Gingrich pressed on affair
February 23rd, 2011
09:29 AM ET
12 years ago

Gingrich pressed on affair

(CNN) – Newt Gingrich was forced to wade into the thorny matter of his personal life Tuesday night during a forum at the University of Pennsylvania.

In a question-and-answer session, Isabel Friedman, a student at the university who's also Democratic activist, pressed Gingrich on how he squares his pro-family values with the fact he has been married three times and has admitted to two extramarital affairs.

"You adamantly oppose gay rights... but you've also been married three times and admitted to having an affair with your current wife while you were still married to your second," Friedman said, in comments first reported by Politico. "As a successful politician who's considering running for president, who would set the bar for moral conduct and be the voice of the American people, how do you reconcile this hypocritical interpretation of the religious values that you so vigorously defend?"

In a video of the interaction posted on YouTube, Gingrich appeared none-too-happy with the question.

"I'll bet almost everybody here can gather the thrust of your question," he said. "I appreciate the delicacy and generosity in the way it was framed . . . I hope you feel better about yourself."

The possible Republican presidential candidate and former House Speaker added he doesn't think most voters will care about his past personal mistakes:

"I've had a life which, on occasion, has had problems," said Gingrich. "I believe in a forgiving God, and the American people will have to decide whether that's their primary concern."

"If the primary concern of the American people is my past, my candidacy would be irrelevant," he continued. "If the primary concern of the American people is the future . . . that's a debate I'll be happy to have."

Gingrich has admitted to cheating on his second wife in the late 1990's with the woman who is now his wife. He's also acknowledged having an affair with the woman who became his second wife while he was married to his first wife.

Filed under: Newt Gingrich
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. willie floyd

    "forgiven-go ye therefore and sin no more". God doesn't mean go ahead and do the same thing over and over again. All these Bible thumping Reps. need to do a lot more reading of said book and a lot less "thumping".

    February 23, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  2. A. Goodwin

    I just love how he told her "I hope you feel better about yourself," when nobody will feel good knowing that such a sleezy person as himself could end up in the white house. I thought this was a GREAT question – one that many of us want to know. For him to show the questioner such disrespect is laughable.

    February 23, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  3. WhoLou

    If that is how you and your god operate, I don't want anything to do with you or your god.

    February 23, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
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