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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Romney and Paul battle for top spot in new Iowa poll

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

    Undoubtedly, most of these Newt bashers who are so offended by his adultery probably think JFK was one of the greatest men – much less presidents – in the history of this country. And his little bro was a great man too.

    Nothing like a little bias to paint whatever picture you want to see, eh?

    Probably some Weiner fans out there too, I'll wager. Oh, but he was fighting for the common man, right? So his crotch is different.

    December 30, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  2. agnostrick

    Please, people, the divorcing-his-dying-wife story has been DEBUNKED thoroughly....


    MOVE ON to some other hateful lie!!!!

    December 30, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  3. Mike Buck

    Thus proving that bi-polar disorder is inherited and Frank Luntz is the next Karl thanks!

    December 30, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  4. What The Hell is Wrong with All of You?

    My faith in the American people is shaken whenever I read this bile, hateful, bitter language from those who apparently think they have never had a moral or ethical lapse and are at ease with hiding behind a keyboard to spew hatred. Somehow you think it's okay to judge others because you don't think they followed Christian values. And what Christian values are you following by tearing down another human being? Do you really think you have the moral high ground? Who gave you the right to judge? Surely not the Bible you are so quick to point to when pointing to the failings of others while not looking at yourself. Let's take your past and expose it to millions of people, and let's see how clean you come out.

    December 30, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    agnostrick wrote:

    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.
    Actually, Democrats do not. If they did, then they wouldn't be so easily blown away on the messaging stage by Republican spin. If they did, you would hear all of them repeating the exact same phrases like Republicans do. But, I think some of them have learned their lessons and things may change.

    While I do not doubt that Newt's tears and story are genuine. It is just a little too convenient, and it smells as it the moment were staged. Because several conservative media voices have used the same phrase in pretty much the same way. "Hillary moment" Is it really coincidence that several people would come out and say the same unique remark, and then have Newt conveniently provide it, almost as if they had all predicted it?

    If Karl Rove is "The Architect" who comes up with the ideas, then Frank Luntz is "The Engineer" who figures out how to make it work.

    December 30, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  6. agnostrick

    I used to think liberals were truly more compassionate than conservatives – not necessarily RIGHT, but more caring.

    Then I started reading and listening to what they write about conservatives. And suddenly it's not so hard to conceive how people who felt the same way killed 20 million people in Russia in the 20th Century.

    December 30, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  7. steve harnack

    You know, I looked at that picture again and I didn't see even a little bit of moisture. All I saw was a guy rubbing his eyeLID, trying to irritate some tears out. Should have put some onion juice on that hanky!

    December 30, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  8. Havoth

    Wow...funny thing is...I heard a newscaster (I think it was Chris Matthews on MSNBC) saying not 2 days ago that Newt NEEDED TO HAVE A HILLARY TEARY moment, like she had in NH in 2008, to better make him look human. So, I 'm not surprised that he reached into his bag o trix and pulled this one out of the hat. Now I don't doubt that his mother is a painful topic. But I'm still pretty sure he did it at the helpful suggestions of some talking head on cable news. And that's what makes it so ingenuous, fake, false, trickery and emotional thievery, when he can talk about pushing the poor, even the working poor, over the edge to make room for a ever smaller ruling class without batting an eyelash.

    December 30, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  9. The Baby Booner Queen

    Yawnnnnnnnnnnnn...this man will stop at nothing to get a vote. What a Charlton!!!

    ~The Baby Boomer Queen~

    December 30, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  10. Nothing remember MOM...

    A true and strong Leader can also have a soft heart when remembering a loving Mother...America needs a Leader with a heart who can also be tough to lead the country to better times...!

    December 30, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  11. harlen

    Tears of a crocodile.

    December 30, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. m

    gingRICH is a creep, don't let this phony emotional display fool you!

    December 30, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  13. eastrun

    Cue the tears...
    Jeeez, who didn't see that coming?
    cheap and tacky.

    December 30, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  14. Squigman

    Got a real problem with this. Yes, it's good to have sympathy for his mother, but I'm not buying his emotional outburst as ligitimate. It's my opinion that most of these users would do anything to obtain and keep power. Many people out here have problems, and if they show holes in their armor, the republicans are the first to accuse of weakness, and demand that accountability be stretched to the limits before issuing any sympathy, let alone assistance. Sick of the candidates, and sick of the news media, cramming them down our throats.

    December 30, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  15. Sheila

    Glad to know he's not 100% evil.

    December 30, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  16. Bill

    Newt had to have tear ducts surgically installed for this event.

    December 30, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  17. Carolyn in SD

    I understand bipolar conditions and depression run in families.

    December 30, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |

    No comment other than the GOBP wingnut/teabagger trainwreck implosion continues full speed ahead.

    December 30, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. Sal

    I can understand him crying when talking about his mother and I believe it's genuine. I still shed a tear about my mom when I wasn't with her at the time she died. She died alone in the hospital and that still bothers me to this day. I am not a fan at all of newt gingrich at all, but when it comes to parents or children who are deceased I can understand why people would cry. Try not to be so critical and cynical and say that he is just putting on an act. 

    December 30, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. Iowa Insider

    BS! Newt does not tear up when he talks of his first wife when she was battling cancer – Newt was too busyhaving affainr with a twenty something staffer -- Newt also does not tear up when he talks of his second wife - he was too busy having another affai with a younger hotty. Gingrich is a PHONY. He has little in theway of Chriastian morals - he lied about his divorce from his cancer stricken first wife claimini she wanted the divorce. His divorce papers were conveniently "lost" for three decades until CNN found them this year and they reveal that his first wife did NOT want a divorce - Newt is still lying about that - chiking up tears when he thinks he might get caught in that whopper of a LIE

    December 30, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. Sal

    Hey, we are talking about parents or children here not wives. Don't you know yet that blood is thicker than water? Think about it! 

    December 30, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  22. Peace

    Folks, you can crucify Newt the way you want. But you should remember what kind of people he was engaged/talking with. They were moms like any other moms. Like yours like mine. Who in a real sense can not remember own mom when meeting such a group?

    December 30, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  23. Terry Gloege

    May as well try that ploy too.

    December 30, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  24. Mark Taylor

    What did Newt do for healthcare, long-term or otherwise besides working hard to defeat Clinton healthcare? Somebody, please tell me what he did to help fix this mess. Give me facts, specific legislative sponsorship, etc.

    December 30, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  25. Bob Ramos

    I am not a Nwet fan – far from it. But this was an intense private moment and should never have been taped for public display.

    December 30, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
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