Marriage Advice From Republican Candidates

The frontrunning GOP candidates on their marriages and yours.

by Rachel Friedman

Some have had multiple weddings; some have had epic teen romances that would make Edward and Bella jealous. Our Republican presidential candidates are clearly pro-marriage. What kind of marriage advice do they have to offer their would-be constituents?

Newt Gingrich

State of his union: Newt famously announced his intentions to divorce his first wife while she was in the hospital recovering from surgery. He married his mistress, then found a new mistress, and then married her. So now he's on wife number three. About his various marriages and many infidelities, Newt said: "There's no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate... I do believe in a forgiving God. And I think most people, deep down in their hearts, hope there's a forgiving God."

State of our unions: From a conference call for Religious Right supporters: "It's pretty simple: marriage is between a man and a woman. This is a historic doctrine driven deep into the Bible, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, and it's a perfect example of what I mean by the rise of paganism. The effort to create alternatives to marriage between a man and a woman are perfectly natural pagan behaviors, but they are a fundamental violation of our civilization."

Entirely made-up marriage advice from Newt Gingrich: "Marriage is a sacred institution and should be treated as such. And the best way you can honor it is to get married – over and over and over again. We each have a part to play to ensure marriage lives on and I'm doing mine. Are you doing yours, patriot? I'm a capitalist. I believe in supply and demand. And there just happens to be a whole hell of a lot of demand for Newt. Shout out to the ladies! But in all seriousness, I'm married to this country. Well, and to my wife."

Mitt Romney

State of his union: The Romneys have been married for forty-three years. After getting "sealed" in the Mormon Temple, they only have eternity to go. There won't be any divorce papers served in heaven, though, because Mitt says the couple never fights (no makeup sex, then?) and that wife Ann is his angel. Actually, he says, "She's a hot angel, but she's an angel nonetheless." Go Ann. Even though his recent TV ad alluded to the fact that his long-standing marriage stands in stark contrast to Newt's divorces and infidelities, he's also admitted: "Look, I'm not perfect. But I have a better marriage because of my faith."

State of our unions: From his Larry King interview: "I oppose gay marriage and civil union, if it's equivalent to gay marriage. And the reason for that is not because I don't want to show respect and tolerance for other people, but because marriage is primarily about the development and nurturing of children. And children deserve a mom and a dad. So I support traditional marriage... I want to find ways to build stronger families. That means, by the way, more families that have moms and dads bringing kids into the world, less teenage pregnancy. We need to encourage marriage before kids."

Entirely made-up marriage advice from Mitt Romney: "Look. Marriage is easy. All you need to do is have a herd of kids. You hear me? I'm talking enough kids that you could form one of those family bands, like the Partridges. And while Ann has the kids, you constituents are my kids. And you're in a serious time out right now. Both Ann and I agree on that. We're partners, which is what makes a marriage work, especially if you participate in a religion that privileges the patriarch... which most of them do, so you're in luck there."

Rick Santorum 

State of his union: Santorum met his future wife, Karen Garver, while she was a law student at the University of Pittsburgh and he was recruiting summer interns for the Kirkpatrick & Lockhart firm. (Here's hoping she got the job.) They've been married twenty-two years and have seven kids. Looks like Mitt's not the only one married to a hot angel.

State of our unions: At a 2012 prayer breakfast, Santorum criticized the Obama administration's decision to disallow organizations that receive Healthy Marriage grants from using that funding to teach abstinence: "The Obama administration has come down with regulations now for anyone who receives funds ... from the federal government, and they have told them that they can no longer teach marriage. They can no longer tell these girls that it's better to get married than not to get married." And his concerns don't stop with the little ladies. They just might grow up to be, as he says in his book It Takes a Family, the radical feminists who are "undermining the traditional family and convincing women that professional accomplishments are the key to happiness."

Entirely made-up marriage advice from Rick Santorum: "Do not have sex until you are married. If you do, you will end up a single mother who cannot work for my administration... not that you should be working at all, because working is for radical feminists. You're not a radical feminist, are you? No, I didn't think so. You're definitely wife material, I can tell. It's that look in your eyes — that look that says you understand the key to happiness: marriage, kids, and a good old-fashioned country man, just like me, Rick Santorum."

Ron Paul

State of his union: Ron has been married for fifty-four years to the adorable Carol Wells. (To put that number into perspective, it's twenty-seven times the length of a traditional Hollywood marriage.) They had their first date when Carol asked Ron to escort her to her sixteenth birthday party. The wife makes him cookies to take on the road. Click this link and you, too, can have Mrs. Ron Paul's Apricot-Coconut Balls melting in your mouth.

State of our unions: From Ron's book Liberty Defined: "Everyone can have his or her own definition of what marriage means, and if an agreement or contract is reached by the participants, it would qualify as a civil contract if desired... Why not tolerate everyone's definition as long as neither side uses force to impose its views on the other? Problem solved!"

Entirely made-up marriage advice: "I'm gettin' mine, people. Go on out and get yours, too. Don't worry about labels and definitions. Me and Carol sure don't. Sometimes she's the doctor and I'm the patient. Sometimes it's the other way around. Just depends on our moods. Make sure you have a safe word. Mine is 'cookies.' Problem solved!"

Want someone who'll make apricot-coconut balls for you? Give Nerve Dating a try. It worked for Ron Paul.

Commentarium (11 Comments)

Feb 24 12 - 2:31pm

What is the authors' point? That Republican's are hypocrites? Of the four remaining candidates--at the time of this writing--three are happily married to their first wives, and as far as can be determined, all four are happily married. Liberals/Socialist/Democrats (if the attempt is to politically label) are far more likely to have extramarital affairs --per capita. Hmmm.

Feb 24 12 - 4:20pm

Where'd you get that? Massachusetts and New York, two of the biggest Democratic states in the Union, have the lowest rates of divorce. Arkansas and Kentucky have the highest. According to the US Census Bureau. And yes, Republicans are hypocrites.

Feb 24 12 - 7:06pm

The US Census Bureau has a well known liberal bias. It's also anti-religious - God never commanded that people be counted.

Feb 25 12 - 5:57pm

I don't understand why God must be brought into this? The argument is not a level playing field if people are pulling out evidence others don't believe in. It's like if I said 'The mystical gypsies never commanded that people be counted.' You would find it completely absurd. Well, that's how I feel every time God is used as some sort of ultimate reason for something, be it how a system is anti-whatever or how we're all going to end up in eternal pain. Quit spoiling the fun.

Mar 01 12 - 8:39pm

I hope RW was being sarcastic, otherwise their comment was absurd in the most depressing way.

Feb 24 12 - 11:29pm

The idea of someone who goes from a wife to a mistress to a second wife, to a mistress, to a third wife, has no business telling anyone -- ANYONE-- about the sanctity of marriage. You can't shit all over something, repeatedly, and then tell other people that you're here to protect it. Idiots.

Feb 25 12 - 2:25pm
Agreeing with yeah

Hear, hear!

I'm not terribly religious, but it drives me absolutely coconuts to hear people hiding behind religious fanaticism as a way to put others down. As far as I understand the Bible, and specifically the New Testament/Jesus, he believed that everyone was equal, and would be treated so by "God"....doesn't it say to treat others as one wants to be treated somewhere in there? How would any of these dickwads feel if the tables were turned and they were no longer able to marry because it didn't meet social standards? I guess Jesus must've had a terrible socialist agenda for trying to feed the poor and help heal the sick (the ones who the doctors left behind- may or may not have been due to social stigma, some things never change). Just another point of hypocrisy that many republicans want to create policies to keep the sick and poor down even further than they are, despite the hero Jesus trying to help the lowliest.

And to top it off, in the case of Romney saying that marriage is about having kids...well, many people are physically unable to have kids, and adoption is not always as easy as it seems. What an incredibly outdated idea to recreate marriage on the pedestal of a barefoot and pregnant housewife and nuclear family, instead focusing on couples sharing mutual goals and love, no matter what way they like to have sex or with whom (straight have try anal sex too, guys, c'mon), or if they want to or are able to have kids.

Screw you, Republican candidates. Try harder.

Feb 28 12 - 8:35am
gd anon

I almost like Ron Paul after reading this. Does that make me a bad person? I going to die?

Feb 28 12 - 12:35pm

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Mar 01 12 - 1:13am

I really can't agree with Ron Paul on his economic views, but I love his views on social issues. I thought this article, especially the Ron Paul part, was hilarious.

Mar 02 12 - 9:57pm