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Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich this week signed a pledge to uphold conservative values from the Iowa-based group The Family Leader and vowed to restrict federal dollars from paying for abortion overseas, uphold the Defense of Marriage Act and stay true to his wife, Callista.
"I will also oppose any judicial, bureaucratic, or legislative effort to define marriage in any manner other than as between one man and one woman," Gingrich wrote in a letter to The Family Leader announcing his support of the group's pledge. "I also pledge to uphold the institution of marriage through personal fidelity to my spouse and respect for the marital bonds of others."
That would actually be the fourth time Gingrich has taken a no-adultery pledge. He took the first one in 1962 when he married Jackie Battley, and then again in 1981 when he married Marianne Ginther and made a third one to Callista Bisek (now Gingrich) in 2000.
Gingrich, whose first two marriages ended because he was having an affair with a woman who would later become his wife, addressed his history of infidelity at the ABC News/Yahoo! Republican debate on Saturday, where he said that he has sought forgiveness for his mistakes.
"In my case, I said up front openly, I've made mistakes at times," Gingrich said. "I've had to go to God for forgiveness. I've had to seek reconciliation."
You can read the full letter, first reported by Politico, that Gingrich sent to the Family Leader after the jump:
To Bob Vander Plaats and the Executive Board of The FAMiLY LEADER:
I appreciate the opportunity to affirm my strong support of the mission of the FAMiLY LEADER by solemnly vowing to defend and strengthen the family through the following actions I would take as President of the United States.
Defending Marriage. As President, I will vigorously enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, which was enacted under my leadership as Speaker of the House, and ensure compliance with its provisions, especially in the military. I will also aggressively defend the constitutionality of DOMA in federal and state courts. I will support sending a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the states for ratification. I will also oppose any judicial, bureaucratic, or legislative effort to define marriage in any manner other than as between one man and one woman. I will support all efforts to reform promptly any uneconomic or anti-marriage aspects of welfare and tax policy. I also pledge to uphold the institution of marriage through personal fidelity to my spouse and respect for the marital bonds of others.
Defending the Unborn. I believe that life begins at conception. On day one of my administration, I will sign an executive order reinstating Ronald Reagan's Mexico City policy that prevents taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortions overseas. I will also work with Congress to repeal Obamacare, defund Planned Parenthood so that no taxpayer dollars are being used to fund abortions but rather transfer the money so it is used to promote adoption and other pro-family policies, and enact legislation that provides greater protections for the unborn.
Defending Religious Liberty. As President, I will vigorously defend the First Amendment's rights of religious liberty and freedom of speech against anyone who would try to stifle the free expression of believers. I will also promote legislation that protects the right to conscience for healthcare workers so they are not compelled to perform abortions and other procedures that violate their religious teachings.
Defending Against Debt. As President, I will undertake vigorous policies to maximize capital investment and job creation, along with common sense entitlement reforms, to dramatically turn around the nation's fiscal situation. Building upon the same principles I championed during my four years as Speaker, when we reduced the national debt by over $400 billion and dramatically reduced the national debt as a percentage of the GDP, we will reduce the enormous burden upon American families of the public debt and unfunded liabilities.
Defending the Right of the People to Rule Themselves. Today, as federal courts have intervened in sectors of American life never before imaginable, including the intervention in the definition of marriage as well as when unborn life can be protected under the Constitution, the public has increasingly come to view them as an usurpative device for unelected rulers. This abuse of power and loss of public confidence amounts to a constitutional crisis. I believe the executive and legislative branches each have an independent responsibility to interpret the Constitution, and in those rare circumstances when they believe the federal courts, including the Supreme Court, have engaged in a serious constitutional error, they can choose among an array of constitutional powers to check and balance the courts. As President, I will nominate for federal judgeships, including justices of the Supreme Court, only those individuals who are committed to an originalist understanding of the Constitution. Judges with an originalist understanding will subordinate themselves to the meaning of the Constitution as it was intended by the framers, and not substitute their own judgments about its meaning. The inherent judicial self-restraint that comes from an originalist approach to the Constitution offers the best long-term assurance that federal judges will not exceed their powers and trample on individual liberties. I will also work with Congress to use the Constitutional means available to reassert the right of the elected branches of government to defend their understanding of the meaning of the Constitution, including limiting the jurisdiction of the federal courts to decide on certain issues, when they believe the federal courts have engaged in a serious constitutional error.
Thanks to Byrne Hobart for the tip.