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. BB

    Here we go another hypocritical Republican who preaches Moral and Family Values and the sanctity of Marriage but lives in a glass house with gaping cracks and broken windows‼ Bring it on Newt!

    March 15, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  2. Dover

    The fact that he put everything he had behind trying to impeach Bill Clinton for the same "transgression" he committed himself shows how lacking he is in character. If that behavior made Clinton not fit for office then guess what Newt.........?

    March 15, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  3. JViser

    Married three times? Choosing a spouse is a lifelong decision and everyone makes mistakes. But, making the same mistake on key life choices three times in a row? If Newt can't manage to commit to multiple women, then I don't think he can make a commitment to service and sacrifice for our nation. Just because your ego wants it, doesn't mean that you're the most qualified.

    March 15, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  4. AverageGuyInRedStateKansas

    Hey Newt, why should you be judged any differently than the way you judged Bill Clinton. Let's face it, bud. You're a hypocrite, and a pretty sleazy one at that. To sum it up, Newt: You're screwed!

    March 15, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  5. Loren

    Mr. Gingrich, you have shown in the past that *you* have no scruples about digging into someone's past in order to smear them. Why do you feel you should be treated any differently?

    I don't care that you've had affairs. I care that, while having affairs and forcing your first wife to sign divorce papers in her hospital bed, you were slamming President Clinton for *his* moral failures. It's the hypocricy I object to, sir.

    March 15, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  6. Stephen G. Stiles

    While I may not agree with his political views I am at a loss to see what anything aside from those views has to do with his leadership qualifications and abilities. Only in politics can someone make attacks on irrelevant issues and have them matter. He cheated. So did J.F.K and dozens of others.

    March 15, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  7. Teacherspet

    I can't wait until Donald Trump and Newt debate each other. Let's see...who has had the most affairs? Who is the more conceited? Who is the more bossy? Deceitful? At least Donald has gotten his money by selling himself...not fake awards. Sarah Palin is no angel either. People are good and sick of her snide remarks. Then there is Michelle Bachman who never learned the history of this country, and who doesn't think any Democrat could be a patriotic American. Besides, she is just a copy-cat, Sarah wannabe with her over use of red blazers and her Jan Crouch/Tammy Faye eye makeup. One thing is for sure,
    as many above have written, it isn't an issue of forgiving Newt, although many people have had a hard time forgiving Clinton, then or now. It's a question of kindness and trust...and his smile is about as convincing as a ring in a pig's nose.

    March 15, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  8. Mulanrui

    He's probably thinking, "Reagan was divorced once.....and, with so many more exes, I am so much more the American than he was." Do we really need morality lessons from Newt, Rush, Rove, Sanford and the gaggle of Outed GOP congressmen and preachers?

    March 15, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  9. Paul

    typical of most republicans – moralizing and unabashedly hyopcritical.

    March 15, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  10. Sherri in L.A.

    All great posts on this site! I'm a Republican, but I couldn't agree more with Chas from Iowa. Gingrich's marital infidelities would be so much easier to disregard if he hadn't been trying so hard to impeach Bill Clinton for doing the same thing he was doing! He is the consummate hypocrite.

    March 15, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  11. Pat-San Jose CA

    Anyone can make a "mistake". But it is not a mistake if you continue to do it! And when he says "things happened in my life that were not appropriate" it makes me want to scream. Things didn't happen in your life Newt – you DID them.

    March 15, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  12. Rich

    Just one more "family values" conservative that does not value his own family.

    March 15, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  13. Mike S.

    How can you blame Newt? With his looks, he's probably had to reject thousands of women in his life.

    March 15, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  14. susan/ california

    This man and his Republican cronies put our nation through terrible turmoil 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 |

    March 15, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  15. schlittenfahrt

    And this guy had the audacity to excoriate Bill Clinton! At least Clinton managed only once, and remained married to the woman through thick and thin, and is still married to that same woman. Harry Truman once said, "When someone sings too loud on Saturday night and prays even louder Sunday morning, you'd best check the lock on your smokehouse."

    March 15, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  16. paul

    There is no way in Hell that this agent of Satan (Newt Gingrich) can get elected. Why is he doing this?

    March 15, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  17. It's the hypocrisy

    Newtie baby, it's the hypocrisy of *your* attacking Clinton over extra-marital affairs that makes you a target as big as the moon. That on top of your other craziness is why you'll never win in 2012, or any other year.

    March 15, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  18. schlittenfahrt

    And this guy had the audacity to excoriate Bill Clinton! At least Clinton married only once, remained married to the woman through thick and thin, and is still married to that same woman. Harry Truman once said, "When someone sings too loud on Saturday night and prays even louder Sunday morning, you'd best check the lock on your smokehouse."

    March 15, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  19. Chuck

    Talk about dead at the post.

    March 15, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  20. Paul

    Out with all the "mistakes I have made" – forget it.....move on Newt! – but not to run for President......bring on Donald Trump! – at least he can tell it like it is "your fired"!

    March 15, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  21. Steve

    The prevailing image of Gingrich's in voters’ minds is his involvement in Bill Clinton's impeachment. But to be fair, he wasn't the only hypocrite among the judges; just the worst and most deceitful.

    March 15, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  22. usualone

    This guy closed down the government and cost the taxpayers monies. The shut down of the government has derogatory effects on others besides government employees. Contractors, local businesses, retirees, etc. get hurt and inconvenienced by this tactic of his. So even though his personal life's actions show a lack of integrity, so does his professional experience. He is a loser in every sense of the word.

    March 15, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  23. Kansas Joe

    Hey, he conned three women into thinking he was trustworthy, he only has to convince about 80 million more to win the election.

    March 15, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  24. jean2009

    I don't think there is much he can say to change my mind about a person who would draw up divorce papers while his then wife was dying of cancer and he was having an affair with another woman...and all the while he was trying to impeach a president for an affair. I can say it in one word Hypocrite. He can run for anything he wants, but he would never have my vote.

    March 15, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  25. Dee

    Let's see, divorce wife one with cancer, divorce the second wife with MS, wife number three better hope she stays healthy. Great character qualifications for a president!!

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