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. CBR

    Gee, when Senator Muskie cried the press was sure he was weak and led the way for his decline in that nominating process. Now the Republicans cry and this is now acceptable.

    December 30, 2011 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  2. bud

    HEY!!!!Are you the guy who played in Crocodile Tears......

    .my favorite quote from Along Came Polly (2004)

    December 30, 2011 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  3. sick of republican phonies

    What's wrong with crying? I cry every time I think of an idiot like Newt as president.

    December 30, 2011 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  4. TJeff1776

    Newt will do ANYTHING for votes. When it comes to deception, he is a master salesman. There were no tears when he was riding high in the polls.

    December 30, 2011 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  5. keith

    Newt take a lesson from HIllary's playbook.

    December 30, 2011 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  6. billy davis

    Aww, fat boy is pretending he has a heart for votes. What a tool.

    December 30, 2011 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  7. keith

    Why is Frank Luntz moderating a 2nd tier candidates forum.... BIAS?

    December 30, 2011 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  8. billy davis

    Reddog9500" Exactly!!!

    December 30, 2011 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  9. JohnRJ08

    This is acting, folks. This was a classic Frank Luntz orchestrated moment.

    December 30, 2011 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  10. PK California

    He probably has onions in that handkerchief! He just wants us to believe he has a soft side. Forget it! It won't work. We're on to you. You've been labeled a tough guy. We don't need a tough guy. We need a negotiator who will work with both sides and other nations. Someone with his marital track record and shady dealings shouldn't be our president. We need a man we can respect and is honorable. We have him now!

    December 30, 2011 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  11. harley

    the crying does not make it ingenuine..its the making a big deal about it that makes it fake...everyone sheds a tear now and then....but he needs to save it for when he meets his maker

    December 30, 2011 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  12. Dee

    HMMMM he could have hired himself out to cry at Kim's funeral in North Korea, but I don't think they could afford his 60 thousand dollar fee.

    December 30, 2011 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  13. Fedup

    Crocodile tears, as my own, late bi-polar mom would say. Whenever a politician weeps, keep your hand on your wallet.

    December 30, 2011 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  14. once upon a horse

    don't care for Newt at all, BUT having lost my mother I can have empathy for him tearing up thinking about her. Sad thing though if President Obama had done this over his mother during the campaign trail I doubt if many on the right would have much sympathy. In fact I recall when Obama's grandmother passed away some on the right complained that he was going to the funeral on the "taxpayers's dime" Such that it is in right wing world.

    December 30, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  15. TXJew

    It's useful to be reminded Newt is a human being. I feel for what his mother and he both endured. As a politican, howver, he still oozes corruption like a corpse. No amount of tears will cleanse him politically.

    December 30, 2011 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  16. JacsinJax

    Don't bi-polar disorders run in families? That would explain a lot.

    December 30, 2011 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  17. Roscoe Chait

    Where's my barf bucket?

    December 30, 2011 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  18. agathokles

    The real news here? That Newt had a mother. I thought he was conjured up in some lab somewhere...

    December 30, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  19. TimZ

    You're a mean one, Newt the Grinch!

    December 30, 2011 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  20. TimZ

    You're a mean one!
    Newt the Grinch!

    December 30, 2011 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  21. ZnHcats

    Hilary Clinton cried in front of a few undecided voters-all women, the tears gained the sympathy by them, she won later in NH '08. Gringrich tried to steal the same trick from her today, too bad, it didn't work. It's will becoming another joke down in the political history. Knowing that he wouldn't win the nomination, he just cannot control his emotion, like he mocked the unfortunates in the past.

    December 30, 2011 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  22. Aaron

    Frank Luntz is a worm! And if he's in the room, everything is a sham and a setup. Believe none of it.

    December 30, 2011 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  23. CHE

    Oh please CNN made this one up. Newt. tearing up is photo-shop by CNN.
    For someone who has no respect for the poor, the unemployed, middle-class Americans or the struggling masses to shear crocodile tears like a baby in public shows how this buffoon clown is. This delusional buffoon clown is weeping simply 'cos he finds himself losing or his chances of winning down the tube. Thank God Almighty for this day for all normal Americans unlike these GOP delusional, buffoon clowns. The TRUE God is doing his own thing breaking these RACIST GOP clowns one-by-one.
    To ALL those racist GOP delusional, buffoon clowns; Obama WINS 2012.

    December 30, 2011 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  24. EveryKissBeginswith Kay

    I'd cry too if I received my Tiffany's bill. $200,000 is a lot of credit for one card.

    December 30, 2011 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  25. peacedog

    wow, the media jumped hillary when she shed a tear, but now the grinch has a soft spot. oh well, if it works to keep beohner in the news, why not the newt.

    December 30, 2011 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
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