Gingrich tears up remembering his mother
December 30th, 2011
01:44 PM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich tears up remembering his mother

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - Newt Gingrich teared up at a campaign stop in Iowa Friday, openly weeping while talking about his mother, who suffered from bipolar disorder and depression.

The moment was sparked by a question from GOP political consultant Frank Luntz, who was moderating a forum targeted to mothers at a local coffee shop Java Joe's in downtown Des Moines.

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Luntz, noting the room had a number of moms present, asked Gingrich, "What moment do you think of when you think of your mom?"

"First of all you will get me all teary-eyed. Callista will tell you I get teary eyed every time we send Christmas cards," Gingrich said, coughing back tears.

"My mother sang in the choir and loved singing in the choir. I don't know if I should admit this but when I was very young she made me sing in the choir. I identify my mother with being happy, loving life, having a sense of joy in her friends," Gingrich continued.

Gingrich said his mother, who died in 2003, played a part in his legislative interests in long-term health care and mental disease.

"Late in her life she ended up in a long-term care facility. She had bipolar disease, depression and she gradually acquired some physical ailments and that introduced me to the issue of quality, long-term care."

Gingrich continued, stalling at times to fight back tears, "My whole emphasis on brain science comes in directly from dealing – see how I'm getting emotional – from dealing with you know the real problems of real people in my family. So it is not a theory. It is in fact my mother."

Moms Matter 2012, a group that describes its mission as "moving moms from the political sidelines to the headlines," sponsored the Gingrich event. Approximately 100 people were present, including a few mothers with young children.

Gingrich's immediate family joined him on stage for the event: wife Callista, daughters Kathy Gingrich Lubbers and Jackie Gingrich Cushman, sons-in-law, and two grandchildren, Maggie and Robert.

Also see:

Nearly half of Iowa ads attack Gingrich

In early book, Rep. Ron Paul criticized AIDS patients, minority rights and sexual harassment victims

Romney and Paul battle for top spot in new Iowa poll

DNC video asks 'What is Mitt Romney hiding' in tax returns

Top Bachmann aide out after flap over campaign switch

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. Scott A

    So Gingrich cheats on at least two of his ex-wives while married to them (one of whom was dying at the time of his infidelity). Good to know that he draws the line of mistreating women when it comes to his mother...he must have made her so proud.

    December 31, 2011 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  2. Benjamin

    Nobody cries with the cameras on Newt you snake! How about giving the 1.6 million dollars you received from Freddie Mac and giving it back to the people that bailed them out? There are some real tears from real people with real problems. Sorry, you're not one of them you corrupt insider smooth talking piece of garbage!

    December 31, 2011 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  3. Luke

    pffft! yeah right Newt. reminds me of all these people crying for the camera in North Korea. i ain't buyin it!

    December 31, 2011 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  4. johnHD

    A true professional. well coached, scripted. cry on cue.

    December 31, 2011 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  5. Tyler

    Who put onion juice in my hanky?

    December 31, 2011 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  6. Dee

    Oh boo-hoo-hoo....the only reason that big fat tub of lard was crying....was because he's not setting high and mighty in the polls anymore.

    December 31, 2011 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  7. barry

    I feel sorry for his mom Newt has a big head. That had to be painful.

    December 31, 2011 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  8. Beefburger

    To emulate emotion Newt had a lobster placed in his Fruit of the Looms.

    December 31, 2011 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  9. Beefburger

    He has gone from a Newt to a crocodille.

    December 31, 2011 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  10. Joshua Ludd

    Yeah, remember when the media including CNN was telling us that Hillary Clinton choking up just the tiniest bit at one point meant she was unreliable, over emotional, and that it sunk her campaign? I guess crying is just fine... as long as you are a Republican.

    December 31, 2011 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  11. Rogue351

    Sure Kewt cry for your mother but don't shed a single tear for all of those elderly men and woman whom you want to kick off of any type of government aid. Or the hungry that cant get a job. Or the sick that are desperately in need. All we ever hear from you and the dam tea party are about the few that steal from the system. Never the ones that the system helps. My new years wish is that you and all of the tea party republicans can experience the pain of these people you claim to represent. Kewt has not changed and will never change. As with him and the tea party republicans, it is all about putting more money in the 1% pocket. Sickening and disgusting. None of these GOP / Tea Party parasites have any business claiming they have Americas best interest at heart. Wake up, they do not. And I cant say anything for the Democrats either.

    December 31, 2011 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  12. Sonya

    Newt is really crying because he just found out he is an "invented son"...........

    December 31, 2011 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  13. GV

    How low can you go? To sell your country and mother for votes? Such a sad state of his heart and mind.

    December 31, 2011 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  14. Brian

    Just want to point out some hypocrisy is completely admirable for Newt to shed a tear when it comes to his mom....where was the same respect for Hillary when she shed a tear on the campaign trail last time? Come on now everyone...emotion is a good thing. Let's play it equally when reported...

    December 31, 2011 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  15. jdoe

    Clearly Republicans are emotional creatures.

    December 31, 2011 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  16. Observer

    The fact that his campaign is tanking now couldn't be a factor, could it? Maybe he's been watching John Boehner too long or else he learned to fake tears from the master, Glenn Beck.

    December 31, 2011 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  17. EricCT

    So "eye of newt" adds a tear to the cauldron. Evangelists now know, but are afraid to say it. Look at the republican primary field. Is there any doubt that God is a Liberal?

    December 31, 2011 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  18. Mockingbird2

    How soon we forget. Especially Newt. In 1996, Gingrich and Dole constantly attacked Clinton during the Whitewater hearings. When Clinton's mother died during that period, Gingrich and Dole both essentially said they didn't care, they weren't going to take a break from going after him, just because his mother died.

    Later, Bob Dole apologized, and told Clinton that he "knew he had to be a better person than that," and told him that he didn't know what had come over him. Gingrich never apoligized.

    Gingrich only cares about himself. he's a crocodile. So are his tears. I understand his feelings about his mom - unfortunately, he doesn't seem to have those same deep feelings for anyone - or anything else - but himself.

    December 31, 2011 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  19. PatRedstone

    My turn ... AMBUSHED!?! And I'm Sheena Queena de Jungle.

    December 31, 2011 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  20. freedom luchador

    We why the hell he does not cry when he wants to put children to work? He is israel first America second! VOTE RON PAUL!!!!!

    December 31, 2011 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  21. rjo3491

    He should be more choked up over the debris he's left of his own families.

    December 31, 2011 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  22. BeverlyNC

    Will he cry instead of making critical decisions demanded of a real leader??? Just go away Newt. Republicans are all going to be crying after the 2012 election when they all get sent home for betraying the People with their obstructionism, hate, and lies. Enough.

    December 31, 2011 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  23. Bill

    This man will do anything to win an election or make money. I'm sure the tears are sincere, though. Look at his poll numbers.

    December 31, 2011 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  24. Rich

    Newt is A Clown

    December 31, 2011 03:19 am at 3:19 am |
  25. caeser

    What a piece a work.

    December 31, 2011 03:33 am at 3:33 am |
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