Gingrich responds to criticism of affairs
March 15th, 2011
11:32 AM ET
3 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. bluedogboy

    Between now and the 2012 election he will probably be divorced and re-married again.

    March 15, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  2. Newt What The

    Well, Newt was the loud mouth during Clinton's sex scandal and now he's downplaying his own skeletons.

    March 15, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  3. dtny

    The party of family values and this hypocrite wants to run! Is there any fools that would actually vote for this idiot?

    March 15, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    So Newt only had these extramarital affairs with younger women because he loves our country? It appears that Newt loves something far more than he loves his country.

    March 15, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  5. November 2010

    This man would wipe the floor with Obama in a debate.

    March 15, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  6. jeannettelj

    Newt, you really need to read these posts to see what people actually think of you. Give it up, Newt. You don't have a chance in he** or any where else. To bad that you think that the rules apply to every one but you!

    March 15, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  7. fideauxdon

    "Confront", in my opinion, means that you tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may. Saying that working hard because of your love of your country caused you to get a boner is not the truth.

    March 15, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    "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."

    that is just about the most ridiculous statement I have ever heard to brush away marital infidelity. And some say gay marriage will destroy the institution of marriage; seems like Newt is doing more to contribute to that destruction than any gay person I know

    March 15, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  9. Eric

    Oddly men like Gingrich expect people to live up to moral standards that they're unwilling to match.

    All Newt will do in the race is bleed off enough support of Romney and Santorum to allow Bachmann a path to the nomination.

    March 15, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  10. Frank

    He blames his moral mistakes for how hard (passionately) he worked. I hope He never runs for president. He'll be working even more passionately. I will not be voting for him.

    March 15, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  11. joe

    At this point obama has been such a disaster the republicans could run bob dole and win in 2012. However, we need to apply what the liberals told us during the monica lewinsky scandal to newt gingrich: "We must seperate the personal life from the public office"

    March 15, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  12. Well Newt..

    I doubt your opponents will mention it but we the voters wont forget it. Don't even waste your money on running Newt, you have no shot. About the only thing you can do is try to keep Palin off the ticket, because even you are smart enough to know she will only get demolished by President Obama..

    March 15, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  13. george scandals

    If you want to see the sort of person he is..
    In 1962, he married Jackie Battley, his former high school geometry teacher, when he was 19 years old and she was 26.
    In the spring of 1980, Gingrich left Battley after having an affair with Marianne Ginther. According to Battley, Gingrich visited her while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery to discuss the details of their divorce.
    However, Gingrich disputes the account.
    Six months after the divorce was final, Gingrich wed Marianne Ginther in 1981.
    In the mid-1990s, Gingrich began an affair with House of Representatives staffer Callista Bisek, who is 23 years his junior. They continued their affair during the Lewinsky scandal, when Gingrich was a leader of the Republican investigation of President Clinton for perjury in connection with his alleged affairs with Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky.
    In 2000, Gingrich married Bisek shortly after his divorce from second wife Ginther.

    A real evolved human being...

    March 15, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  14. xine

    while this isn't one of the main reasons i won't vote for this knucklehead, i do find it ironic that he continues to defend DOMA...really Newt (couldn't have a better name0, how do you keep a straight face when taking this stand.

    March 15, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  15. Squiggs

    I think most Americans will look at the fact that you're a lying disloyal hypocrit who put the country thru a very trying time impeaching Clinton while you were out doing worst. To suggest that we made you cheat on your sick wife becuase you were working so hard for us is a crock of s-. This just illustrates wat kind of immoral imbecile you are for making up excuses for your lewd behavior. You'll never be President. Americans aren't that dumb.

    March 15, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  16. Larry

    Let's forgive the sleazebag for those affairs he admitted to. What about the times he wasn't caught? Or was he caught the only 2 times he cheated?

    March 15, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  17. JasonP

    I am looking at the totality of his life. And my conclusion is that he is a waste of space.

    March 15, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  18. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Well, I have to say that does show character. If you don't want to continue with someone (or something), then be man enough to work out something before moving onto the next thing. With that being said, I don't agree with many of his assumptions either. The private sector isn't going to do something because it is the proper thing to do. Until there was a requirement for safety equipement, no car manufacturer put them in the cars. Pollution control devices wouldn't have been installed until they were required per the Clean Air Act. The list goes on...

    March 15, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. TW

    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."

    Typical Republican.do as I say. not as I do.

    March 15, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  20. Craig

    The totality of his life is a life of failure. Failed marriages and a failed representative, that's his legacy. Between him, Palin and Romney I don't know why the Republicans even bother with 2012.

    March 15, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  21. Joe

    He really doesn't get it, does he? He reminds me of the people who park illegally in handicapped spots because they'll "only be a minute, and there's no one there anyway, and it's really important, and it's raining.........."

    March 15, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  22. B

    What a Hack, typical of most Republican Hypocrites telling everyone else how to behave.

    Zero credibility. Now, get off the stage Idiot.

    March 15, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  23. JD

    OK, Newt. As you wish, I will consider the "totality of your life" and not focus on your affairs. I still won't vote for you in a million years.

    March 15, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  24. Jim

    So I guess when he mouths off about "protecting traditional marriage" and says that gay people shouldn't be allowed to get married, we can tell him to go pound sand?

    March 15, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  25. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    If Gingrich had any integrity he'd state the real reason he's decided to run. he's from the South and there's a Black man in the White House. He completely lacks any formal credibility, but being from the South and the compexion in the White House being what it is, every redneck in the country will vote for him.

    Isn't this the same Speaker Of The House Gingrich that was going to "bring Bill Clinton down" and put America forward with his Contract With America? Clinton strides on, Gingrich is forced out in disgrace and the Contract was a farce.

    But after all that, Newt, you're presidential material?!?!?!?! Really?!?!?!?!?! Truly?!?!?!?!?! Please, pass the pipe........! ! !

    March 15, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
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