Newt Gingrich Promises He Won’t Commit Adultery (This Time)

Newt Gingrich has penned a lengthy response to the Iowa evangelical group The Family Leader in which he pledges support for a federal marriage amendment, supports the Mexico City Policy (which prevents any group getting federal dollars to refrain from performing abortions anywhere in the world, and  promises he will never commit adultery:

Defending Marriage.  As President, I will vigorously enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, which was enacted under my leadership as Speaker of the House, and ensure compliance with its provisions, especially in the military.  I will also aggressively defend the constitutionality of DOMA in federal and state courts.  I will support sending a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the states for ratification.  I will also oppose any judicial, bureaucratic, or legislative effort to define marriage in any manner other than as between one man and one woman.  I will support all efforts to reform promptly any uneconomic or anti-marriage aspects of welfare and tax policy.  I also pledge to uphold the institution of marriage through personal fidelity to my spouse and respect for the marital bonds of others.

Newt and Callista Gingrich were married in the Roman Catholic Church and I’m pretty sure the vows he took pretty much covered that already.

Update: One point of clarification. Newt and Callista Gingrich were not married in the Roman Catholic Church, I was mistaken about that. However, Gingrich did convert to Catholicism not long after his third marriage and it appears that he has sought and obtained annulment of his two previous marriages (which were not conducted in the Catholic Church to begin with). Since Gingrich considers himself a devout Catholic, and his wife has been on all her life, and reportedly receives Holy Communion on a regular basis one can only assume that those annulments were granted.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, Religion, 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.


  1. michael reynolds says:

    Newt and Callista Gingrich were married in the Roman Catholic Church and I’m pretty sure the vows he took pretty much covered that already.

    As did the vows to his previous wives. No way to know what he vowed to his mistresses.

  2. Hey Norm says:

    Hey, if you can’t trust Newt…who can you trust…er…wait…I mean…um…ah, never mind.

  3. Michael,

    Yes, you have a point there.

  4. Janis Gore says:

    That’s real nice, Newton.

  5. Great minds think alike, since this is basically what I just posted, too.

    However, I also have to echo Milton Friedman’s question about high office holders, “Where do we find the angels” to occupy them?

  6. ponce says:

    Maybe what a manatee like Gingrich gets up to in bed with the hired help isn’t technically considered “sex.”

    KInda like how all the Republicans who promised to fight earmarks have been submitting budget amendments for money for specific companies but it ain’t earmarks!


  7. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    The real scary part is that a large percentage of the Bible bot demographic in Iowa are so naive and ignorant they’ll actually be mollified by this “pledge.”

  8. Trumwill says:

    @Donald Sensing: There is a difference between expecting our public servants to be angels and overlooking Newt’s indiscretions. He fails even the most basic moral decency requirements. It would take much, much worse than Obama to get me to give him a pass on that (I say this as someone who did not vote for Obama last time around).

  9. Brainster says:

    He was married in the Catholic Church? Are you sure on that point? The church considers remarriage after divorce as adultery:

    “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her: and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery”

  10. michael reynolds says:

    @Donald Sensing:
    There should be a sweet spot between, “angels” and, “obnoxious dishonest self-aggrandizing douche nozzles” where we could find someone to run the country.

  11. Newt Gingrich is a convert to Roman Catholicism. His previous marriages are, in his mind, irrelevant because he now follows a faith that sees him married to his current wife as the only marriage undertaken while a practicing Catholic.

    This makes him “perfect” in the eyes of the church that he thinks he belongs to.

    (Really, it’s easier to understand Gingrich when you assume that he’s smarter than everyone else and has spent time outthinking whatever you’re going to say)

  12. @Brainster:

    Warren has addressed this, and I posted an update.

    Gingrich was not married in the Church, I was mistaken about this. His conversion didn’t come until after he and Callista had been married. He did however, seek annulment under Canon Law for his two previous marriages.

  13. Newt and Callista Gingrich were married in the Roman Catholic Church

    Were they? I know they’re both Catholics, but I was under the impression that the Catholic church doesn’t allow divorced people to remarry. Did they actually marry in a religious ceremony, or did they have a civil marriage?

  14. MarkedMan says:

    Anyone but me think that given the old Newt-goat’s past history, this is a sure sign he’s already diddling some campaign aide?

  15. @Stormy Dragon: Doug has it right; he married BEFORE becoming a Catholic, but made his marital history right within church doctrine by seeking annulments. If he and his third wife Callista had been married BEFORE his public conversion and outside the Church they would have been married again sacramentally AFTER his confirmation in the Church.

    Those are a lot of hoops to jump through just to get right with Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeezus.

  16. @Warren Jason Street:

    In theory yes, but the Catholic church is often rather “creative” in interpretting cannon law when it comes to getting what it wants. In Gingrich’s case it borders on Kafkaesque: the reason the church gave for annulling Gingrich’s second marriage was ligamen, that is that the marriage was invalid because Mrs. Gingrich #2 had previously been married to another man. Get that? It’s okay for him to get married a third time because it was wrong of his ex-wife to have been married more than once.

    And if you really want to think of it: by requesting and receiving annullments, he retroactively made his two daughters into bastards. What kind of man would do that to his own children just to further his own political career?

  17. MarkedMan says:

    I was raised a Catholic and in my experience annulments are just a mess of corruption and hypocrisy. The church has to find some way to deal with their completely unrealistic but absolute prohibition against divorce, so they engage in this bizarre game of twister over the rules, “finding” incredible and bizarre rationales for why the original marriage(s) were null. And of course this effort is only bought to bear for those parish members “in good standing” (read: major contributors). Plus all the “fees” that need to be paid especially if the divorcee wants their annulment to be processed this side of the second coming.

  18. @MarkedMan:

    This certainly seems to be true in the American Catholic Church. Perhaps the most famous case of recent memory being when Senator Ted Kennedy managed to get an annulment of his marriage to his first wife Joan. A marriage that lasted 25 years and resulted in 3 children.

  19. Trumwill says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    A marriage that lasted 25 years and resulted in 3 children.

    A friend of mine had Catholic parents divorce after 20-something years. He wasn’t particularly torn up about it because they never got along. He threw an “I’m Retroactively A Bastard” party.

  20. WR says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Well, if you ran the Catholic church and remembered what happened when you denied Henry VIII the freedom to dissolve his marriage, you might think about loosening your policy, too.