Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich says he will not sign The Family Leader’s controversial “Marriage Vow” pledge unless changes are made to the oath. Gingrich was asked if he had signed the pledge after he participated in The Family Leader’s “Presidential Lecture Series” forum in Pella on Monday.
“We’ve talked about it and Vince Haley, who is my policy director, is going to work with Bob (Vander Plaats) and others to work through some of the issues,” Gingrich said.
Gingrich’s spokesman R.C. Hammond told Hotline On Call that the wording of the pledge is not sufficient. “We’re happy to work with you to sharpen it so people understand where we’re going with it,” Gingrich told Vander Plaats, according to Hammond. “It’s not there yet.” Hammond added that “across the board” changes were needed to the document.
The Family Leader hopes to use the pledge as a way to influence the Ames Straw Poll. They plan to announce which candidates have, or have not, signed the questionable document just a few hours before Straw Poll. Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum quickly signed the pledge.
However, a backlash was created due to a passage in the “preamble” part of the oath that suggested babies born into slavery were better off than black babies born today. That part of the pledge was removed Saturday, after Bachmann and Santorum had already signed it.
The “Marriage Vow” oath is a tricky one for Gingrich. He is now on his third marriage. The first promise of the pledge says, “Personal fidelity to my spouse”. During the Q&A part of his lecture in Pella, the former House Speaker was very candid about the mistakes he has made.
“Everybody has flaws at one point or another in his life, but I’ve taken it very seriously,” Gingrich said. “I’ve worked very hard at reconciliation with God in seeking forgiveness.” Family Leader CEO Bob Vander Plaats said last week that the pledge is about the future any candidate who had been unfaithful in the past would be encouraged to sign it.
Photo by Dave Davidson
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