Gingrich on Clinton impeachment, telling the truth
January 25th, 2012
01:23 PM ET
3 years ago

Gingrich on Clinton impeachment, telling the truth

Doral, Florida (CNN) - At a Latino forum Wednesday Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich talked about character and perceived hypocrisy related to his personal history.

Univision anchor Jorge Ramos asked the former House speaker about his role in the impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton in the late 1990s when he was engaged in an extra-marital affair.

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"People think that's hypocritical to criticize President Clinton for doing the same thing that you were doing at the same time," Ramos said to Gingrich at the forum sponsored by Univision Network, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Miami Dade College.

"I didn't do the same thing. I have never lied under oath. I have never committed perjury. I have never been involved in a felony. He was," the former speaker said, referring to the allegations of perjury involving the Paula Jones sexual harassment civil case and Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky.

Gingrich added, "The fact is I've been through two divorces. I have been deposed both times under oath. Both times I told the truth in the deposition because I know that it is – and I'm not a lawyer – I know it's a felony."

In a March 2007 interview with James Dobson of Focus on the Family, Gingrich talked openly about what he was going through personally when he was going after Clinton for his personal transgressions.

"And I drew a line in my mind and again, our listeners may not agree with me. But I drew a line in my mind that said, even though I run the risk of being deeply embarrassed, and even though at a purely personal level I am not rendering judgment on another human being, as a leader of the government trying to uphold the rule of law, I have no choice except to move forward and say that you cannot accept felonies and you cannot accept perjury in your highest officials."

Further speculation about Gingrich's personal past was fueled last week when ABC News aired an interview with his ex-wife, Marianne, who alleged the former speaker proposed an open marriage. Gingrich has lambasted the media while staunchly denying the claim.

Ramos pressed, "Isn't that a fair question about your character?"

"Sure, and the answer is it's not true," Gingrich said. "Did I blame you for asking? No."

"The CNN commentator decided to make it the first question on a national presidential debate. And I thought to myself we got unemployment, we have immigration, we have Afghanistan, we have the price of energy, we have housing problems," Gingrich said. "And these guys think this kind of trash ought to be the first question of the national presidential debate? By the way the audience agreed with me entirely."

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Filed under: 2012 • Bill Clinton • Florida • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. T'sah from Virginia

    ►Gingrich added, "The fact is I've been through two divorces. I have been deposed both times under oath. Both times I told the truth in the deposition because I know that it is – and I'm not a lawyer – I know it's a felony."◄

    But ginGRINCH is most likely lying now when he says his ex-Wife is lying about him asking for an "open relationship." The point is that ginGRINCH pursued something that he himself was guilty of. And I guarantee you, he mostly likely LIED back then when he was cheating too – Cheaters LIE, whether they are under oath or not.

    Obama 2012!

    January 25, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  2. Donkey Party

    When I think of the word "despicable", Gingrich and the entire GOP comes to mind.

    January 25, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  3. A True Centrist

    Gingrich, you are a hypocrite. Yes, President Clinton may have lied under oath but he should have never been asked the question in the first place. What he did behind closed doors was personal and his business, not yours and not mine.

    January 25, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    "I didn't do the same thing. I have never lied under oath. I have never committed perjury. I have never been involved in a felony. He was," the former speaker said, referring to the allegations of perjury involving the Paula Jones sexual harassment civil case and Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky.
    ----------------–
    The Lewinski affair is something that I found laughable at the time. I mean, you bring a man in front of the Congress and TV cameras, of course the man is going to find ways to deny it. The real question is why did Republicans do it? They have had a hair out of place ever since Democrats ran both Agnew and Nixon out of DC.

    January 25, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  5. K3Citizen

    Americans can't have felons or hypocrites in the Oval Office, either. Newt uses public employment as a dating service. All he will do is fall for the first bird looking intern that he sees and marry her a few months from getting in office.

    January 25, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  6. Hark

    Give it to "em Newt!!

    January 25, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  7. Liili

    Newt lives th that strange fantasy world......can't believe this is the best the repubs can offier!!

    Obama/Bidien 2012

    January 25, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Mr. Ramos didn't phrase the best question. The real hypocrisy is the political rationale that Gingrich used to impeach then Pres. Clinton. Once it became apparent that Gingrich couldn't make a sex crime stick, he had rationalized, "...that a man who would cheat on his wife is unfit to be POTUS." So, Newt sought to impeach Pres. Clinton.

    January 25, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  9. Jake

    WHATEVER NEWT! This guy will say anything as long as it fits at that time. Such a loser!

    January 25, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  10. NoTags

    While it is correct that Newt didn't pay a fine for his ethics violations he did pay $300,000 for the cost of the investigation. Anybody in their right mind should know that he would not have agreed to the $300,000 cost unless he wanted the investigation hidden. People do not spend $300,000 for an investigation if they are innocent.

    January 25, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  11. Kevin

    Actually, adultery is a crime in some states even now. Lying or sexual infidelity – both are wrong.

    January 25, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  12. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    We also have character issues with most of the clowns show candidates of the GOP for president. Any question is fair, and the media does not need to be lambasted for asking those questions. (yes wingnuts, that even includes foreign owned media at Fox)

    January 25, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  13. unsub

    that exchange illustrates why repubs do not support nutty newty and why he is labeled "unelectable."

    January 25, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  14. Patriot Awesome

    Gingrich / Cthulhu 2012!!! Don't settle for the lesser of 2 evils!

    January 25, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  15. beth

    HMM..I think taking marriage vows is taking an oath. Not only did he break this vow several times..he did it in the worst way...actually dating his next in line wives for years while still married to another woman. HEY NEWTIE, PLEASE DON"T TRY TO MAKE YOURSELF ANYTHING MORE THAN WHAT YOU ARE..

    January 25, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  16. justin

    I hate to say it but how one leads their personal life is not necessarily how one leads their public life. We each have both a private and a public persona we wish to uphold. I have seen incredibly honest and wonderful people turn to public tyrants and bullies. I have seen private bullies and tyrants turn into public saints. My experience with people is that we display different behaviors and standards privately and publicly. My personal relationship may be very contentious wit my spouse becasue of the relationship we have. I may do things that drive her crazy and perhaps I leave the bathroom seat UP @ home knowing it will drive her crazy. Yet, if I have a strong desire to be viewed as wonderful by the hundreds of people in the public, I will more tha likely perform in such a way that would have others view me in that way and put the seat down. Would it be hypocritical of me to say others who leave the seat up in public is hypocritical because I do at home? Yes and no. They are two very different situations seeking different results.
    Let's get to judging the mans public displays to know how he will act publicly.

    January 25, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  17. alinosof

    Only a lying gasbag like Gingrich could make a difference without a distinction: Gingrich lied to his wife, his constituents and colleagues for six years while he was having an affair with Callista. Lying is lying, period. May be someone could look into the divorce depositions from his previous two marriages. Clinton has more gravitas and charm than this pompous and sanctimonious guy will ever have.

    January 25, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  18. Beverly - NYC

    Newt reminds me of, Rudy Guilani, he would pull the same how dare you question me act, when his affair with Judith don't call me Judy came to light, and the press for the most part cowed to his big bully antics. Same act different bully.

    January 25, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  19. SAME!

    Although you didn't lie to a Federal Grand Jury and may not have perjured, you still CHEATED, having said that, that is a personal issue between spouses but does say a lot about your character. You cheat on someone you love, what will you do to cheat, hide and go against everything that is suppose to be sacred.

    January 25, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  20. David in Houston

    Typical right-winger...do as I say, not as I do.

    January 25, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  21. Paul1st

    Gingrich is doing everything he can to rehabilitate Slick Willy's reputation. Keep it up, Newt, and Clinton will be put up for sainthood.

    January 25, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  22. RINO Bil

    Gingrich is an adulterer and sinned in the eyes of God.

    It is not my place to forgive him, but it is my Christian duty not to vote for him.

    January 25, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  23. Noodle Nose Johnson

    Thank God this megalomaniac will never be President. He's pathological.

    January 25, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  24. GI Joe

    HA - Gingrich? Truth? HA.

    January 25, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  25. skmflmf

    He comes off as being so arrogant sometimes..jeez

    January 25, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
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