Newt Gingrich told a gay man and longtime resident of Oskaloosa here today that he should vote for President Obama.
“I asked him if he’s elected, how does he plan to engage gay Americans. How are we to support him? And he told me to support Obama,” said Scott Arnold, an adjunct professor of writing at William Penn University.”
Arnold, a Democrat, said he came to the event at Smokey Row coffee house with an open mind. But he wanted to ask Gingrich about how he would represent him as president after reading past comments the former U.S. House Speaker has made about gay and lesbians.
If the most important issue(s) to this man are gay issues, then quite frankly, any candidate concerned with getting the country’s economy back on track, or restoring our country’s respect around the world, has bigger fish to fry than “engaging gay Americans.” The issues that affect all Americans are the issues that should matter to a president or a presidential candidate. Questions about taxes, jobs, health care, national security, etc. are far more important to the 2012 campaign than how one will “engage gay Americans” as if it’s the job of a president.
The President of the United States is the president of all Americans, and no president should strive to pander to a particular group, but rather to represent the whole population. If this man wanted to use his opportunity to ask a presidential candidate one question, and that’s the one he chose to ask, than clearly Newt was never going to get his vote anyway, which Newt was clearly well aware of.
Anyone who thinks a president should pander to specific groups and ignore the majority of the population should vote for Obama, they’ll be far less disappointed.
UPDATE: GayPatriot has a lot more on this story, including important context not provided in the original story I quoted. Here is Newt’s full quote:
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 GayPatriot's]
The chief strategist of GOPProud even commended Newt’s handling of the question.