Thrice-married Newt Gingrich has tried to endear himself to social conservatives by arranging donations for their campaigns and signing a pledge to remain loyal to his spouse and oppose the rights of gays to marry. But some Iowans are still skeptical of the former speaker’s credibility on so-called “traditional” values and are openly mocking what they describe as his pandering to Evangelical Christian voters ahead of Iowa’s Jan. 3 caucuses. From the Des Moines Register:
“Mr. Gingrich is the Don Draper of 2012: When it comes to his character record, he’s a very fine, empty suit with a broken zipper,” the Rev. Albert Calaway of Indianola wrote, referring to the lecherous character on the show “Mad Men.” “Christians in Iowa – and I understand many of his old U.S. House colleagues as well – desperately want to see a changed man, yet we keep on seeing a glib, wordy cheater. On all fronts, Newt should just be faithful.” [...]
Calaway, a retired Assemblies of God minister who founded the group Truth Values & Leadership, said he is not backing any candidate yet. He mocked reports that Gingrich endorsed the Family Leader’s marriage pledge Monday. “When you ‘endorse’ a check, you sign it. When you get married, you sign the license,” he wrote. “When you sign a contract or covenant, that means you are all-in. But, Mr. Gingrich has yet to sign for many things which Christian Iowa cares about very deeply.”
The Rev. Cary Gordon, pastor of Sioux City’s Cornerstone Church, added to Calaway’s criticism of Gingrich. “When you stand before the altar and say your marriage vows, you either mean it, or you don’t,” wrote Gordon, who is backing Santorum. “Sad to say, but by endorsing some of the Vow without signing it, I think Mr. Gingrich is dodging a sacred commitment which Iowa’s Christians really expect from him.
Both Santorum and Bachmann have also attacked Gingrich on his commitment to conservative social issues in their bids to court social conservatives ahead of the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3. An Iowa group calling itself Iowans for Christian Leaders in Government has also released an ad targeting Gingrich for his multiple marriages and extramarital affairs.