Newt Gingrich responded to a candidate pledge circulated by Iowa social conservative group the Family Leader that addresses adultery, abortion, gay marriage, and pretty much every other social-conservative issue ever, including remaining faithful to his wife. Gingrich, of course, has been criticized for his past marital infidelity, even more so because he led the impeachment campaign against President Clinton while conducting his own affair with his now-wife (his third). He's also been criticized in recent weeks for initially passing on the Family Leader's pledge, though he pointed to a clause that suggested black babies born into slavery were better off than black babies born today, which has since been removed. What with his personal history, we don't blame him for not drawing attention to the issue, though he does speak candidly about his past transgressions. As Iowa's caucus draws near, we imagine the pressure to take on the conservative non-Romney mantel has weighed heavily on him. Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum have all signed the Family Leader's document already. Gingrich still hasn't signed the pledge, but in a long written statement responding to it, which expressly requires personal fidelity, he wrote:
"I also pledge to uphold the institution of marriage through personal fidelity to my spouse and respect for the marital bonds of others."
As we said, he's admitted to past mistakes and affirmed future fidelity before, but one can almost hear him gritting his teeth as he has to address the issue in writing. Politico has the full statement here.