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:

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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

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Top Bachmann aide out after flap over campaign switch

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

    The people busting on Gingerich for crying are the same people who believed Clinton when he made a cross from the stones on the Normandy beach. In the current vernacular.... Haters gotta hate. (I'm just sayin')

    December 31, 2011 03:50 am at 3:50 am |
  2. augustghost

    Did he get coaching from I have always said...the G NO P are a bunch of cry babies

    December 31, 2011 04:10 am at 4:10 am |
  3. korkea aika

    Newt didn't cry half as much as I would if he ever gets near the Oval Office. What a freak show the Republican Party is putting on for us this year. And just when we need a stong opposition party, they are all clowns and right-wing nuts. The biggest freak is mrs Gingrich number 3. She looks like someone shoved some foreign object into her back sides at great speed.

    December 31, 2011 05:47 am at 5:47 am |
  4. evensteven

    Looks like Newt can turn the faucet on and off just like Boehner. Women can sometimes get taken by a sensitive man—if they believe him . . .

    December 31, 2011 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  5. jim

    Great picture of him crying. I wonder how many takes they had to do to get that just right.

    December 31, 2011 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  6. clarke

    Maybe he also suffers from the same issues his mother had. In many ways I feel for the man, but he would not make for a good leader.

    December 31, 2011 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  7. midnitejax

    Gingrich's campaign is the modern day medicine show . He is always trying to sell his brand of snake oil. If he had any thoughts about long term health care, it was about how much money was to be made from it. He is trying to steal a page from Boehner's playbook with the crocodile tears. Everyone knows he doesn't really doesn't have a heart.

    December 31, 2011 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  8. manniman

    Sociopaths can cry on demand...

    December 31, 2011 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  9. youMustBeJoking

    I'm sure even Hitler cried over his mother. Let's see him cry over those who had the American Dream taken from them, an entire generation of Americans who are ruined financially, destroyed credit, lost income, foreclosure, and have found sickness and are uninsured to boot.

    December 31, 2011 08:32 am at 8:32 am |

    We must exercise compassion whenever someone has lost a loved one. That being said, GIVE ME A BREAK!!!! Should you feel the need to cry how about some tears for all the American people who lost their mothers due to either poor or NO healthcare!!!! A mother is a mother is a mother no matter how much money is in the family vault. This tender moment is wasted on me when I know that for a price you and your kind would take the food right out of our mothers mouth to pay for your next family vacation. Nice try, bogus effort.

    December 31, 2011 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  11. kit8

    Newt new he was going to cry before he actually did. Sounds like another calculated move by Gingrich. I guess he will go as low as he needs to get a few votes.

    December 31, 2011 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  12. me

    wow a fat rich man (off tax payer dollars) can have a moment? who would have thought? I bet they are tears of happiness from some inside stock tip he bought.

    December 31, 2011 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  13. Erica

    Mr.Gingrich, how about the mother of your Kids, was she not a mom ? did you cry when she was dieing with cancer in hospital and you served her with Divorce Papers? stop the crocodile tears, stop lieing to American People.

    December 31, 2011 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  14. me

    wow a fat rich man (off tax payer dollars) can have a moment? who would have thought? I bet they are tears of happiness from some inside stock tip he bought.

    December 31, 2011 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  15. them

    wow a fat rich man (off tax payer dollars) can have a moment? who would have thought? I bet they are tears of happiness from some inside stock tip he bought.

    December 31, 2011 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  16. Cooper

    This isn't news. He tears up when he talks about his mother. I wouldn't vote for him if he was the only one running, but nothing wrong with missing your mother if you loved her and get emotional.

    December 31, 2011 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  17. Russ in Md

    @Adam "It's all for the best. His mother was never young enough or pretty enough to be the mother of a president."

    Wow, I think you won the "I'm the biggest idiot on this thread award" and saying something.

    December 31, 2011 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  18. They are so funny !!!!!!!

    Do these guys get any payments or credit from Saturday Night Live? I mean they supply them with some much material. I can't wait till tonight show. Newt crying. I mean, really who thought that up. I bet Bohner is mad at him for stealing his act.

    December 31, 2011 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  19. dave

    There was a misprint in the story. When it said "Gingrich's immediate family joined him on stage for the event" it meant to say "Gincrich's immediate family joined him for his staged event" Nice...pretending he's a human ....

    December 31, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  20. Off the Stage

    I have finally figured it out. The GOP is fielding pathetic candidates in the hope that we all stay away come election day. This is not about the pathetic leadership of the party, it is about a party that understands voter turnout works against them.

    What a bunch of mutts.

    December 31, 2011 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  21. ItsBOOHOO Stuff

    Well by golly! First we had the toe-tapping Senator crying, then we had Boehner crying and now we have Newt who also cries!! Just goes to show that the Republicans are Crybabies!! Can we say they need to grow some real cajones! One thing is for certain, come this next November the rest of the Republicans will be joining these three in a concerted crying spell when Obama Wins Reelection to the White House!!

    December 31, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  22. Tad Pole

    So let me get this straight; The GOP candidate Gringrich, who is often seen as being manipulative, corrupt, and cold-hearted is in the last weeks before the crutial Iowa caucus, and out of the blue a GOP political consultant asks him a question about his mother, where he then suddenly shows a burst of emotion? Oh PLEASE!

    December 31, 2011 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  23. Tad Pole

    At hoot.. it isn't thousands of dollars.. it is HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of dollars. Mostly for jewelry that didn't go to his wife. I know this because I know someone that works at Tiffany's and checked his account.

    December 31, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  24. MadInCT

    This bipolar thing explains a lot about Newtie! Tomorrow he'll appear on Rush Limbaugh's show talking about killing any gov't program sponsored by NIH involving bi-polar research. Pathetic.

    December 31, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  25. ComeOn Now

    How ironic! First it was Boehner now it's Newt! Just goes to show the CONServatives are Crybabies!! But brother they'll be Really Crying when Obama gets reelected next November and keeps the White House and gets a Democratic Congress!

    December 31, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
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