Earlier this summer, Newt Gingrich passed on the opportunity to sign The Family Leader Marriage Vow, which asks political candidates to commit to take specific actions to support traditional marriage upon election. Gingrich didn’t object to the pledge so fiercely as Mitt Romney, whose campaign staffers called parts of the pledge “undignified and inappropriate,” but the former House Speaker did suggest he thought the pledge could use some tweaking. At the time, at least one pundit jokingly speculated that Gingrich didn’t like the inclusion of the phrase “personal fidelity to my spouse.”
Turns out, he’s on board with that. The GOP frontrunner finally officially responded to The Family Leader executive board’s long-ago invitation to him to sign the pledge. He didn’t actually sign it, but, in a letter, he says that, as president, he would (a) support a federal marriage amendment, (b) ensure no taxpayer dollars go to fund abortions either at home or abroad and (c) fight for conscience protections for healthcare providers … among other things.
But the most interesting sentence of Gingrich’s letter comes at the end of the second paragraph.
“I also pledge to uphold the institution of marriage through personal fidelity to my spouse and respect for the marital bonds of others,” Gingrich writes.
Call me crazy, but I thought marriage vows were supposed to be all the pledge a person needed to make to reassure a potential partner — and any interested onlookers — of fidelity. (That was actually the valid objection Romney made to the pledge in the first place.) Then again, in light of recent increased scrutiny of Gingrich’s past affairs (and, most notably, attacks from the long-married Mitt), perhaps this explicit expression of faithfulness is savvy.