A reader alerted me to an article contending that GOP presidential candidate “Newt Gingrich told a gay man and longtime resident of Oskaloosa[, Iowa] here today that he should vote for President Obama.” According to Memeorandum, the story is generating quite the buzz in the blogosphere.
Only problem is that the spin of the Democrat who posed the question is at odds with the reality of what the former House Speaker actually said. He left out a lot of context as the actual video of their encounter reveals:
Here’s what Gingrich actually said:
I think for those for whom the only issue that really matters is the definition of marriage, I won’t get their support and I accept that that’s the reality. On the other hand for those for whom it’s not the central issue in their lives, if they care about job creation, if they care about national security, if they care about a better future for the country at large, then I think I’ll get their support.
Emphasis added. The Republican is not saying to vote for Obama because he’s gay, but to vote for Obama if gay marriage is the only issue that really matters to him. As my friend Rick Sincere (who posted the initial article on Facebook) put it:
The man who asked the question spun Gingrich’s response as quite a lot broader than just the marriage issue. Why he would say vote for Obama is a mystery, though, since Obama has said he’s opposed to gay marriage. (Except in 1996, when he was for it.)
As Chris Barron, Chief Strategist at GOProud, put it:
Speaker Gingrich said absolutely nothing wrong in his exchange with the gay Iowa voter. Indeed, Gingrich made it clear that gay people who care about job creation, national security and a better future for our country should support his campaign. Speaker Gingrich handled himself with class and dignity in this discussion with the gay voter and the press reports that have reported otherwise have done a real disservice to the truth.”
Interesting the lengths to which some gay lefties will go to present a Republican Party as hostile to gays as they are to Republicans.
UPDATE: Look, we’re not going to find the perfect candidate with whom we agree on every issue. Newt is making a comment about one-issue voters. As William A. Jacobson put it:
All Gingrich said was that if the single most important and determinative issue to a gay person was implementing gay marriage, then that person would be disappointed in Newt and probably should vote for Obama. Newt made clear that if gay marriage was not the determinative issue, then the person should consider Newt
Emphasis added. In other words, Newt said that he welcomed the support of gay people even if they disagree with him on this issue.