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. Mel

    Um, if I remember correctly, Newt was one of the forerunners in the Clinton/Lewinsky lynch mob calling for impeachment. And having an affair at the same time. Total hypocrite if you ask me.

    March 15, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  2. bigjeter

    "Just because I'm a scumbag who told my first wife that I was leaving her while she was in the hospital battling for her life with cancer, and cheated on my second wife for SIX YEARS before I told her I was leaving her on the day that she was diagnosed with MS, while I was leading the charge to IMPEACH A PRESIDENT FOR A BLOWJOB, doesn't mean I wouldn't make an excellent President."

    March 15, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  3. Will

    "And I think most Americans will look at the totality of my life." Fair enough. My conclusion from contemplating everything I've ever read about you, you are totally a scumbag, an embarassment to yourself and your party. While I am neither, I know conservative Republicans who feel the same.

    ps
    Never understood what the women in you life saw in you. Totally, a mystery to me.

    March 15, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  4. Dawn

    The man has no integrity. Anyone, man or woman, who would divorce their spouse as they are dying of cancer; is a heartless, worthless human being. Newt did this exact thing. He's a blow-hard with little or no compassion for the middle class but plenty of buddies with bucks.

    Wouldn't vote for him – ever! Well, possibly if Palin or Bachmann were the alternatives.

    March 15, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  5. George

    He did it for the country? Does anybody buy that male bovine excrement? This guy is a liar as well as a philanderer. No morals whatsoever!

    March 15, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  6. Joseph-Ohio

    He is from the party of Morals and he is trying to run for President. Just like a Republican, stand for one thing, but fake you out in another. How can he run with his past. Not goona happen Dude! You should stop now!

    March 15, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  7. Zip

    Short little ugly dude gets some power and suddenly women are interested. Starts believing he's wonderful and starts dipping his wick. If he was a car saleman in Wichita, he couldn't get laid in a monkey whorehouse with a sack of bananas.
    This guy is like a fungus. Ya just can't get rid of him.

    March 15, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    I sincerely regret having to confess that, as metro Atlanta resident, Gingrich was once my congressman (not with my own vote though). The thought of him as President brings a paralyzing chill to my bones. He is anathema.

    March 15, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  9. CaliforniaBC

    Just because he owns up to his affairs does not mean he has any credibility preaching about moral values. Plus, how could we trust a someone to be President who can't even maintain stability in his own personal life?

    March 15, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  10. susan/ california

    This man and his Republican cronies put our nation through hell during the Clinton era. I don't condon what Bill Clinton did but his wife gave him a pass. It was his personal life and he disappointed us with his poor judgement.. Since then he has made up his mistake up to the American people a hundred times over. He is a good man. But that hypocrit Gingrich was cheating and preaching ,wheeling and dealing his cutthroat politics. Where was his forgiveness. Taxpayers money was wasted with all the impeachment procedures , indictments etc.Gingrich is galling and the Republicans continue to be a bunch of power hungry cheats. Pushing out the moderate and respectable of their party. Vote for Gingrich? Not on a dime. Thanks ,Susan

    March 15, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  11. Michael in Houston

    I dont judge the man by his affairs and poor judgement....what I despise about Newt is his sanctimonious and pathetic actions in the impeachment of President Clinton. Its THAT hypocrisy that renders him unfit for office. I for one will never look past that. Ever.

    March 15, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  12. TJeff1776

    I remember yesteryears when Newt levelled his moralistic accusing finger at Clinton. We learned later that he(Newt) was
    doing the same thing at the same time- now thats a difficult thing to forget. He now wants God and man to forgive him, BUT I hardly think this should come in the form of electing him to be President. WHERE is his good example ???? Methinks
    Newt should "stand down" and go get a quiet job OUT of the public arena. Wasting time is Newts bigger sin now.

    March 15, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  13. Enough Already

    All we need is that disloyal cheater in the White House. Is he trying to say he was a compulsive cheater because he "worked way too hard"? Give me a flippin break.

    March 15, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  14. FDH

    Newt was so passionate he had to express his love somehow. Since when is it illegal to love your country? Doesn't Newt have freedom of expression, the freedom to express his love wherever he sees fit and doesn't that mean we as a country must elect him as President, to protect- no- honor Newt's right to freedom of expression?

    Its not like Newt is gay or anything and wanting to get married which would destroy the institution of marriage. Newt was just so passionate he was forced, because of patriotism, to spread his love of the institution of marriage, outside the institution of marriage, in an orgasm of family values. Liberals are such hypocrites.

    March 15, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  15. LA, LA, LA

    Besides, Newt. little way too small, for my taste.

    March 15, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  16. KK

    Yeah, most Americans are fair. Myself being one of them. You however have been throwing rocks at glass houses your whole political life. Playing a game of scorched earth for which you will now pay the price. Eventually we all get our pound of flesh. You are fooling no one with your insincerity and your hypocrisy. You are mean spirited at the very least, and have zero credibility. Now go away!!

    March 15, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  17. Jeff Novak

    These were not just mistakes. This is a Godless man who left his wife at her greatest time of need.

    What we need now in this country are old school Christian values. Not a slick talking sex addict that makes Bill Clinton look like a choir boy. I would not even stand in the same room as a scum bag like Gingrich. The Republicans do not support people of his low character.

    March 15, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  18. Rob

    Perfectly acceptable in this country for a Republican to be a lying, cheating adulator with little to no moral fiber. It is expected that they will all have a double standard and should not be held to any other standard because they are Republicans. Since Republicans made "hate" an American value ... they should be forgiven and allowed to run this country into the ground ... at our expense too! Newt and Sarah in 2012!

    March 15, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  19. Kimo

    I am looking at the totality of your life, Newt, and what I see is someone who thinks he is such a great man that he need not abide by the same ethics and morality that the common man lives by. I see someone so in love with himself and with being one of the elite that he has no idea or concern for the problems faced by the middle class never mind the lower class.

    March 15, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  20. bigjeter

    Campaign slogans:
    Narcissist Weasel in 2012
    America needs a psychotic goon for President
    Liar, Liar for President
    Cheating Scumbag 2012
    Gingrich / Cheney 2012
    Gingrich / santorum 2012

    March 15, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  21. FM

    Whatever a person did back that time he understood what he was doing do account, regardless whether they were good or bad. Let take an example of Sen. McCain when he was praised as an hero and supporters never stop praising him. So does Newt now. If what he did was a remarkable good thing, he could not be complaining now!

    March 15, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    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."
    -------------------------------------------------–

    Doublespeak at it's RethugliKKKlan best.
    Of course it is NOT an issue with respect to the positions he takes, and that's because he's a total HYPOCRITE who can disassociate himself from his actions while telling others how to live THEIR lives.

    I cannot fathom why he'd want people to judge him on the totality of his life???Don'at people usually do that once you are DEAD and your life is OVER??????? How's THAT going to help you get the GOP nomination? Then again, it's probably the only way you'll get it.

    March 15, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  23. Quintus

    Its the character, stupid!

    March 15, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  24. smc

    I cheated on both my seriously ill wives Gingrich, and "man on dog" Santorum in the same article. To quote another of their ilk "There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — You can't get fooled again."

    March 15, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  25. Ken

    I see the liberal mainstream media is already trying to derail Gingrich's presidential bid. Interesting how the media are the biggest cheerleaders of how our personal lives should be separate from our public lives, and that there is no connection between them......until and unless you're a Republican. Then it matters greatly.

    March 15, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
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