Christian Group Attacks Gingrich Over Marriages

Politico’s Ben Smith notes that the above flyer is being distributed by a Christian group in Iowa:

A reader forwards this flier, distributed by a heretofore unknown entity calling itself “Iowans for Christian Leaders in Government,” picked up in the Hawkeye State. It attacks Gingrich on the substance of his divorces, putting the worse spin possible on them.

“If Newt Gingrich can’t be faithful to his wife, how can we trust him to be faithful to conservative voters,” it asks.

The flier is a classic of the anonymous late politics of the early states, but my source notes a bit of a twist in its distribution: It was slipped under the door of a guest on the 29th floor of the Marriott Des Moines, who was there on non-political business.

Fair game? I tend to be one of those people who thinks that anything is fair game in politics as long as it’s truthful. If the voters think it’s relevant they’ll act on it, if they don’t then they won’t. Given the large evangelical population in Iowa, it will be interesting to see if stuff like this has an impact on Gingrich’s support in the state.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.

Comments

  1. legion says:

    Given the large evangelical population in Iowa, it will be interesting to see if stuff like this has an impact on Gingrich’s support in the state

    This is key… As Perry already found out the hard way, Republicans in Iowa aren’t the same as Republicans in Texas (or Utah, or Florida, or Ohio…). The sort of things that could help – or hurt – any of these yahoos in Iowa might have very different impacts on their ability to win the overall nomination (to say nothing of the general election).

  2. Fiona says:

    “things happened in my life that were not appropriate” — Is that bureaucrat speak for “I cheated on my wives”? Perfect use of passive voice. It makes it sound like infidelity somehow happened to him as opposed to Newt playing an active role in it.

    I think Newt’s marital woes are fair game only because he’s playing the morality card and therefore he comes off as a major hypocrite. I’m sure, however, that if the press points it out, he’ll portray himself as the victim of unfair media attacks. He’s learned well from Palin.

  3. It’s also relevant in light of Gingrich’s role in the impeachment of Clinton.

  4. MBunge says:

    I doubt Newt’s marital trouble will be any more of a problem for him than Romney’s Mormonism is for him. But Newt will have to have some sort of “come to Jesus” moment on this stuff if he really wants to be the nominee.

    Mike

  5. legion says:

    @MBunge: Well, he already converted to Catholicism to get his current wife, what else is left? Of course, the fact that they were committing adultery (which he’s done before), and he’s had multiple divorces, and she was clearly willing to have sex with him out of wedlock all simply underline the fact that he doesn’t take any commitment seriously once it interferes with whatever he wants that day, but that’s never hampered a candidate (admittedly, of either party) before…

  6. Jackie says:

    I am a born-again evangelical Christian, so I have pretty high moral standards. Standards according to the Bible. However I’m saddened by the flyer that has been passed about Newt Gingerich. I wasn’t always a Christian so I did some things I’m not proud of, but I know I’m forgiven, and like the Bible says, He separates me and my sins as far as the East is from the West. God remembers them no more. So why is it that we think we don’t need to forgive people, especially if they’ve repented which God tells us we must do. The Bible says,”there is none righteous, no not one.” And “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” So why do we as Christians have a hard time forgiving people? That doesn’t mean we approve of bad behavior, but we have no right to decide who’s worthy and who’s not. I wouldn’t go to any church that any of you attend because if the attitude there is the same as all of you demonstrate, I might be tossed out on my ear. I think it’s time we stop being so heavenly minded that we’re no earthly good. We need to embrace our brothers and sisters in Christ and learn to forgive.

  7. mantis says:

    So why do we as Christians have a hard time forgiving people?

    Can’t a Christian forgive Newt and not want him to be president? Does forgiveness mean support?

  8. sam says:

    @MBunge:

    But Newt will have to have some sort of “come to Jesus” moment on this stuff if he really wants to be the nominee.

    Newt’s Catholic, just a smidgen less demonic than being Mormon for some evangelicals.

  9. michael reynolds says:

    I am a born-again evangelical Christian, so I have pretty high moral standards.

    I’m an atheist, so I pretty much spend my days fornicating with farm animals, shooting heroin and murdering hobos. I can’t help it, I’m just so darned godless and all.

  10. Tsar Nicholas says:

    As already alluded to within this very thread the major problem for Newt is not that he can’t keep his dick inside of his pants. That’s a problem, sure, but it’s not the problem.

    The real problem for Newt in this primary season is the fact that he converted to Catholicism. As soon as the Protestant Bible-bot bloc learns of this then Newt will be toast.

    Romney can’t crack 25% because he’s a Mormon. Catholics are only one notch above Mormons in the eyes of the extreme Protestant right. The GOP primary selectorate disproportionately is represented by extreme Protestants. Romney already has the Giuliani / Rockefeller Republican vote sealed up. Gingrich thus will be left out in the cold.

  11. grumpy realist says:

    @Jackie: Yeah, well the problem is that too many of your fellow self-proclaiming Christians use “forgiveness” as a get-off-scott-free card. Did horrible things? Hey, just proclaim that I’ve been “saved” and all is wiped out! I don’t have to apologize to anyone, fix anything, feel any repentance, or keep my mouth shut. Plus I can still be as righteous as I want about all those evil atheists!

    Given Gingrich’s prior behavior and given his present behavior, there is one thing that is totally and completely lacking from the man: humility. I’ll believe in his repentance when he actually does give up all he has to the poor, stops acting like Elmer Gantry, and convinces his wife to do so as well.

  12. Barb Hartwell says:

    I can see some Republicans Christians forgiving Gingrich,because I have been around many Christian people as long as you reach out to them they forgive but if you do not reach out they will let your house burn down and say it was God`s will.

    I just cringe when I think of Gingrich and his trophy wife occupying the White house. They`re too icky.

  13. Bob says:

    @mantis:
    “mantis says:

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at 14:06

    So why do we as Christians have a hard time forgiving people?

    Can’t a Christian forgive Newt and not want him to be president? Does forgiveness mean support?”

    Yes but then that person would oppose him for other reasons.