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. Mindie in Indie

    what's more fake than a gingrich? A crying gingrich. UCK!

    December 30, 2011 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  2. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Newt's crying because he just found out his mother had a secret compartment in her purse where she kept lots o' cash that Newt never found. A missed opportunity...........

    December 30, 2011 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  3. Mitch

    I'd like to see a little compassion from any Republican candidate for the people they're supposed to be representing rather than pandering to their extreme base of teaparty fools and wealthy donors. Care about the shrinking middle class and disadvantaged many who are ignored by the Right wing Jesus using hypocrites.

    December 30, 2011 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  4. EveryKissBeginswith Kay

    Dear Moderator, please delete my previous message. I just read the other comments and it would be redundant. Thank you!

    December 30, 2011 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  5. loathstheright

    Newt is just a Borg trying to convince people that he is human.

    December 30, 2011 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  6. Wise1Speak


    Newt Gingrich is 68-years old and the pace of modern day presidential campaigns is far too long, too brutal, too physically demanding, and much too emotionally draining for an out-of-shape old man. The constant pressures of a campaign (especially when it appears to be falling apart) can set anyone off to tears. People, , , the man is just tired.

    December 30, 2011 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  7. Mohammad

    He is tired and its a long and brutal campaign but as a conservative he is not going to win my vote nevertheless with his tears. He spews all kind's of nonsense and his ethical campus is not straight. Starting from slamming Ryan's budget to showing unbelievable hypocracy cheating on his wife while going after Clinton's for lewinsky affair and ending up in saying that Palestinian people are invented people and drumming for a war with Iran as if we have another trillion dollar to spend.

    December 30, 2011 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  8. Kevin O.

    I would feel for Newt if he wasn't the product of a woman who raised a corrupt man.

    December 30, 2011 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  9. Patricksday

    Poor old guy, he is so hungry for power at his age, it breaks your heart he never did anything other than what his history shows for itself.

    December 30, 2011 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  10. RKN

    does he regret all those cuts to research funding that he pushed through?
    does he regret that he helped do this and worse to other families?
    all he cares about is having power and controlling people's lives.
    what a pathetic loser.

    December 30, 2011 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  11. Eddie

    OK. So he has diminished testosterone levels. That's normal for an old man.

    December 30, 2011 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  12. CanterberryRT

    At least we know Newt is human, unlike a certain perfectly-coiffed rival of his....

    December 30, 2011 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  13. Ritt Money

    How low will this guy stoop to get a vote?

    December 30, 2011 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  14. Gemini Girl

    Sorry, you guys who are sympathetic of the crying...we are talking of Newt...HELLO! Newt! He is as phony as Willard. Cry or not, Newt is going down! End of story.

    December 30, 2011 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  15. Luke Brown

    I guess he did learn something from Hillary.

    He also seems to have adopted Bill's pathology toward women.

    December 30, 2011 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  16. Gemini Girl

    Have to agree with Chuck of Jasper, GA...he was thinking of his mother – she would be embarassed of what he an awful person he turned out to be!
    To Area 813...I don't believe any of his ex-wives are dead...I am sure HE wishes they were...who knows, perhaps they will write a book?? LOL. Maybe that's why he has to keep that TIffany open credit satisfy more than just his current wife...
    To Agnostrick....Newt discussed a divorce when his wife was in the hospital..SHE didn't want the divorce! He is an awful person in so many ways. Worse than any of the other Clown Car Candidates, by far. And I am happy that the average American is finally seeing this too.

    December 30, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  17. calmncool

    This whole thing was so staged they should receive at LEAST a Golden Globe nomination – if not an Oscar.

    December 30, 2011 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  18. The Unsub

    @ GW

    Get Real Man,

    This is the world Politic! Newt is who we thought he was! Don't be shallow!

    December 30, 2011 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  19. Real Patriot

    I guess being Speaker of the House will do that to ya'......

    December 30, 2011 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  20. Lizzy10

    Hanging around Boeher too long, Mr. Gingrich?

    December 30, 2011 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  21. KC Yankee

    @ what the hell is wrong with all of you

    True Christians also don't say, "What the hell . . ."

    I'm not a Christian at all, and I know an emotional manipulator on the campaign trail when I see one, that's all.

    December 30, 2011 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  22. Donkey Party

    If Luntz is involved, you know it's a sham. What, was James O'Keefe unavailable?

    December 30, 2011 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  23. brian in denver

    Poor Newt! Big ole crocodile tears when he talks about his mama. & here I thought he was incapable of such emotion. Still do. He's a megolomaniacal, self-centered bigot & such displays are ludicrous coming from such a man. What will these clowns come up w/ next?

    December 30, 2011 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  24. LarryDavidSandwich

    This reminds me of when Joe Biden cried during his debate with Palin. Who out there actually buys in to a crying politician?

    December 30, 2011 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  25. thomas mc

    Who cares? Gingrich is the ultimate sleazeball.

    December 30, 2011 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
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