Gingrich: I would lose to Obama in a personality contest
January 20th, 2012
09:37 PM ET
2 years ago

Gingrich: I would lose to Obama in a personality contest

(CNN) – While Newt Gingrich insisted on Friday he would be the best candidate to compete with President Barack Obama in November, he added there was one match in which he would lose against the president.

“He’s likeable. I would never beat Obama in a personality contest,” Gingrich said on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.” “But the presidency is not about likeability. The presidency is about are you capable of doing the job?”

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In the interview, Gingrich also argued the recent controversy over his marriage history helps him connect with voters, claiming the timing of a new ABC News interview with his ex-wife has fueled supporters to rally around the candidate.

“I don't believe anybody who's going to vote tomorrow didn't already know I've been divorced and married,” Gingrich said. “It's all been out there for months. It was a sense of 'But why would ABC bring it up now?’”

The former House speaker received a standing ovation after he forcefully chided CNN for bringing up the interview in the first round of questions at the Republican presidential debate Thursday night.

He said South Carolina voters on Friday thanked him for attacking the media, with some supporters telling him he was “in their prayers.”

While Gingrich said presidential candidates should be prepared for conversations that are “amazingly detailed and amazingly open,” he said voters should not focus on his past, but the person he is today.

“Look at who I am now. Look at how close Callista and I are as a couple,” he said.

Also see:

Perry drops out, endorses Gingrich

Judge-drawn Texas redistricting map tossed out by Supreme Court

Gingrich releases 2010 federal tax records

Santorum tries to shoulder past Romney, Gingrich in debate


Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich • President Obama • South Carolina
soundoff (241 Responses)
  1. JimmySD

    "...voters should not focus on his past, but the person he is today."

    Yeah...because what he says now is so honest and true.

    January 20, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  2. John K

    Hay I don't believe this guy Newt, his has no backbone. Politics is very dirty, and to win you forget the issues and focus you attention to character assassination , name calling and anything you can dig up to smear against your rival. Forget about the issues and solutions to those issues for they are meaningless. No one care about solutions to our country's problems. You go after the juglar to you opponent.

    January 20, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  3. CAW in MD

    If Gingrich doesn't want the media asking about stupid stuff that he's done, perhaps he shouldn't do stupid stuff in the first place.

    Just sayin'...

    January 20, 2012 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  4. reinadelaz

    So, Gingrich doesn't want HIS past to keep him from getting the job HE wants? As President, would he support legislation making it less difficult for felons who've done their time to get the jobs they want?

    January 20, 2012 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  5. Joe from Ohio

    People dislike media? And yet, "your" network, Fox news has the highest ratings. Irony.

    January 20, 2012 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  6. lewtwo

    “He’s likeable. I would never beat Obama in a personality contest,”
    Well at least he got that part correct.

    January 20, 2012 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  7. Annie, Atlanta

    Is this the best the GOP has to offer? Seriously? A vulture capitalist and a lobbyist.

    And what in the world is Mitt Romney hiding in the Cayman Islands? A blind trust? What is a blind trust? Who is he doing business with? And why doesn't he have his money in local hometown banks? Interesting, no?

    And Newt Gingrich – good grief. Making money peddling his influence in DC, and a serial cheater. Wow.

    My guess is tomorrow morning Mitt will get ruffled, because he doesn't do well going off script, and Newt will get mean. Should be interesting, and ugly.

    January 20, 2012 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  8. A former republican

    Callista won't let the Newtster out of her sight because she is afraid he would be screwing another woman.

    January 20, 2012 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  9. Vermont_Lass

    Newt: the monster spider in the corner of my garage is more like likeable than you

    January 20, 2012 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  10. Aaron

    A rabid dog is more likeable than wife-swapping wannabe Newt.

    January 20, 2012 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  11. Sam

    Every man's got to know his limitations.

    January 20, 2012 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  12. Pimpson

    Obama is a gameshow host. Newt is a president.

    January 20, 2012 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  13. Donaldbain

    Obama is more likable because he isn't a slime ball. You are but a tick on the hide of America sucking it dry for all you are worth. You have no interest other than your own self promotion and to gobble up public money as fast as you can. Go away.

    January 20, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  14. Brad

    My ex-wife is more likeable than you Newt!

    January 20, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  15. Dark Marcsun

    "Look at how close Callista and I are as a couple,” he said.". So very close. Only 23 years apart!

    January 20, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  16. gggg

    Newt, everybody's more likeable than you.

    January 20, 2012 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  17. JuanVonDinklus

    But I thought everyone hated Obama so Newt, what's your point again? You don't make any sense!

    January 20, 2012 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  18. Karl Dick Bush Rove

    "Obama's more likeable than me" says Newt.

    Maybe it'd be shorter to list people disliked more than Newt...

    January 20, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  19. DC2003

    And morals and ethics and financial responsibility and honesty and... do I really need to go on??

    January 20, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  20. Richard Cheese

    Newt, you'd lose to Obama at EVERY contest.

    January 20, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  21. Dave

    Actually, Newt would lose to Stalin in a personality contest. And Obama would crush him November.

    January 20, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  22. Bozzz

    yes newt, you're quite correct. And he's a better president than you could dream of being.

    January 20, 2012 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  23. A Pugh

    None of you have a personality like President Obama. All of you are completely boring. No personality. All you do is bash President Obama. But at the end of the day. We definiately have a good looking president with style and CLASS!

    January 20, 2012 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  24. brian in denver

    Yep Newt. You certainly would lose a personality contest w/ the President, just as you would lose a general election to him.

    January 20, 2012 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  25. Reasonable1

    Newt, your family values will not be able to beat those of Mr. Obama.

    January 20, 2012 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
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