Gingrich responds to criticism of affairs
March 15th, 2011
11:32 AM ET
4 years ago

Gingrich responds to criticism of affairs

(CNN) – Newt Gingrich may not have officially announced a run for president, but he was already preparing for character attacks from his opponents in a radio interview Monday night.

"I expect my opponents to go back 15, 20, 25 years and try to render an alternate judgment I understand that's what they'll do," the former House Speaker told WRKO radio host Howie Carr, referring to his previous marital infidelity and how it might affect a bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

Gingrich, who has been married three times and admitted to past infidelities, responded to criticism he sidestepped responsibility for his affairs in an interview with CBN reporter David Brody last week. Gingrich told Brody he was "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."

During Monday night's WRKO interview, Gingrich said, "I'm not blaming my life on anyone, and I'm not offering excuses."

"I've made no bones about the fact there were times I did the wrong thing, and I've made no bones about the fact that I've asked for forgiveness," Gingrich said.

There is at least one potential 2012 GOP presidential opponent who is already weighing in as to how Gingrich's past will play into the campaign.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum said in a interview with National Review Online earlier this week that Gingrich's personal history, while relevant, should not be the main focus.

"He, like we all do, will have to account for our past decisions. People will take (his past) as a legitimate issue to consider, as to how it would affect his ability to do his job," Santorum said. "I am not saying that is not a legitimate question, but it's not an issue with respect to the positions he takes."

Gingrich was upbeat on how voters would ultimately judge his fitness for office.

"I think most Americans are fair," he said. "And I think most Americans will look at the totality of my life."


Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (269 Responses)
  1. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    A true family values republican hypocrite! All of these guys say they have been forgiven by God, what load a crap. Just how do they know that, they don't. They preach one thing, do another and then claim forgiveness, time and time again. I don't think how it works. They are also the first ones to point the finger at others, well other democrats who obviously don't deserve to be forgiven like they do. The New GOP, HYPOCRITES, every last one of them.

    March 15, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  2. MB

    "I've made no bones about the fact there were times I did the wrong thing, and I've made no bones about the fact that I've asked for forgiveness," Gingrich said.

    If boning and bone-making hadn't been involved in the first place, this wouldn't be an issue.

    March 15, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  3. Liberty Queen

    We do not want any more over-the-hill geezers stupid white males like newt in congress or as president. Not only is this the family values boy who cheated on his wives, he is also the guy who dumped one of his wives while she was in the hospital dealing with cancer... so much for marriage vows and family values. Move on newt, we don't want any fat, blubbery, drooping, flaccid white boys like you and Mr. KKK haley barbour in the white house... and take bachman and palin with you as we're sure they would make excellent wives for you and your fascistic view of the world.

    March 15, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  4. DJ

    When Gingrich was grilling President Clinton about affairs I laughed then because of his hypocrisy. If we could impeach President Clinton for an affair why should you be president. It's bad judgment either way you two faced weasel!

    March 15, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  5. rs

    Gingrich- the author of American "hate" speech in politics (see: the GOPAC memo), ought to expect to be vetted like he went after the Clintons. Not patback, just reality.

    March 15, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  6. Liberty Queen

    Yeah, Mr. Contract on America... we haven't forgotten!! Go away... far FAR AWAY!

    March 15, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  7. miriam chorev

    If the past does not count and if you will get the nomination(mireacles do happen), will you give the same treatment to your democratic opponent ??
    I do not believe so. I am sure your people will dig for dirt, as early as your opponents kindergarten years. So Please do not be an hypocrite- you made terrible choices and it is fair to judge you for it!!! especially if you run as the representative of a party that thinks so higly of family values...

    March 15, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  8. Bill

    Talk about hypocrisy. I'll bet that many who commented against Newt would not think twice in voting for John Edwards. When the great Obama ran for President, didn't many of you said his past association with J. Wright (God D*** America) was his personal life and shouldn't be mixed with his political views? I can't think of a more personal matter than his past marriages. If it's such a crime then they should have ban couple getting divorce. At least he didn't lie like Clinton did...at least he didn't lie like John Edwards did. Must I remind you that both Clinton and Edwards lied to law authority.

    March 15, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  9. Rosslaw

    I will take the sum total of his life to be the incorporation of K Street as an adjunct of the Republican party by letting special interest lobbyists write, not merely influence, their own legislation in return for financial and other backing. In other words, a life of total sleaze.

    March 15, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. mouche

    Why does the media keep giving this totally unqualified man pres. There is no chance of him becoming the nominee and he knows this. He just wants publicity to help him sell boks and get speaking fees.

    March 15, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  11. ChicagoComments

    Although some people consider Gingrich's multiple divorces to be a sin, I would like to point out that Gingrich was particularly mentally violent to his first two wives regarding how and when he informed them he was divorcing them. If he feels that it is acceptable to abandoned people in their time of need, I can only imagine what strange mental acrobatics he will perform when he is faced with other demanding moral challenges as President.

    March 15, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  12. Wombat

    Newt, Newt, you're a beaut.
    You're oh-so-clever but not so cute.

    March 15, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  13. Gary

    What a reptile.

    March 15, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  14. raj

    Newt is a(n) historian, but he does not expect us to learn from his past. While "married" to the USA as Speaker, he took a mistress, multinational corporations, and screwed us

    March 15, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  15. Bill R in Oakland

    "...things happened in my life that were not appropriate"

    Yeah, but I didn't do them. They just happened.

    March 15, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  16. Liberty Queen

    Defense of Marriage Act... what a joke! Which marriage, newt? The first one, the second one or the third one? Well? You are such a good example of heterosexuals ability to keep their marriage vows, aren't you... or are you? Go away blubbler butt and take your 'family values' with you.

    March 15, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. Tom

    I guess if you are the GOP.... character is only an issue if you aren't in their party! Must be nice!

    March 15, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  18. JackieInDallas

    Considering the "totality of your life" Newt is sort of a waste of time and effort. Hypocrisy is hypocrisy. Marital infidelity aside, you lied about it, at the same time you were trying to impeach a sitting President for the same thing. Duh? Saying you are sorry is a good start, but asking for forgiveness and asking for my vote are two different things. Not being married to you, I guess I can grant you forgiveness - it is a Christian thing to do, after all - but that doesn't mean I think you have ANY qualifications for being President, nor any right to ask for my vote!

    March 15, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. Vic of New York

    This scum bag wants us to think that his shmuckiness and infidelities were a thing of the past. Unfortunately for Newt it's not the "events" of his past (including being censured and thrown out of the Congress for illegal money taking) they are a CLEAR AND PRESENT MARKER of the failures of his CHARACTER. Unfortunately for Newt – you can try to call a Zebra a Thuroughtbred, but you can't take the stripes off its back.

    Sorry Newt – you are nothing more than WHITE TRASH, trying to pass for a LILLY.

    March 15, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  20. Aimleft

    Perfect hypocrit. Well gee. He's a Republican, isn't he? Surprise, surprise.

    March 15, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  21. karek40

    Newt is one of the previously elected officials who took no action to correct any of the problems facing this nation. Why would I think he will do better now. I hope he does not win the republican nomination. He is more of the same.

    March 15, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  22. The reality is...

    I'm presently a Republican but am thinking about changing to Independent. Character counts as it speaks volumes about a person's ability to conduct themselves in a way that inspires others to do what is right. Newt has disqualified himself just like so many other politicians (Democrats and Republicans). When will these potential "leaders" wake up and shape up?

    March 15, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  23. Babs

    I'm sick to death of these adulterous scumbags begging for forgiveness. I'm over it. Go away.

    March 15, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  24. Ray Jackson, MS

    So how was a divorced adulterer who remains unrepentant and married his w hore allowed to join the catholic church and take communion? Sounds like the Pope and his boys don't mind a little sin if you are a rich, white, right wing, heterosexual, powerful politician. Further proof god doesn't exist. If he did the would do something about that fatted golden calf the Pope and his disgusting little henchmen.

    March 15, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  25. Jon S.

    So let's see – leaves not one, but two ill wives in the lurch as he dumps them for other women. If you are a GOPer and seriously consider this man for anything other than garbage collector, your strict religious beliefs are a joke.

    March 15, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
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