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. Bill

    Gotta admit, Newt didn't try to lie to the guy and the questioner seemed to appreciate the fact. Generally, when people ask a question, they would like a straight answer. All too rare in politics today.

    December 21, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  2. Woman In California

    I'm no fan of Gingrich but on this he gets points because he was at least honest – something Romney WILL NEVER BE.

    December 21, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  3. Jack

    Ah, Mr. Compassion. He has a lesbian half-sister he obviously dislikes intensely. Even the dark Dick Cheney showed some compassion for gays (his daughter is a lesbian)–and Cheney had no heart for anyone. What does this tell you about Newt? The man is empty.

    December 21, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. sftommy

    Marriage is between two people and God.

    As long as the state doesn't insist any person lie about that relationship with God and their partner who cares what Gingrich or Obama think. If the government insists people lie about such relationships than their is a moral failing within the government and those motivated to insist upon lies for whatever their reason are.

    December 21, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  5. Obama has done

    Obama has done nothing (except make unkept promises) to change marriage laws. At least Newt is honest about it and, I believe, has the best idea about what a marriage is and is not. I also agree that this should not be the main focus for anyone in the grand scheme of this country.

    December 21, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    To the Ron Paul people: freedom requires very definite rules of behavior, obligations, and consequences for failing to follow them. Read David Hackett Fischer's book " Liberty and Freedom" and then ask yourself how much anarchy can you stomach in the Libertarian dream world?

    December 21, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  7. unsub

    he IS who we thought he WAS!!!

    December 21, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  8. Hark

    Get over yourselves ! Newt is the only candidate, Dem or Rep. that will give you a direct answer, no beating around the issue. What more do you want?.....more of the present crap we are getting from Obama? Talk is cheap, its time to walk the walk! Go get'em Newt!!!

    December 21, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  9. Josh

    Now when they can say "If you're in the bottom 99%, then you should be for Obama," the Republicans will really be being honest.

    December 21, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. Mindie from Indie

    Obama is really the only choice we have. Oh and Roger – Obama WAS asked the same question during his last campaign in case you missed it. Didn't Obama just repeal DADT? Obama has a plan that will work (in case you haven't been paying attention) and when all the teabagger frauds are voted out of office, Obama's agenda will start in full force. Welcome to Obama's 2nd term. His first was pretty awesome – can't wait to see what good he'll accomplish in the next four years.

    December 21, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  11. bullock w

    I am belived that presdient obama and eric holders are make lots trouble hide gun or terroist with fast furois

    December 21, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  12. rainweaver

    While I don't agree with his stance on most issues, I at least respect that in this case he was honest.

    December 21, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  13. bullock w

    Kick out of eric holders and presdient obma about on fast furiuis

    December 21, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  14. Mindie from Indie

    I don't believe Newt has too much respect for marraige, considering he's cheated on his all his wives so far – in fact approaching one with divorce papers after she'd just had surgery. Obama and Democrats are really is the only choice we have.

    December 21, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  15. Rod in Dallas TX

    "Joe........That is why our country is in the condition it is in. We keep changing the morals to fit. Who needs marriage at all? We should just make it legal to mate with anyone, or anything you want. Dogs, cats who cares? there is a reason men and women get married. It is called procreation. 2 men will never be able to do it. Medical science can't get you there. The monstrosities of the trans gender community now that is a different story altogether."

    There is soooo much wrong with this statement. As a welfare caseworker, I can assure you that you don't have to be married to procreate. Secondly, marriage is controlled by the government, NOT BY A CHURCH. The US allows a church to perform the ceremony but guess where the license gets filed. That's right, a government agency, not a church. Third, people do not get married "just to procreate." as you put it. My grandmother is 69 and just married a guy. I doubt she'll be having a baby. My friend and her husband are married and have no interest whatsoever in having a baby. I can have a baby without being married. What I can't do is file taxes with the other person. That would be a reason to get married there. Not having children. I can't believe your comment actually got posted. I'm surprised you knew where the power button on the computer was to even turn it on.

    December 21, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  16. Bruce

    Pssst... Newt. Jesus defined marriage as between ONE man and ONE woman (and the emphasis was on the ONE, not between one MAN and one WOMAN), and equated divorce and remarriage with ADULTERY.

    That you want to call your current adulterous relationship a "marriage" is a redefinition in and of itself. You should be with them, hypocrite.

    December 21, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  17. Busted

    @movealongnow – I'm with you. I certainly support gay rights and consider myself more of a democrat but I like his answer. Finally someone says something modestly honest. Mitt should take note

    December 21, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  18. Portland tony

    Newt had a good politician's answer. His implicit reply was: I'm not going to get hung up on gay issues. If your "only issue" in this election is gay rights for Obama .....but if you want to talk economic issues and foreign policy and maybe gay rights....etc...listen and vote for me._

    December 21, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  19. Daniel

    Newt would be for gay marriage for a while, they he would end up divorcing the dude when he got sick.

    December 21, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  20. Pedro

    Gingrich's campaign slogan should be, "If you care about X, you should vote for Obama."

    If you care about equal rights, vote for Obama.

    If you care about terrorism, vote for Obama.

    In you care about national security, vote for Obama.

    If you care about balancing the budget, vote for Obama.

    If you care about having healthcare, vote for Obama.

    If you care about the environment, vote for Obama.

    December 21, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  21. Fred D. Mac

    Gingrich declares gays an 'invented people.'

    Invented by the same wicked alchemists who invented Mark Foley and Larry Craig and Ted Haggard I guess. But reformed by Newt Gingrich himself and Michele Bachman's husband.

    Does the GOP have any members left who are not paranoid delusional freaks? No wonder GOP enrollment among young people has declined by 60% in the past 30 years. Look at these weirdoes.

    December 21, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  22. sobugly

    This is the point when elections become difficult for voters like myself, strong conservatives who are also gay and believe in marriage equality. While I'm concerned for the future of this country and our economic prosperity, I cannot support a candidate who will treat me as a second class citizen, even if he / she has all the right answers to make the USA a superpower once again. I don't care if under your presidency the streets are paved in gold and champaigne flows in the rivers, if you're going to tell me that I am not deserving of equal marriage rights you won't have my support. Even though I had a feeling all this "Hope and Change" hype would come back to bite us, I had to go with Obama in the last election cycle because I frankly didn't like the idea of having a president who thought I was a deviant, a pervert, or a "genetic mistake."

    December 21, 2011 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  23. jorstyl

    Ron Paul is more pro-gay rights than Obama. Ron Paul supports freedom and individual choices. Obama supports civil unions.

    December 21, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  24. BLKMANinAmerica

    Typical repuk response when confronted with being a President for everyone (inclusive) vs. "for people who are like me" (exclusive).................SAD. But ok, you won't be the President of the U.S. in 2012 for sure.

    December 21, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  25. RandyIA

    Does he sway his answer, and give a fake response, no he told the voter, the way he would act if elected. A very stand up answer if you ask me.

    December 21, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
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