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.
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What an academy award winning moment. This is the same Newt that said he will pass laws so Christians can harass gay kids. I guess he wants more gay kids to commit suicide. He didn't describe which type of harassment of gay kids he enjoys.
To me it shameful how so many on the left are cruel to those they don't agree with. They are fast to use the phrase "mean spirited" except when it applies to themselves.
I knew Hillary Clinton, and Newt, you're no Hillary.
Newt Gingrich, unfortunately I know John Beohner and Mr. Gingrich, you ain't no John Beohner. Just as bad for America but no cigar. You should be ashamed of yourself for using your departed mother in an effort to gain sympathy votes but then I guess you will do anything to get what you want. Even sit down with Nancy hehehe..
%95 percent of you posters are just hateful and empty. Vote Dem much?
Too bad you don't cry for all those poor people you always put down, those who don't have insurance that you wish to deny with the repeal of the National Health Act. Too bad you couldn't send some of this compassion towards those awful union janitors who try to support their families, including their mothers instead of trying to replace them with kids. You'd probably tear up talking about your relationship with corporations, though....you know, those lobbyists you really weren't a part of?
Gingrich's mother must have been reptilian to spawn a sbake like him!
It worked for Hillary Clinton, but it wont work for you Newt! Moron!
Crying to the bank taking that Fannie & Freddie money.
Ya gotta admire ol' Newt. He knows every smarmy trick in the book, and he's not above trying them all.
Yall are evil people it hurt when you lose a parent. Newt I am so sorry for passing of your mom.
Newt maybe you will become of democrat because the republican party are evil people.
True Christians are not those who tear down other human beings.
True Christians do not judge others.
True Christians are not those who call themselves Christians yet write with hatred.
This is amazing! I remember in 2008 when Hillary Clinton was asked a question while campaigning in New Hampshire and barely shed a tear and her sincerity was questioned. Now Newt gets away with it. Now how's that for a double standard?
@ What The Hell is Wrong with All of You?
I am a life long progressive. I have no respect for the policies and actions of Newt Gingrich. That "said", I do not fault him for having emotions, nothing wrong with that. The contempt for the working class and his lack of ethics is what I have a problem with.
What a HYPOCRITICAL WIMP!!!!
He can calmly talk about "poor kids" working as janitors in their schools and calmly "misrepresent" the facts about his first wife, who wanted to stay with his unfaithful butt.
But, He cries when he thinks about his MOMMY being sick. Where are the real Republican MEN???
Please to the blogger who thinks that liberals are saying nasty and cruel things about their precious republicans. It was okay to call the current President a Monkey, Nazi,.UnAmerican,Liar, Muslim, to name a few by your fellow republicans and tea partiers. You really need to get a grip on reality. Also the democrats have moral character issue, but if the truth must be told you republicans have them beat by a landslide. I do not have enough fingers and toes to count how many times they have been caught with their pants down. Your problem is that you are a hypocrite.
I knew he was a reptile & not an amphibian, but I thought he was a snake, not a crocodile.
Newt will do anything to get votes. Once he loses it will be only a matter of time until he dumps this latest wfie for someone younger.
Newt is crying with one eye. This is normally done by people who lose their forgettable boyfriends or girlfriends.
Touching. He knows he's lost.
Even heels have "souls".
I always thought the mental problems skipped a generation.
Left out of the story: Newt associates "Mom" with "Taxes" and "Bi-Polar Disorder" with "Democrat in the Whitehouse".
@ Honesty--No not hateful and empty.
Just not so easily taken in by a professioal actor and scam artist.