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. Colgate

    A two-time cheating divorcee in favor of the "Defense Of Marriage Act?" Are you serious, Mr. Bling-Rich? This is a bit like appointing Bernie Madoff to head the Securities and Exchange Commission...

    December 21, 2011 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  2. Well Said

    I don't care one way or the other about this marriage debate, but I completely agree it's not a priority for most people right now when compared to the economy. That said, most of the candidates (including and especially Newt) fail when it comes to the economy, so if both candidates fail these secondary issues become much more relevant.

    December 21, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. Bill D

    I was brought up to believe in equal protection of the law. That's why I vote for Democratic candidates.

    December 21, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  4. Barry G.

    Whether you agree with his belief or not, you must admire him for having the courage to state what he believes and for taking a stance on an issue.

    This is so rare for politicians.

    December 21, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  5. Observer

    Gingrich has already lost the vote of his lesbian sister. Good for her.

    December 21, 2011 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  6. Doug from San Clemente

    Gay marriage is the only type of marriage Newt hasn't tried

    December 21, 2011 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Keeping it Real I was tempted to take your bait but I think that Searing Light of Truth and Justice seared your lips shut with their response.

    December 21, 2011 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  8. Shannon

    That's right Americans, Republicans only want a specific group of people to support them. Gays, blacks, hispanics, women, anyone capable of independent thought need not apply.

    December 21, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  9. Barry G.

    Given that there are only two issues on people's minds, at this time (the economy and the economy), I don't know how much of an impact this will have.

    Of course there is that third issue: the economy.

    December 21, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  10. Dan

    That smell of smoke you may be noticing today all across the country is from the brains of all the Log Cabin Republicans and GoProud gays trying to think of a way to spin this slap in the face their way somehow.

    December 21, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  11. Natalie

    And, as for "National Security" Newt, Obama has proven far superior to anyone in recent administrations. The GOP just hates that! Newt, you're a loser.

    December 21, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  12. Keeping It Real

    Searing Light of Truth and Justice, I think your light just burnt out, as you are indeed completely in the dark. Your misguided ramblings ignore the numerous promises that Obama has made and failed to keep. Seriously, do yourself a favor and put away the rose colored glasses and do a few minutes of research for yourself instead of playing the clueless lemming that you seem to be.

    December 21, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  13. Laurie in Spokane

    Gingrich continues to add to the entertainment the Republican wannabee candidates provide us each and every day. Where does the Republican Party GET these morons. They can't think on their feet (Perry), make pretty bizarre gaffes (Perry, Gingrich), have affairs whether acknowledged or not (Cain, Gingrich), are completely out of touch with our society (Bachmann, Perry, Gingrich, Romney). Keep it up, just makes voting for Obama, which I will do, much easier for undecided people who believe in diversity, freedom of choice, etc. etc. etc.....

    December 21, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  14. Dave

    While I disagree with Gingrich on the issue, I applaud him for being honest.

    December 21, 2011 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  15. Enjay in E MT

    We should be glad Newt didn't spin his answer – I"ll respect him for that.

    However, being President means being president of all US citizens:
    LBGT, Jewish, Hispanic, Athiest, Rich, Poor, Christian, etc.
    Too many of the GOP Candidates only want to be president of
    a Christian-White-Rich country.

    December 21, 2011 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  16. Zil Zerimar

    The same token if you are a wife cheaters.....VOTE FOR NEWT GINGRICH. And who knows he might give you an advice or two on how to cheat further on your wives.

    December 21, 2011 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  17. brian in denver

    Atta boy, Newt. You can kiss another large block of voters goodbye, along w/ other minorities, the working poor, the middle class & the well-educated, intelligent voters. Did I leave anyone out? I don't think you appeal to the youth vote either...guess that leaves the Faux News viewers, Limbaugh listeners, tea party wingnuts etc.

    December 21, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  18. zoot

    Newt defines marriage as between one man and a series of women.

    December 21, 2011 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  19. willow

    I like his answer, he didn't do the usual political double talk. He doesn't support gay marriage and thats it.

    December 21, 2011 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  20. DDanny1

    Newt added "But if you want to screw around on your wife with a broad you'll eventually marry and then screw around on HER with ANOTHER broad you'll eventually marry then I'm your man." "And hey, do me a favor, go over there and distract my wife while I have a "private conference" with my new "Women's Voter Outreach" chairman. Shouldn't take longer than 15 minutes."

    December 21, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  21. Actually Informed

    After reading the first 100 posts about this, about 92% (give or take a couple that were hard to get a true fix on) of posters feel that Gingrich should either have appeased the man by saying something he didn't mean and wouldn't stand behind, he should have changed his views because they were actually called into question, or (and I'm guessing on this one) he should have somehow recused himself because he's not perfect, with respect to "family values" (which gay marriage is incorrectly grouped with, by the way, as are most of the things people put into that category).

    I'm with Newt–if Gay Marriage is your most important issue, by all means, go with someone who sees it the same way you do. But if that IS your number one I'd like to think that most people, gay, straight, or bi, find other things a smidge further up the importance ladder, like nukes in the hands of Iran or North Korea, or education for socially disadvantaged kids, etc. Nothing wrong with having an issue like this that is your tie-breaker, but MOST IMPORTANT?

    (Interesting that CNN's spell checker doesn't recognize the word "recuse"...)

    So, what people here seem to lack is an understanding of leadership. Which is understandable, because their current president lacks it in just about every manner. EVEN THE FOLKS THAT STARTED THE OWS stuff refer to him as "somewhat of a gutless wonder."

    YES WE CAN! OK, great. So when are you going to?

    And...accomplishments? Surely, you're joking, right? Please tell me you are joking. You must be joking. If you're referring to the legislation that even his own party doesn't want....hello!?!?!?

    December 21, 2011 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  22. Jay

    Interesting to see how many people on this thread who are preaching tolerance are extremely intolerant of viewpoints that differ from theirs. Tolerance must have a very narrow definition i.e Tolerance : My way or the Highway.

    December 21, 2011 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  23. Tom

    Newt Gingrich is the worst candidate for president in the history of the USA. I do believe he's worse than George W. Bush, and you have to go some to be that bad.

    December 21, 2011 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  24. MRose

    Look, I am a democrat and always have been, but do not believe in gay marriage, nor do I believe in giving amnesty to illegal immigrants. However, I would vote again for Obama because on EVERYTHING ELSE he holds my values and the republicans do not. I can't stand Newt Gingrich, but I do agree with the answer he gave this person. . And another thing: I DO NOT "HATE" GAYS, OR " HATE" ILLEGAL (or legal ) IMMIGRANTS. Just because we disagree with a person's lifestyle, or a person's legal status in this country, does NOT MEAN WE "HATE" THOSE PEOPLE.

    December 21, 2011 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  25. Wake Up

    If anyone turns people against each other, it's democrats. They love to play the race card, use the gay issue to their advantage, and they protect every religion's rights except for jews and christians.
    Seeing how most of the repub candidates are as liberal and corrupt as their dem counterparts, vote for a real conservative.. Ron Paul!

    December 21, 2011 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
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