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. No DramaQueens

    Crocodile tears amid his campaign for dramatic effect? Please! We don't need drama queens running for the White House!!

    December 31, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  2. flyskybird

    I feel for him on this because he's talking about Mama. But someone burb him please. - I had to through that one in.

    December 31, 2011 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  3. TheTicker

    family values

    December 31, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  4. mz

    You want to see tears? They'll flow like Niagara Falls if Gingrich is elected.

    December 31, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  5. truefax

    Crocodile tears

    December 31, 2011 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  6. TheTicker

    So then, Newt is human. Will wonders . . .

    December 31, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  7. ed fl

    Gingrich would wet his pants on the stage if he thought it might get him a vote. What a disgrace for a growm POLITICIAN to try.

    December 31, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  8. Tim in MN

    This has probably been written on this board before, but the Newt was questioned by Frank Luntz. Remember him? Wasn't he the conservative word play dude that writes about what words conservatives should and shouldn't say in public? I believe that he wrote a book on the subject. Newt may actually feel bad about his mother, but this absolutely had to be a set-up.

    December 31, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  9. Marie MD

    Sorry, but I can't feel it for him. President Obama lost his grandmother right before the elections.
    The way a man treats women can go back to his treatment/relationship with his mother. I think he probably was thinking about his own skin not his mother's.
    Sorry, but thrice married and two (and possibly more) times cheating doesn't do anything for me.
    Of course, he and bo ner could share stories over a drink or two.

    December 31, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  10. silencedogood

    Most of you posting on this board should be ashamed of yourselves. Do you really think this guy didn't love his mother?

    If you don't think Newt would make a good president, fine, but hurling vicious insults from anonymity which you would never say in public is just low. Yet I'm sure in your minds its all the GOP and Tea Party's fault that there is no civil discourse–look in the mirror jerks.

    December 31, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  11. Mike Botwin

    I wonder if he cried more or less than his ex-wife did when he served her with divorce papers while she was battling cancer during his Affair #2?

    December 31, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  12. Joe

    If your trying to tell me Newt had a mother, I'm not buyin it.

    December 31, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  13. Bob

    Yes, even mean people have mothers. That doesn't mean I am going to feel sorry for them after they have spent nearly their entire lifes hurting and tearing down others.

    December 31, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  14. JW

    Great way to try to show people you are human and have emotions and care for them. Too bad it was staged.

    December 31, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  15. CedarRapids

    Lets see, Frank Luntz, a guy who consults with clients about using language and emotion to get results, asks a question about Newt's mother.
    The tears may have been real but lets not pretend this wasnt a cynical attempt to get support by tugging the heartstrings.

    December 31, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  16. Joe in Austin

    He sold his mother, on national TV

    December 31, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  17. Raider in Plano

    Lost my vote. We can't have a President who can't control his emotions. If she died recently, then that's one thing, but she died 9 years ago. Come on Man!

    December 31, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  18. Exxon

    Lighten up on the meds Newt.

    December 31, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  19. SFC Mike

    Don't cry for me, Argentina...

    December 31, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  20. Rachel

    To quote a previous poster here: 'Real Presidents don't cry in public, neither do real speakers of the house current or former.' I want a caring but in control president. Gingrich is rarely in control.

    December 31, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  21. Dude in Colorado

    He's done.. America is not going to elect a President that cries, no matter what the reason. I said that in 2008 about Hilary and I'm saying now about Newt.

    December 31, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  22. cigarman

    Boehner is going to be mad at the Grinch, crying is Boehner`s job.

    December 31, 2011 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  23. Emma

    There is more to "was it authentic or not" to a politician's tears. Most presidential candidate are narcissistic. Negative ads and an unfavorable public reputation is enough to make a narcissistic man cry because it is such a narcissistic injury to their sense of greatness.

    December 31, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  24. klarg

    Glenn Beck, then Boehner, now Newton. I guess Rush will squirting tears next.

    December 31, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  25. Arizona_Huey

    He must have been thinking of his latest bill from Tiffany's

    December 31, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
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