Gingrich tears up remembering his mother
December 30th, 2011
01:44 PM ET
2 years ago

Gingrich tears up remembering his mother

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - Newt Gingrich teared up at a campaign stop in Iowa Friday, openly weeping while talking about his mother, who suffered from bipolar disorder and depression.

The moment was sparked by a question from GOP political consultant Frank Luntz, who was moderating a forum targeted to mothers at a local coffee shop Java Joe's in downtown Des Moines.

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Luntz, noting the room had a number of moms present, asked Gingrich, "What moment do you think of when you think of your mom?"

"First of all you will get me all teary-eyed. Callista will tell you I get teary eyed every time we send Christmas cards," Gingrich said, coughing back tears.

"My mother sang in the choir and loved singing in the choir. I don't know if I should admit this but when I was very young she made me sing in the choir. I identify my mother with being happy, loving life, having a sense of joy in her friends," Gingrich continued.

Gingrich said his mother, who died in 2003, played a part in his legislative interests in long-term health care and mental disease.

"Late in her life she ended up in a long-term care facility. She had bipolar disease, depression and she gradually acquired some physical ailments and that introduced me to the issue of quality, long-term care."

Gingrich continued, stalling at times to fight back tears, "My whole emphasis on brain science comes in directly from dealing – see how I'm getting emotional – from dealing with you know the real problems of real people in my family. So it is not a theory. It is in fact my mother."

Moms Matter 2012, a group that describes its mission as "moving moms from the political sidelines to the headlines," sponsored the Gingrich event. Approximately 100 people were present, including a few mothers with young children.

Gingrich's immediate family joined him on stage for the event: wife Callista, daughters Kathy Gingrich Lubbers and Jackie Gingrich Cushman, sons-in-law, and two grandchildren, Maggie and Robert.

Also see:

Nearly half of Iowa ads attack Gingrich

In early book, Rep. Ron Paul criticized AIDS patients, minority rights and sexual harassment victims

Romney and Paul battle for top spot in new Iowa poll

DNC video asks 'What is Mitt Romney hiding' in tax returns

Top Bachmann aide out after flap over campaign switch


Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. Lynda/Minnesota

    Oh, oh. Newt's letting the stress of his book tour get the best of him. He ought to have quit when he was ahead ... say in June 2011. Doubtful he'll be getting $60,000 speaking fee gigs when all is said and done.

    December 30, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  2. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Surrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. I don't buy the act for a minute.

    December 30, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  3. Indy

    Real Presidents don't cry in public, neither do real speakers of the house current or former

    December 30, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  4. Sorensen

    How about the old "catholic" adulterers ex-wife with cancer?

    December 30, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  5. nathan

    Haha so he goes all Hillary and turns on the tears. It wont help Newt but nice try

    December 30, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  6. Woman In California

    Okay........ here we go with the sympathy votes. Flashbacks of Hillary in NH 2008.
    Please stop it already.

    December 30, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  7. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Cut Newt some slack... Even salamanders have moms...

    December 30, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Isn't Frank Luntz the conservative strategist who writes those annual behaviorial guides on what words conservatives should and shouldn't say publicly? Yes, I believe he is.

    Isn't he also the same guy who masterminded the eintire Republican obstructionism in the Congress by writing in his 2009 strategy guide that Republicans should "make a liberal govern like a conservative"? Yes, I believe he did.

    December 30, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  9. MTATL67

    We know he's human. His adultery proves that. My goodness do we see our women politicians tearing up. I don't remember seeing Nancy Pelosi wailing when the GOP won the House. I did not see Hilary Clinton break down when President Obama beat her. Heck I don't remember seeing Elizabeth Dole shed a single tear when she ran for the Senate. God bless her Geraldine Ferraro had a bigger set than Newt that’s for darn sure. I am no supporter of the GOP but the it is abundantly clear what the Republican party needs are leaders not weepers.

    December 30, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  10. unsub

    well there it is folks, the pundits said that Newt needed a "Hillary Moment" and by Joe he got it!

    December 30, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  11. Jilli

    "The moment was spurned by a question from GOP political consultant Frank Luntz, who was moderating a forum targeted to mothers at a local coffee shop Java Joe's in downtown Des Moines."

    That explains a lot. There is nothing honest about Luntz or Gingrich. Nice stage effect, but completely intentional and completely phony. There's not an ounce of authenticity between them.

    December 30, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  12. Perry/Bachmann/Palin = The Pea Brain Party

    CYRING?? THERE IS NO CRYING IN POLITICS! So we are supposed to now think this guy has feelings? All show – what a fake He probably just saw the poll numbers and told Calista that she won't be going near the Whilte House except for maybe the next Kennedy Center honors. Hang it up before you lower your speaker fees even worse. Also, trashing Charles Krauthamer has blown any chance of you ever getting a gig on FauxNews. Now that's fair and balanced!!

    December 30, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  13. Bibico

    Nice to know it only takes a personal misfortune to spur this guy to give a damn about an issue. I'm surprised he doesn't want to tackle the divorce epidemic and the plague of unstable marriages.

    December 30, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  14. Mindie in Indie

    He's actually crying because he knows a snowball has a better chance in an oven than him to ever be POTUS

    December 30, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  15. Seattle Sue

    I think realty has struck Gingrich, he knows now that he has no chance what soever of winning.

    December 30, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  16. James

    Hey, I'm a Ron Paul support but I'm sorry man. I respect you Newt.

    December 30, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  17. Cyrus

    Mr. Gingrich, is that why when your party was in power, you guys cut funding for research on a wide-range of mental health issues? Or fought to cut state medicaid funding for long-term mental health care? Just curious. Save the crocodile tears for gullible corn farmers. Talk is cheap.

    December 30, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  18. AreaCode813

    I'll bet he never shed any "tears" for his dead ex wife.

    December 30, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  19. ST

    Folks, please do not be biased. Every creature has a mom, so does Newt. Was it not what drove Pres. Obama think deeply about healthcare then, that time he saw his own mother suffering a lot without any help??? Myself I do sympathise with Newt on this!

    December 30, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  20. FedUpWithLife

    I remember her also....sigh.

    December 30, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  21. Lynda/Minnesota

    "That explains a lot. There is nothing honest about Luntz or Gingrich. Nice stage effect, but completely intentional and completely phony. There's not an ounce of authenticity between them."

    Newt Gingrich is fake through and through, isn't he? Fake political persona, fake marriages, fake Christianity, fake campaign. The only surprise here is that he actually thought he could keep the charade going to his benefit.

    December 30, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  22. JOHN

    The whole thing with Newt, is such a joke. He should have got an award for best actor

    December 30, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  23. Jamie from Riverside

    He was crying because he probably saw the the latest polls. Either that or he can't get enough little kids to go clean toilets, or he realized he'll never get to arrest judges who don't agree with him. Possibly he just opened his lates bill from Tiffany.

    December 30, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  24. Kris

    I wonder if Newt's father had cheated on his mother, how he'd feel then. Bitter irony.

    December 30, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  25. Wayne

    Gingrich lacks the mental toughness required for the office of the President. He is no Obama.

    December 30, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
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