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 Herzog

    Since he is on his 4th marraige, he probably is not the right one to give advice, about what or who should constitute a successful marraige

    December 21, 2011 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  2. icreepin

    Actually that was a fair and complete answer by Gingrich. When you look at everything our nation faces and needs to deal with those people who are only focused on same sex marriage they aren't looking at the bigger picture when compared to jobs, security, financial stability. Does same sex marriage really matter if the country is broke and bankrupt?

    December 21, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  3. K3Citizen

    Maybe Newt can help pass a resolution that says people who cheat on their wives more than once can't pretend to have values.

    December 21, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  4. Dusty

    So if I understand Newt correctly, if you are gay and would like to get married (or straight and believe gay people should be allowed to get married) then you don't care about job creation, national security, or a better future for the country at large. I had no idea that freedom between consenting adults had anything to do with those issues. I'm so glad Newt cleared that up for me. Finally, we know who to blame for unemployment, terrorism, and a bleak future, and it isn't the democrats! It's people who are in love. No wonder Newt has cheated on his 2 previous wives, his commitments to his country were much stronger than his marriage vows.

    December 21, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  5. retief1954

    Newt Gingrich, conservative "values" candidate, philanderer, liar, hypocrite, condescender. And his horrifying-looking wife – cheater, weird hair ninja. Yeah, he belongs on the ticket, alright. Conservatives have short memories, but no worries – we'll remind you whenever it's needed. That'll be pretty much every day til the election.

    December 21, 2011 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  6. oldguy

    You have to interpret his answer in view of his lack of respect for the institution of marriage itself, as shown from his personal history...

    December 21, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  7. Barry

    Yes Newt, I can see how you are such a staunch adversary of gay marriage. You have been such a wonderful example of how marriage is such a sacred bond...

    December 21, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  8. Maverick

    Holy Crap!!!!! A politician that answered the question with a straightforward, honest reply. I may not agree with all of Gingrich's policies but I appreciate his candor and he is starting to look like a viable option to me.

    December 21, 2011 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  9. Grace Of The Witch

    Anyone who is willing to change the Constitution Of The United States
    and turn Americans into second class citizens because of thier own beliefs
    is a Traitor to that constitution.

    This Document should never be tampered with unless it is for
    making life better for all Americans.

    If you let the Conservative, rich, religious right wing party
    control this nation, after gays, who goes next ?

    This happened in Germany in 1933.
    Remember how well that worked out ?
    This is very dangerous.
    Dont let this happen in America.

    December 21, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    Translation: "I'm a giant bigot and think I can get elected without you, and by extension, people like you...and I intend to do so and then turn around and screw you because I hate people like you. I won't be your POTUS...I'll be your nightmare."

    December 21, 2011 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  11. Orchid333

    Well, there goes another one. Ron Paul, you're next up to the top!

    December 21, 2011 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |

    Better Newt than Willard M. Romney. At least Newt is consistantly Right-wing;whereas weather vane Mitt flip and flop depending on the audience. Mitt just doesn't have a clue how joe six-pack lives, shopping at the marts, having a vehicle serviced..lifes simple things...he hasn't a clue with his fake jeans..

    December 21, 2011 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  13. Deep in the heart of TX

    Well, it doesn't get any plainer than that!

    For all you Log Cabin gays, keep supporting the GOP if you want to continue to be second class citizens.

    Little newt stated it up front and proud, that is where you will stay.

    December 21, 2011 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  14. Jim in San Mateo

    I'll give him points for honesty, but I'll give him twice as many points for stupidity. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Iowa for more than a year and to the best of anyone's observation, the sky has not fallen, heterosexual marriage has not been devalued, most children have grown up to be the people their parents hoped they would be, etc. In short, nothing has changed, so why the big issue with allowing people to marry the person whom they love?

    December 21, 2011 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  15. State/Church

    I don't think we should redefine marriage either. Marriage is a religious institution. Government should not recognize marriage at all.

    December 21, 2011 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  16. willsetufree

    Newt was articulate and honest with the gentleman, who seemed cordial and civil despite a difference in perspectives. I still do not understand the preoccupation of this issue in the minds of so many, when our country has so many more pressing problems. LIve and let live, but don't proselytize.

    December 21, 2011 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  17. Orchid333

    Limiting the rights of gay people is no different that those Presidents who supported limiting the rights of women or blacks in years past, and look at how that went. Those with limited visibility to the rights of ALL people should never be elected President of our UNITED States. Period. I may be straight, but I have many gay friends who deserve nothing less than I do simply because of their choice of company. They are people too. They are Americans. People like Newt and most of these disparaging Tea Partiers disgust me.

    December 21, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  18. DB

    "to back a constitutional amendment defining marriage between a man and woman."
    Why is it when the repubs feel something isn't according to their ideology they must amend the constitution? These are same people who protect the body of the constitution as it stands now!!! I cannot trust people who will bend the rules for their own sake!!!! As if they have no respect for those who disagree!

    December 21, 2011 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  19. She Turned Me Into a Newt

    Yeah, cause letting Gay people get married would surely destroy the institution of marriage. Not people who cheat on their wives and get divorced, nope, that's not doing a thing.

    December 21, 2011 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  20. Boy ol' Boy

    @ DDanny1 – that my friend was a hilarious post.

    December 21, 2011 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  21. Refreshing

    Good for you Newt – I respect your stand in the face of confrontation. It's refreshing for a candidate not to continually acquiesce and avoid tough questions, especially on the topic of gay marriage. It shows maturity and a mental toughness that few candidates have and/or are willing to show in today's political system.

    December 21, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  22. EdSantaFe

    Don't worry, fat slime ball.... WE WILL

    December 21, 2011 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  23. What?

    "Gingrich replied saying he doesn't expect to get the backing from voters solely focused on changing the definition of marriage."
    You TOTALLY TWISTED this CNN! Nothing was said (that you quoted) about changing the defintion of marriage. "Gay Marriage" does NOT change the definition of marriage....and you call yourselves a world leader in news. SHAME ON YOU

    December 21, 2011 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  24. god

    life isn't fair. get over it.

    December 21, 2011 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  25. GoRemote

    Huh.....Obama says he doesn't support Gay Marriage either.......

    December 21, 2011 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23