do realize that gay marriage is legal in Iowa right? So, if something was decided on by a majority of voters in that state, why would you not want to pander to the majority of the state that you covet? I'm just trying to figure out if these cats have half a freakin brain. And judging by it, I'm picturing Obama smiling from ear and saying this is going to be the easiest re-election in history!!!!

    December 22, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  18. Steve

    I might not agree with his response but this is the first time I have heard a politician offer a straight no bull answer.

    I wish they were all that honest (lol)

    December 22, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  19. motown74

    Obviously, the gay man in the video has no intention of voting for any republican. I was impressed with Newt's response. At least he was honest and forthright. Next, we might see the lesbian using her 8 year old son to tell Newt, "my mommy doesn't need fixing", as she did with Michele Bachmann. What's Obama's views on gay marriage, again? Oh, yeah, he's against it.

    December 22, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  20. kenny

    Gingrich to the rest of his supporters. VOTE FOR OBAMA. I am really out here to raise my speaking fee and sell more books and give me material for writing my next book. It's all about the money.

    December 22, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  21. Wes

    The bigger story here is the desire of CNN to create stories by taking something completely out of context to paint a picture completely different from reality. Gingrich did not tell the gay man to vote for Obama. He said that he hoped gay people would be more interested in the economy, job creation, and other major issues than just gay advocacy. If, however, gay rights was the only thing of importance to them, yes, they should vote for Obama. Quite a different picture than that painted by CNN, both in this headline, and on shows such as Up Front, where this is portrayed as a brush off of a gay question. Is CNN no longer interested in being "the most trusted name in news" and starting to lower themselves to the level of "faux news" ?

    December 22, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  22. Huh

    Huh. It's funny how many people, including Newt, consider gay rights NOT to be an economical issue. Because it is an economical issue, and addressing it WOULD be for the better future of the country.

    OR he DOES know that, and he's just a bigot. I think he does. His sister's gay and I'm sure he's seen and heard first hand the intricacy of the issues.

    December 22, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  23. Jilli

    I guess Mr. Gingrich believes that if/when he assumes the role of Supreme Leader of the US, he doesn't have to represent all Americans, only those he agrees with and those that agree with and voted for him.

    This man has no business near the white house – the last time in congress he was run out on a rail. He should stay there.

    December 22, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  24. FactCheck

    I still don't plan to vote for 4 more years of Obammunism.

    Too bad for you that most of us will do just that. Rest assured, you are very much in the minority.

    December 22, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  25. Lisa

    Gotta give Newt props for being honest. At least he admitted that he intends to work to take the country backwards and that he isn't the man to represent the entire country as a whole - only those who agree with him. And the votes he gets will tell us how many agree with him, which probably won't be enough to make him president - Thank goodness.

    December 22, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23