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. LouieD

    I'm waiting for the deluge of right-wing whack-a-doos to accuse Newt of fake-crying to score political points, just as they did to President Clinton when a camera caught him smiling and wiping his eyes after Vince Foster's funeral.

    Come on, Limpbaugh, how about it?

    December 30, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  2. Thomas

    Newt needs to continue his therapy !

    Maybe he will find humility , empathy and compassion someday.

    December 30, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  3. TruthSpeaks

    Fake Tears easy to spot.

    December 30, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  4. Richard

    Poor fat little Gingrich. Maybe he should cry for all the mothers and children who have lost their fair wages and incomes over the years because of his selfish economics.

    December 30, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  5. Jamie from Riverside

    Sorry Newt, not buying into your lie of the day. He claims he was 'interested' in health care issues about the aged and mentaly ill. Why then, did he work so hard to defeat Hillary Clinton's health care and is he pledging to kill the newly enacted Obama health care law? Shame on you for using your mother for political advantage.

    December 30, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  6. Gratus

    It's not that he cried, it's that he took a silly trick from Glenn Beck's playbook and tried to rally sympathy with a phony display of emotion. At least I hope it was phony and this guy didn't really break down on national TV.

    December 30, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  7. capnmike

    Just a bum like all the rest of his party.

    December 30, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  8. GOP = Greed Over People

    Now, if only he would shed the same tears for all the poor who will suffer and die from the heartless GOP cuts to state and Federal mental plans for the elderly and poor.

    December 30, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  9. Matt

    What is it with all of these Republican cry babies these days!?!? I thought they were supposed to be the "tough guys" and it was the evil, spineless, tree hugging, feel good, socialist, commie Democrats that did the crying. I mean we can't go more than a couple days without seeing the waterworks from Bohner, now Gingrich?!

    December 30, 2011 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  10. SCAtheist

    What a hokey set up – desperation for sure.

    December 30, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  11. Chuck in Jasper, Ga.

    Cry me a river you fat slob. Who the hell do you think you are kidding. If you were crying thinking about your Mother, it is because you know she would be embarrassed to be such.

    December 30, 2011 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  12. Hairball

    Isn't bilpolar disorder hereditary? Maybe that's what's wrong with him.

    December 30, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  13. jdizzle1337

    "Awwwww let me guess, somebody stole your sweet roll?"

    December 30, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  14. Tina

    Didn't Hillary Clinton cry in 2008, right before the New Hampshire Primary and the voters thought it made her more human, saving her sinking campaign? Hmmmm; is Newt doing the Hillary?

    December 30, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  15. Chuck in Jasper, Ga.

    What The Hell is Wrong with All of You?
    True Christians are not those who tear down other human beings.
    True Christians do not judge others.
    True Christians are not those who call themselves Christians yet write with hatred.

    You left out true Christians do not divorce a wife that has cancer
    True Christians do not have multiple affairs on multiple wives.
    True Christians do not refuse to take financial responsibility for their children.
    True Christians do not habitual lie.

    December 30, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  16. Olaf Big

    Boy, this photo is going to cost Gingrich more than goofy pic of Dukakis riding the tank cost that guy. His tender memories of his mother notwithstanding, Gingrich looks like a teary old man without future. Killer shot!

    December 30, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  17. works4me

    Pssssft... it was bad tacos.

    December 30, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  18. Noodle Nose Johnson

    Nice staged event courtesy of Frank Luntz.

    December 30, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  19. ZB

    I'll take it as real, but I have no sympathy for a guy who is running on killing healthcare for 30 million people and thinks 2 cells in womb have more rights to life then the mother or the millions of people, including children who suffer without healthcare... just another example of the hypocrisy of the Republican/Tparty

    December 30, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  20. Adam

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

    December 30, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  21. petemg

    Even with Obama care we still are not insured properly. As for it being the Republican's fault, look who created Obama care behind closed doors. I do not think highly of Gingrich but it could be better than what we don't have. With Obama we have president in name only. Obama cannot spend time in D.C. to lead. Instead Obama is whining to the public. He had no fear like that when Democrats were in total control in Congress.

    December 30, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  22. Wes

    Looking at this picture I laughed so hard I cried, too!

    December 30, 2011 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  23. Ricksta

    Reminds me of Muskie crying on the back of a pickup truck.

    December 30, 2011 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  24. pat carr

    I cry for his abandoned wives

    December 30, 2011 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  25. John

    Sure he cried. He wasn't there for the big cry-fest with all the other candidates just months ago. This is pure psycho-babble dreamed up and paid to some PhD who says that in order to win the election you must demonstrate strong emotional passion and the willingness to be in touch with your feelings in the presence of others blah, blah blah. So, the prefect question comes along and it's time to turn on the faucets. It's the very same ploy used by evangelists when in the presence of an audience, ie Jimmy Swaggart, Jim & Tammy Faye Baker, etc. This is the type of cunning appeal that the GOP is using to try and regain the White House and is being strongly persuaded by evangelical fundamentalists.

    While it is perfectly normal to openly grieve when speaking of a recently lost loved one, Kit Gingrich died nine years ago in 2003. Some men are even more emotional than others, but the passage of that much time almost always yields reflection in the absence of tears and crying.

    After all that has taken place during the G.W. Bush administration and the outright and unending vicious attacks launched against President Obama, I for one am looking to retain Mr. Obama. He has stood firm and with quiet resolve throughout constant attempts by the republican party to destroy his image, to block congressional measures in trying to make it appear as though it were his fault, to literally object at every turn, regardless of the matter at stake. Republicans have demonstrated no shame for their actions and even reached to the extent of trying to incite racial unrest against our President.

    The GOP has no suitable candidate for president and over the past 15 years or so, have deteriorated into multiple split factions within the platform with a tremendous degree of in-fighting and outright attacks within their own ranks. President Reagan was the last of the true republican leaders and was backed during that era by intelligent and mature republican platform which was united in their political endeavors.

    The safest, most practical response this country can make during the coming election is to keep Mr. Obama right where he is and this comes for a former republican of 35 years. This country needs the demonstrated resolve by Mr. Obama to continue bringing stability in the aftermath of war and near financial collapse, all of which he inherited and has done quite well, in spite of efforts to prevent it by republicans.

    December 30, 2011 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
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