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. GI Joe

    Sorry about Newt's Mom, but as a parent myself, if I had a son like him I'd be very depressed.

    December 30, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. John

    @MTATL67 in regards to Secretary Clinton (whom I would much rather refer to as President Clinton now). See New Hampshire 2008. Tears were in fact shed. I don't remember what led to them, but she did. Just saying.

    December 30, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  3. mario suarez

    Newt has a mom? I thought he was alien from another galaxie

    December 30, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  4. EmptykHow

    How incredibly sad it is to have been driven to such cynicism by this man that I can’t believe that his spontaneous sadness is a gimmick. Patriotism drove him to overwork and adultery, the second time he committed adultery, while impeaching the president for lying about adultery. A religious epiphany brought him to Catholicism, his third religion, possibly his second epiphany. Frank Luntz, who was the pollster for Gingrich’s “Contract For America” assumes the role of impartial interviewer and asks a conveniently timed question while Gingrich is sinking like a stone. I don’t doubt that Gingrich has strong feelings for his mother. I just think after watching this man for the last 30 years that a hired gun asking a question designed to evoke a “Hillary Moment” is just another tool in his kit. I wish to God I could feel some empathy for this horrible, hateful, lying , manipulative scoundrel, but fortunately for the future of this country, his behavior has poisoned that possibility out of me.

    December 30, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  5. Darkerevil

    I heard he cheated on her too.

    Cry all you want, pal. You're still a horrible human being and we will not be duped. Boxers or briefs, Mr. Speaker?

    Ha ha!!!!

    December 30, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  6. normattg

    Give me a break....apparently all of you that think its an act, you do the same yourself.. You turn on the tears for others and you yourselves are not sincere. You are all so transparent......critizing someone for showing some emotion.
    To James, I too like Ron Paul..... he's great.

    December 30, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  7. Jess Sayin

    So his mother was mentally ill...that explains a lot.

    December 30, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  8. agnostrick

    As usual, many if not most of you people are sick. If your mom died and you don't tear up talking about her, maybe you are a robot. Or simply the inhuman slime you sound like. You can't possibly simply disagree with a man's politics without attacking every single thing about him, including his fondness for his deceased mother. You are the problem.

    December 30, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  9. jim

    aaaaahhhhh did hims cry? Like Boehner – totally imbalanced.

    December 30, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  10. agnostrick

    Oh, and how many of you can produce actual tears on demand? I know I can't. But by all means, bash away. Your worthless life is somehow redeemed by spewing vile on all those who disagree with you. Right?

    December 30, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  11. Don

    Yep, the Grinch is crying, if you can't lie, blackmail, coerce, or steal your way into office, try crying is the new rule in the Grinch's play book. I am sorry but I have no sympathy for this hateful arrogant stupid man. Maybe he should have taken the time to cry when his wife was in bed trying to recover from cancer and he hit her with his divorce papers. This man is so false I bet the tears weren't even real, that is if there WERE any tears which I highly doubt. Having sympathy for the Grinch is like Christians having sympathy for their imaginary devil, just ain't gonna happen.

    December 30, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  12. agnostrick

    Oh, and I love the one about Lutz advising GOP politicians on words and phrases to use or not. AS IF democrat politicians don't do the same things. You are all pathetic.

    December 30, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  13. Brett

    Reminds me of Saturday Night Live, Kevin Nealon, the Bob Waltman Special. "Nobody gets closer." Only it took peeling onions to make Ronald Reagan cry.

    December 30, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  14. Colgate

    Yeah, Newt? Didja walk out on your mother too, once you hospitalized her? Nice act, but these are tears of desperation from a self-serving megalomaniac on the verge of a public intervention. Get lost, creep...

    December 30, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  15. PaulinKC

    "The moment was SPURNED by a question from GOP political consultant Frank Luntz...". Really..."spurned"??? As in "To reject disdainfully or contemptuously; scorn."???

    December 30, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  16. george of the jungle

    Just how much crap do we need to listen to from these clowns. He wasn't tearing up when he was out screwing on his wife. Some mamas boy. Everything comes back to God with these nuts. What did Jesus ever do to them? All of a sudden they saw the light. So do mass murders on death row. How come no one ever believes them?

    December 30, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  17. Patty

    Oh, please. These people will do anything to get elected. People who fall for this crap are fools.

    December 30, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  18. Lindsey

    When the polls are sinking, turn on the waterworks. It might get you a few more voters.

    December 30, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  19. steve harnack

    I think what brought on the tears is that the stress of trying to keep all of his lies in order has turned his brain to mush. It's just another sign of his instability. He'll be laughing hysterically next.

    December 30, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  20. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    Knows how to cry on cue. Now that is impressive.

    December 30, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  21. Tonyl

    Frank Luntz and Gingrich are both fake and intellectually corrupt. Did Newt cry thinking about his ex wife lying in the bed in hospital suffering with cancer while he was busy doing his present wife and cheating on his sick wife?. Frank Luntz is a Sean Hannity boyfriend. They make each other happy just thinking of each other. Seems like they live for each other. Both are right wing liars and fools.

    December 30, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  22. Susan Clark

    Will someone please explain to this journalist what the word "spurned" means?

    December 30, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    I would tell people who are not familiar with the name Frank Luntz to look him up. The article refers to Mr. Luntz as a "GOP political consultant." The same words could be used to describe Grover Norquist. I am sure that most of you have heard of the Norquist peldge by now. Luntz writes the annual strategy guide for Republicans. It is a toss up as to who has the most influence among DC Republicans.

    December 30, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  24. Don

    How can you have a mother when all you really are is some weird alien who got stuck in a Georgia cow-pie and got left behind by the rest of his alien buddies, they don't have moms, they were born from maggot eggs, just like the Newtster.

    December 30, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  25. sara

    And he wants to "repeal" the Affordable Healthcare Act"...Now, Leroy, you should be crying for all the millions that came after her.

    December 30, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
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