August 10th, 2010
11:24 AM ET
12 years ago

'No way' Newt can win, ex-wife says

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption ="Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich's ex-wife says 'there's now way' he will be president."]

(CNN) - As Newt Gingrich continues to signal his intention to run for president in 2012, his ex-wife says she finds it inconceivable the former Republican House Speaker has any chance of winning the White House.

"There's no way," Marianne Gingrich tells Esquire Magazine in a profile of the ex-Republican leader posted on the magazine's website Tuesday. "He could have been president. But when you try and change your history too much, and try and recolor it because you don't like the way it was or you want it to be different to prove something new ... you lose touch with who you really are. You lose your way."

But Marianne, who was married to Gingrich from 1981-1999, says her former husband might just have the right mentality to launch a White House bid, even if victory is far-fetched.

"He believes that what he says in public and how he lives don't have to be connected," she tells the magazine. "If you believe that, then yeah, you can run for president."

Marianne also says her former husband is a self-conscious man who "grew up poor and always wanted to be somebody, to make a difference, to prove himself."

"He has to be historic to justify his life," she tells the magazine.

But in the same profile, Gingrich paints a different picture of his childhood saying it resembled what "Norman Rockwell captures in his pictures."

The lengthy Esquire profile comes amid Gingrich's stepped up activity in Iowa – the key early-voting presidential state.

On Friday, Gingrich will make his sixth visit to the state in recent months to attend the Iowa State Fair, a traditional stomping ground for presidential aspirants.

Gingrich plans to open the day at the Iowa Republican Party booth and sign copies of his book, "To Save America," an appearance sure to help the state party touch a number of potential voters as they seek to re-capture the governor's mansion and a handful of House seats.

And according to a GOP source in the state, Gingrich also has a meeting planned at the fair with several GOP donors. After a morning dose of glad-handing and livestock-watching, he is slated to headline two fundraisers: One for Sen. Charles Grassley, who is seeking a sixth term in Washington, and another for the People United for Republican Sisters' Election (PURSE) political action committee, a group formed to assist female GOP candidates.

- CNN's Peter Hamby contributed to this report

Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (223 Responses)
  1. Gigi


    August 10, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  2. BinAK

    Wow talk about a woman scorned...! He hasn't come out and announced his intention of running yet and she's slamming him. SHE MUST FEEL CHEATED OUT OF THE LIME LIGHT!

    August 10, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  3. Terry from West Texas

    Gingrich and Romney are the only prominent Republicans with above average IQs. Romney, thank goodness, is unacceptable to the Conservative religious fundamentalists because he is seen by them as a pagan, heathen, devil-worshiping Mormon. Gingrich is far more cunning than Romney and would actually be a more threatening candidate. Gingrich's problem will come in the primaries, because if there's on thing Conservatives hate it is new ideas. They want to hear small government, family values, economic conservatism, economic freedom repeated over and over and over. They also want to hear that the opponents of Conservatism are evil, lower-class trash, and many of them are not white – and most of them are socialists or Muslims or pedophiles.

    August 10, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  4. josh

    The difference between this man and others mentioned (Kennedy, Clinton) is that they never ran off at the mouth about "family values," or the "sancticy of marriage," etc. But Gingrich & Co. have been nothing but blowhards about these ideas, acting pious and preachy. Obvious case of do as I say, not as I do. I say no thanks to anyone selling that load of cow dung. And to those asking, for Gingrich the family man, these comments are coming from wife number 2, the one he left the sick wife for. Then he dumped #2 for another younger wife #3. And to make it sound even worse, he asked both wife #2 and #3 to marry him WHILE HE WAS STILL MARRIED TO THE CURRENT WIFE! No way anyone like that has anything to say that I want to listen to.

    August 10, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  5. usualone

    Why doesn't he just hide. Too much is known about him. The Repubs are really really desperate if they pick him as their top running mate. His past DOES matter.

    August 10, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  6. Mark

    No Newt is Good Newt

    August 10, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  7. Richard Larson

    Newt has been writing too many alternative history books. He has convinced himself that he can reconfigure his own personal history like a chameleon and no one will care. This country has been run by politicians who have considered the general population to be too dumb, or unconcerned about what they say, and do; that they can get away with anything. I think Congressman Rangel is now finding out different.

    Too many of Newt's ideas do not pass the elementary sniff test. Too many smell like barnyard dung for thinking people to accept. No doubt the "Tea Party" movement has emboldened him because it is woefully plain that most of them are unable to think for themselves. They accept whatever their darling female leaders utter without the slightest iota of thought or consideration.

    No doubt Newt is intelligent, but there are a fair number of intellectual fools about. Congress is full of them.

    August 10, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  8. sara

    Hypocrite in the White House? Family values? Nope!

    August 10, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  9. DVA

    No-one knows a man like an ex-wife, does one deal with given a diagnosis of cancer while in the hospital and the next news you hear is I am divorcing are on your own,,,it's about me and what I want...Now he wants to run for president? We don't forget just because you seem to Newt........Sour grapes????? I don't think so..been too long. Thanks Marianne, what goes around.............

    August 10, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  10. marty

    The Republicans get sillier and sillier. Newt, Mitch, John, Eric, Michele, Angie, Sarah, are the backup team to Sean, Rush, Ann, Matt et al, who have engineered the character assassinations of political rivals for years.
    It's been a 'just say No' couple of years. While they jockey for power, the country bleeds.

    August 10, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  11. jeff

    All impudent mouth and intellectual myopia

    August 10, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  12. jona

    Newt is probably the smartest guy in the lot. Seems a lot of people here never even heard him speak and are doing nothing but regurgitating the crap they heard on CNN and the rest of the LSM. Just like THIS article.

    Why post anything from a disgruntled ex-wife>? It's part of CNN's agenda. They're deathly afraid of a Republican President as smart as Newt is.

    August 10, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  13. Donna A. Reuter, Bremerton, WA

    Did Newt cheat on his wife while he was impeaching the POTUS for covering up his own adultry.

    August 10, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  14. Chas in Iowa

    It's worse than being a womeniser in my mind.
    This man had the gaul to run a very pointed political attack against our president for exactly the same thing he was involved with. Hits me as a kinda "holier than thou" attitude.
    We do not need any more politicians in office that feel they have privledges or are entitled to different treatment than us common folk.

    August 10, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  15. dick delson

    Newt Gingrich is a bad joke. This guy's track record shows anything but so-called Republican values

    August 10, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. Refudiation

    Okay, this was his first or second wife? I know one of his wives died of cancer, he served her with divorce papers while she lay dying, with his new mistress at his side..... but how many others have there been? I can't keep track of all these conservative christian republicans' wives and mistresses.

    How can somebody run for president after they pled guilty to ethics violations, lost congressional elections, and swaps out wives like musical chairs.

    August 10, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  17. Anson

    As a Democrat, I relish the idea of a Newt Gingrich candidacy. The only thing better would be for him to run with Sister Sarah.

    August 10, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  18. Michael

    It is conventional wisdom that your spouse is the best judge of your character.
    Here Newt's ex-wife judges him to be a lying hypocrite who no longer has a soul because he sold it.
    But then, we knew that already.

    August 10, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Charles W. Skinner August 10th, 2010 12:30 pm ET

    Newt Gingrich has a better than average shot at becoming president. He's already got High name recognition, he already has a large grass-roots organization in just about every state. A Gingrich-Huckabee ticket in Iowa would be nearly unstoppable based on FairTax voting principles alone.

    Except for the "FairTax" title, there is nothing fair about that proposal. Please take the time to read it in detail and do the math. It amounts to tax rates which are about the same for middle income folks and a huge tax cut for rich people.

    As far as his message of being Constitutional, the GOP talks a good game. They say the support the Constitution but want to change the 14th amendment because illegal aliens are to blame for all our problems. They support the 1st amendment right to freedom of religion except when Muslims want to build a mosque. They support the 4th amendment except when they feel it's necessary to tap phones illegally. They support the 6th amendment right to a speedy trial except when they deem someone an enemy combatant. The 'message' gets lost when faced with how they behave.

    August 10, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  20. pt

    This is a man with a character flaw(s)! We don't need him as our leader.

    August 10, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  21. lance corporal

    wow this woman knows him and she mentions the most bizarre thing about republicans, the DO AS I SAY NOT AS I DO dichotomy, how many anti gay repubs do we have to find with a "wide stance" or a hired "bag carrier" how many of these guys are "out hiking the appalachian trail" while the wives and kids are at home? gingrich has a really disgusting personal adult family history and has a clear demonstrated lack of fidelity, I just do not get how you radical right voters don't see thru these people as they are just horrible liars who are stealing you blind

    August 10, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  22. bettie

    Anyone who says they had a Normal Rockwell childhood is either a liar or delusional.

    Newt would appear to be both.

    But I love the ex-wife coming out with claws bared. Let's get this party started!

    August 10, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  23. Michael

    Tim in DE – those attributes are requirements for membership in the GOP – give poor Newt a break; he is only "connecting with his base"

    August 10, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
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