Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich said on Saturday that adoption of same-sex marriage in New York shows that the nation is "drifting toward a terrible muddle."
Saying he thinks marriage is between a man and a woman, the former House speaker told reporters that he "would like to find ways to defend that view as legitimately and effectively as possible."
He said he thinks the nation should be defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.
In February, the Obama administration decided it no longer would defend the 15-year-old law.
"I think the president should be, frankly, enforcing that act, and I think we are drifting toward a terrible muddle which I think is going to be very, very difficult and painful to work our way out of," he said.
New York became the sixth and most populous state to legalize same-sex marriage on Friday. The legalization is seen as a huge boost for gay rights.
Speaking at a tea party bus tour event in Indianola, Gingrich said mass resignations among his campaign staff stemmed from his "fundamental disagreement" with consultants.
"Our campaign is going to survive and I'm going to be in it all the way and I believe I can win it . . . because people want substance more than baloney," he said.
A former aide said the differences mainly involved the staff view that Gingrich should campaign heavily in the early primary states and Gingrich's view that he should instead go on a Greek cruise with his wife.
Gingrich told the tea party crowd he is the kind of leader who "will cooperate" but "not compromise."
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