Newt Gingrich's 'no-adultery pledge': The jokes

The new GOP frontrunner cozies up to Iowa conservatives by promising to fight abortion and gay marriage... and stay faithful to his third wife

Newt Gingrich and his third wife, Callista: The GOP frontrunner has signed a conservative group's "marriage vow," eliciting chuckles from bloggers well versed in Newt's adulterous past.
(Image credit: Pool/Getty Images)

Newt Gingrich took care of some unfinished business on Monday. After declining over the summer to sign a 14-point "Marriage Vow" pushed on GOP presidential candidates by influential Iowa social conservative group, The Family Leader, Newt reversed course and endorsed the controversial pledge. Among vows to support a federal gay-marriage ban, vigorously oppose abortion, and defund Planned Parenthood, the thrice-married Gingrich — who has copped to serial adultery in his past — pledged to "uphold the institution of marriage through personal fidelity to my spouse and respect for the marital bonds of others." Can you blame the commentariat for cracking wise? Here, some of the best zingers about Newt's new "no-adultery pledge":

This vow seems a little redundant

A fidelity pledge? says Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway. Newt married the third Mrs. Gingrich in a ceremony presumably blessed by the Catholic Church, so "I'm pretty sure the vows he took pretty much covered that already."

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At least the pledge should look familiar

I assume Gingrich took a similar vow when he married each of his three wives, says Chris Moody at Yahoo. But you never know. Maybe Gingrich's "fourth 'no-adultery pledge'" will be the one that sticks.

Let's ask the experts

"I would pay good money to find out what each of Newt Gingrich's ex-wives thinks a Newt Gingrich 'fidelity pledge' is worth," says Michael Lazzaro at Daily Kos. And really, it says a lot about Newt that with all the "batshit crazy" pledges he agreed to here, "it's the no-buggery one that bystanders are raising their eyebrows over."

Newt must really want to be president

No more cheating? "Wow, he must really love America to make a promise like that," says Dennis DiClaudio at Indecision Forever. But remember, Newt brought divorce papers to his ailing first wife when she was in the hospital. "I just hope that we, as a nation, don't come down with cancer or something like that."

He may go free on a technicality

Not cheating on "whoever his wife is now" might seem like "quite a sacrifice," says Jim Newell at Gawker. But Gingrich "left himself some wriggle room." He "didn't technically 'sign'" the pledge — he merely "endorsed" it. Maybe he's not so tied down after all.

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