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. John

    awww... Gingrich is sorry. That makes everything Okay now. It's cool you cheated on 3 wives, divorced one of them while she was dying of cancer in the hospital. It's cool, Newt. It's fine that you were trying to impeach Clinton for an extra-marital affair WHILE HAVING ONE YOURSELF. Banging other broads while you're married is impeachable, so why should you be able to run for President under that philosophy then? But it's cool... you said "you're sorry," therefor, everything is Okay.

    March 15, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  2. nathan Avani

    Not someone I trust or BELIEVE in! Did not trust or believe in him when he was last in office. A POOR example of a leader and role model for anybody to follow or consider!

    March 15, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  3. twinner

    Can you even wrap your head around the fact that someone lusted after this "totality" of a pig??

    March 15, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  4. Rob Kornacki

    I lean toward Gingrich' conservative philosophy, but...but...if his wife couldn't trust him, how can I ???

    March 15, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  5. Marge

    There is nothing wrong with a person getting divorced. But this guy having affairs with his soon to wife while the present wife is ill, well he has none of the family values and character he is trying desperately to get the public to believe.

    And other than having the affair with another woman while his wife had cancer, he was screaming and ranting and raving and leading the charge against President Clinton for having an encounter with a sexual partner.

    Then he tells us that he was so passionate in his patriotic duty is why he did it. Which republican does not "reek" of hypocritsy.

    March 15, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  6. Cheri

    This from the man who led the impeachment of President Clinton while he himself was having his own affair. Truly a pathetic person.

    March 15, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  7. Bob Dog

    Newt, you cheap, self-serving, pompous windbag, American needs you! Please run for president! Your participation in the 2012 election will destroy any chance of a republican winning!

    Please, step up and grab for you full potential to help America!

    "Run, Newt, Run!!"

    March 15, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  8. New Age Independant

    The Liberal Spin: Newt, if you were a Democrat we'd welcome you with open arms and say "It was only sex".

    March 15, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  9. buc

    just because Gringrich dug up any dirt he could find on his opponents or made up what he could not find doesn't mean he should be subjected to the same thing. Its a republican right.

    March 15, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  10. Neerja

    I just have one question – is there ANYBODY who likes him, liberal, conservative, libertarian, green, democrat, republican, women, men, teens, college students ....what voting bloc is Newt looking at ?? They ALL dislike him.

    March 15, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  11. Terry - Indiana

    So, cheating on your wife, that is OK. Does that mean you can cheat on the American Public. I guess you went to the same school of moral superiority that so many other politicians attended. I think you were one of those who trashed Edwards when his affair came to light. Are there any illegitimate little Newt's running around?

    March 15, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  12. AgainstAmnesia

    Gingrich is a liar, a louse, and a hypocritical opportunist. I really can't understand how working hard for your principles(??) and the public will cause you to stick your d..k in someone other than your wife.

    And if being unfaithful to your wife–who ever she is at the time, is how you deal with stress, then running for the most stressful job in the world doesn't bode well for your current wife. Give it up and crawl back under the rock.

    March 15, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  13. dc3gal

    Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is almost defending Gingrich. Gee, I wonder why? Gingrich says he's worked hard for his country, maybe so, but if you are going to play you are going to pay and no way out of it. I know there is no perfect person on earth, God knows I sure am not, but character says everything and I would not vote for him or anyone like him if his past was unearthed and this includes women as well.

    March 15, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  14. DWK

    I think I could forgive him but, and this is a BIG BUT here, he told his wife who was in her hospital bed with cancer that he wanted a divorce. THAT in itself was wrong on so many levels and if he can do this to his wife when she needs him the most, just what would he do in a time of crisis in this country?

    March 15, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  15. JAM

    Well, golly-gee, he said he was sorry, what more do you want?

    March 15, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  16. Paul

    Ahh those Republican "family values" they are so proud of.

    March 15, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  17. Dave

    Uh... you handed your wife divorce papers while she was in the hospital getting cancer treatment.

    March 15, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  18. KS in KY

    Who keeps having sex with this foul man?

    March 15, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  19. Bullzi

    C'mon, Clinton bonked a bunch of women, got blowies in the Oval Office and was elected twice. Of course, being married to Hillary is his justification. Leave Newt alone.

    March 15, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  20. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Oh, don't worry about his past infidelities. They will nail him on when he was Speaker of the House and actually COMPROMISED on legislation with a Democratic President! How dare he break the Prime Directive of the Republican Party, "Thou Shalt Not Compromise With A Democrat!" in order to carry out the Country's business!

    The other problem Newtie has is a difficulty discerning the difference between reality and fiction, but that may have something to do with his somewhat successful Science Fiction collaborations he has co-written.

    March 15, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  21. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    This guy may have enough of an EGO to run, but he's not a fool and knows he wouldn't win. This is a money making venture for him... So why don't you just cut the crap, Newt, and go home... Maybe there are just too many fools to fleece...

    March 15, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  22. Cedar Rapids

    So he, and other repubs, do not want people to hark back to events of '15, 20, 25 years' ago?
    Wonder if they will extend that way of thinking to their politcal opponents? What do you reckon?

    March 15, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  23. Tom

    We the people reserve the right to call out a "family values" man who cheats on his wives. While not a focus, it's definitely an eye opener for people who want to believe in what their candidate says.

    March 15, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  24. sanjosemike

    I have this indelible image in my mind: Gingrich brings divorce papers to his wife to sign while she is in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery. This is an intolerable image. I am a conservative voter, but I will never be able to get this out of my mind. I think I am a "fair" person. Sorry Mr. Gingrich, I think that behavior is despicable. There is no excuse for it, "hard work" or not. Please Republicans: Do better. Bring us a decent candidate.

    March 15, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  25. Palin is an IDIOT

    the totality of Newt's life is sewage scum!!!

    March 15, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
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