Gingrich responds to criticism of affairs
March 15th, 2011
11:32 AM ET
12 years ago

Gingrich responds to criticism of affairs

(CNN) - Newt Gingrich may not have officially announced a run for president, but he was already preparing for character attacks from his opponents in a radio interview Monday night.

"I expect my opponents to go back 15, 20, 25 years and try to render an alternate judgment I understand that's what they'll do," the former House Speaker told WRKO radio host Howie Carr, referring to his previous marital infidelity and how it might affect a bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

Gingrich, who has been married three times and admitted to past infidelities, responded to criticism he sidestepped responsibility for his affairs in an interview with CBN reporter David Brody last week. Gingrich told Brody he was "partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate."

During Monday night's WRKO interview, Gingrich said, "I'm not blaming my life on anyone, and I'm not offering excuses."

"I've made no bones about the fact there were times I did the wrong thing, and I've made no bones about the fact that I've asked for forgiveness," Gingrich said.

There is at least one potential 2012 GOP presidential opponent who is already weighing in as to how Gingrich's past will play into the campaign.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum said in a interview with National Review Online earlier this week that Gingrich's personal history, while relevant, should not be the main focus.

"He, like we all do, will have to account for our past decisions. People will take (his past) as a legitimate issue to consider, as to how it would affect his ability to do his job," Santorum said. "I am not saying that is not a legitimate question, but it's not an issue with respect to the positions he takes."

Gingrich was upbeat on how voters would ultimately judge his fitness for office.

"I think most Americans are fair," he said. "And I think most Americans will look at the totality of my life."

Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (269 Responses)
  1. Judith Nixon

    Who was the person who wanted to impeach Bill Clinton! Just like a typical republican, "do as I say, not as I do".

    March 15, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  2. Rudy2Shoes

    Anyone willing to expose themselves regarding their most reprehensible behavior in order to run for public office wants it too much. The only reasons would likely be selfish; "would do anything to get back within reach of that lobby money" etc.. Give me an honest and well informed individual who cares enough to serve his/her country without personal gain. Better yet, someone with all of the above qualifications that has to be dragged kicking and screaming all the way to Washington.

    Just dreaming I guess!

    March 15, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  3. sim

    Newt, we are looking at the "totality" of your life. You're a louse. You've always been a louse. You will always be a louse.

    March 15, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  4. Mikey

    This is coming from a guy who continually bashes Obama with the Kenya lie, and we are expected to believe him now? His first wife was in bed with cancer so he decided to have an affair. Then, after he leaves the first one and marries the second one and then has an affair with an office worker who is 24 years younger than he is. house speaker he was basically kicked out by his own party. But, in true GOP form he now has found God...and I'm sure the morons on the right will forgive him for all of his life garbage since he's now a Christian. What a bunch of K-rap !!!

    March 15, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  5. Speedster

    Gingrich running for President = 4 MORE YEARS!!!!

    Seriously, doen't the Republican party have any viable candidates?

    March 15, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  6. c

    The least offensive things about the "totality of my life" are the affairs!!!!!

    March 15, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  7. gar

    Newt Gingrich is considered the great idea man of the Republican party. HIs ideas.... destroy the American middle class, impose theocracy, teach hate. He's an elitist with nothing but hatred for the American way of life.

    March 15, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  8. JOhn

    Reverand Wright, Birthers, Obama is a mulsim from Africa, William Aires? No the right is not going to be concerened about your past.

    March 15, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  9. Doug

    Once a cheater, always a cheater.

    March 15, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  10. Dennis

    Yes, most Americans WILL look at the totality of your life and still see GARGAGE.

    March 15, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  11. Howard

    The issue isn't the affairs. The issue is the apparent hypocrisy of someone with that kind of personal history embracing "family values" just to get votes. In any case, Americans don't elect sitting or former congressmen to the Presidency. They only elect sitting and former governors and U.S. Senators, and the occasional victorious general.

    March 15, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  12. runmom

    If he loves his country enough to cheat on his wife/wives, who's to say he might not cheat on the country? Seriously ... if some rogue country were to offer a crapload of money so that we can balance our national budget, might he take it? Not like it would be very likely to happen, but what if it did? He'd sell out in a minute.

    March 15, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  13. jo an

    It is not that Newt did all the cheating...He led the charge against Clinton...he is a hypocrite....the worst kind. I see no character in this man.

    March 15, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  14. Big_D

    We never had these problems before the rich had their taxes reduced by 75%. We need to realize that it isn’t bad for rich people to pay some taxes because they also benefit from the services of our country and tax cuts have not created any jobs according to the facts. We will not have fortune 500 companies if our infrastructure fails because the rich are not paying taxes.

    March 15, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  15. ChicagoComments

    "partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate."

    Let me get this right Gingrich. You had multiple affairs because you worked passionately and too hard for the United States when you were in Congress? I can only imagine what your response will be if you had to deal with a damaged US economy (due to deregulation on your watch), upheaval in the Arab world, natural catastrophe in Haiti and Japan, etc., etc., etc., Will you roam the halls of the White House boning anything not tied down because you are not getting your way with Congress? Will you frequently escape into your Oval Office bathroom to blow a nut because of another terrorist attack. Will you leave wife #3 because the stock market tanks over some mishap in the financial sector.

    Gingrich, act like an adult and take responsibility for your actions. Offering an explanation as to why you committed serial adultery while mouthing social conservative tripe only underscores your hypocrisy and lack of principles. Please, please go away so other morons like Sarah Palin or Jim DeMint, or Michelle Bachmann have their 15 minutes of exposure so they can also be exposed for the political train wrecks they actually are. You and the other front runners are the best that the Republican Party has to offer? Yikes!

    March 15, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  16. LoboII

    What's even better is Delay said his extra-martial affair wasn't as bad as Newt's because Newt was investigating Clinton at the time – these family value guys!!!!!!!!!! Priceless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 15, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  17. Dan

    If you don't like Newt's family values wait until that cross dressing, philandering, conservative from New York announces his intention to save the world from the amoral Obama.

    March 15, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  18. noodles

    what I love the most is that he was carrying on the third affair WHILE carrying on the lewinsky-gate proceedings. And no one knew. Or no one said anything. How is that? Oh, and didn't his second wife have cancer at the time?

    March 15, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  19. TruthAndBeauty

    Oh pleeeeease run, Newt! The hell with all your hypocrisy and slandering.
    Huckabee, Bachman, Newt, Palin. Absolutely awesome!!! Your the smart, spicy one.
    This can only make certain our getting the best president we've had in 50 years re-elected. Thank you all!

    March 15, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
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