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. Nick , California

    The character of a person is very important. We all make mistakes, but when you make them over and over again you loose my trust and confidence. He can have all the affairs he likes, but I won't vote for the man!

    March 15, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  2. lynn

    He wants a chance at the White House so he can ask for forgiveness from the people. Don't think so, the GOP is pretty desparate to annoint him their next candidate. In our entire nation, he's the best they've got? Disgusting to say the least.

    March 15, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  3. Boisepoet

    If Gingrich had taken this stance himself, i.e. realizing transgressions are mistakes and not the main focus of the political debate, then I could understand his position. However, his past behavior and comments in this area, and this 'new' stand only smacks of hypocrisy, and shows his lack of personal ethics.

    March 15, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  4. edpeters

    I consider myself fair, and I can not see how a person who could not be honest and fair with one person (whom he had pledged his life to) could possibly be trusted to be honest and fair with the American public...

    March 15, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  5. Edgar Friendly

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

    Better hope not, Newt. Otherwise, you're screwed.

    March 15, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  6. Michael

    I like his honesty. I just wonder why his fellow Neocons give him a free pass for his multiple yet were so loud at their contempt for a Democrat who had 1 (Clinton)? More of "Do as we say, not as we do" from the party who was behind our economic collapse.

    March 15, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  7. Cfrench

    Sorry Newt, guess again. Your past discretions DO count. They reflect on your character, no matter how long ago they happened, especially if the same thing happened over and over and over. You'f a slimy, hypocritical, little weasel unfit for public service.

    March 15, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  8. Paul1st

    A party that went so far as a Senate vote on impeachment for a President who overly nuanced the meaning of "is" over oral sex with an intern is very forgiving of a party member who has a recurring history of marital infidelity. And that is also the party that touts itself as a champion of family values. The party line is that "we are hypocrites and voters should not be dumb enough to expect otherwise."

    March 15, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  9. chill

    And in totality, it's a bleak record. Mr. Gingrich saw fit to shut down the government in part over a matter of personal picque. He's made a point of showing how intelligent he is by supporting some out-of-the-box solutions that you wouldn't normally hear from a GOP conservative, and yet he turns around and runs his mouth about the President's heritage and colonial-influenced world view or whatever which he knows is a load of bunk. I believe Mr. Gingrich is jut simply in awe of his own brilliance and wants to do nothing more than show it off.

    March 15, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  10. AllieDrake27

    Every body understands that modern life seems to be very expensive, however some people require cash for different issues and not every person earns enough money. Therefore to get fast mortgage loans or just bank loan will be a proper solution.

    March 15, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  11. Christopher

    I will look at the totality of his life and find him to be a total liar, a total hypocrite, and a total piece of crap.

    March 15, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  12. Taknevs

    I think the totality of you life sucks!!! You portray the exact opposite of what people look for in POTUS.

    March 15, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  13. Video Guy

    We forgive you, BUT you are no longer qualified to hold high office.

    March 15, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  14. Anonymous

    wanna know about gingrich watch the youtube video called kennedy stumps for clinton in the 1996 DNC convention.... that will give you you answer about him....

    March 15, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  15. Debbie

    Forgiving is not forgetting. True confession means not repeating your sin. Not once, not twice, but three times means you might have said I'm sorry but you did not truely repent! Ginchrich is a deciever!

    March 15, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  16. Egmont

    There are only two guides to what a politician will do if elected: what he (or her, but in this case he) says and what he has done in the past.

    What politicians say, unfortunately, is often said to get elected and has historically had only a slight connection to what they do once in office. Voters know this. While Gingrich may be the exception, campaign rhetoric has close to zero credibility.

    That leaves a candidate's prior behavior as the only reliable guide to what we should expect. For that reason, examining that behavior as a guide to a candidate's positions and moral standards is legitimate. Gingrich should recognize this as entirely valid and expect it. His telling us not to look at his past is like telling the buyer of a used car not to take it for a test drive. That alone, even before you find anything, is cause for worry.

    March 15, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  17. EddyL

    How neatly this fat slob ties up his past indiscretions while pondering that opponents will bring up his sleazy past if he runs for the presidency. Considering the crap the REPUKES dredge up, often outright lies, about political opponents, his little sad act is totally pathetic. He asked for forgiveness! WOW. That erases all his sleazy acts, huh?


    March 15, 2011 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  18. thomas

    Palin/Bachman 2012.......The Dream Team..!
    Newt is a do as I say , not as I do , forgive thyself , not others , low life power hungry blow hard !
    Newt , Halley Barbor , Chris Christie ,Mike Huckaby need to buy Mexican wrestling suits and masks then join the put down the fork wrestling for peace tour in Tijuana !

    March 15, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  19. mary

    Isn't it convenient for Gingrich to convert to Catholicism? All you need to do is confess your sins,
    and you are good to go! What a moral hypocrite, self-serving braggard and selfish lommax! Religion
    comes in handy when you want to break all the rules of morality, then preach your moral superiority.
    This man could never lead a moral nation like ours!

    March 15, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  20. lndepend

    This story about Newt reminds me of X Gov. Sanford of S.C. His followers and supporters said" Thats ok,it will make a better christian man of him? What? These Republican Presidential "wanna-bee,s, better check their laundry baskets for dirt,before they start their Rehtoric stuffed agenda for 2012,wouldn,t ya think? Specially after they "crashed the economy"

    March 15, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  21. Darth Vadik, CA

    He he he he, see people wouldn't make a big fuss about it Newt, but while you were going after Monica and Bubba, you yourself were having an affair...that is not only cheating but hypocricy too...

    ...and there is a special circle of HeII reserved for hypocrites Newt, and I bet in your case you will have a special section of that circle just for yourself and the demons put there to "help your stay" in HeII...

    March 15, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  22. Rae

    Only thing I can say is Hippocrite! Impeach a president for the same thing you were doing at the same time?! Sorry Newt, your very name dishonors the critters with your same name. You should not even THINK about running for political office. You disgust me.

    March 15, 2011 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  23. Joshua Ludd

    Yes, maybe he can tell us about when he told the wife he was cheating on at the time that she should just "live with the affair" and that it "didn't matter what he did" only what he said... because he supposedly loves this country so much... so much that he will hypocritically try to enforce the standards he can't even be bothered to live up to on his opponents and the populace. Thats right, folks... Newt believes YOU should be held to a higher standard than he has to live up to.

    March 15, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  24. HeyHey

    Last week he was saying his love of America is what caused his multiple affairs. Classic Republican toad: Rich, white, fat liar

    March 15, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  25. _ian_

    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." Nice. He is basically saying he cheated on his numerous wives due to his exceptional patriotism. Excellent, Newt, excellent!

    "I think most Americans are fair," he said. "And I think most Americans will look at the totality of my life." I agree with Gingrich here. This means that he has not a snowflake's chance in Hell to become a President.

    Ladies and gents, I'm really looking forward to the Republican primaries. Not asking for much: I just really, really hope that Gingrich, Bachman, and Palin do ran after all. It just wouldn't be the same without them. Run you great American Patriots, run! The country needs you (to provide as much entertainment as possible).

    March 15, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
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