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. Susan

    Gingrich, are you so delusional that you REALLY think ANYONE buys into this act? I assume you are taking lessons from Boehner, the other big phony. Better stick to lying, Newt.... crying just isn't working.

    December 30, 2011 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  2. AGuest9

    Pullllllleeeeaaassseee... He's a politician. He'll play it however he needs to.

    December 30, 2011 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  3. AK_steve

    Wow, he can cry on cue.

    December 30, 2011 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  4. ahah

    All I can say the more CNN messes with Ron Paul the more I'm getting to like him.

    December 30, 2011 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  5. Dieter Zerressen

    Newtie makes me cry too but for different reasons. Phony

    December 30, 2011 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  6. cmoore56

    Oh, give me a frickin' break! The Newt is disgusting, as well as the rest of the Rethuglicants.

    December 30, 2011 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  7. WhittierLil

    HAHAH, was wondering when this was going to happen. Last week a political commentator said Knewt would have to pull a "moment" like Hillary did 4 yrs ago in order to 'try' to connect with the people. Only difference she was sincere in her moment, while Knewt used his mother for the tear effect. I thought it was commical at the level he had to sink to... and NOT creidible at all. Knot Kwel Knewt!!!

    December 30, 2011 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  8. Johnny

    Newt is a fake. He had onions in the tissue. Then he uses his dead mother to gets votes wht a sicko

    December 30, 2011 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  9. Bart

    Hmmmm... is that crocodile I smell?

    December 30, 2011 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  10. Anne McNeff

    His now Barbie Looking Razor Cut Hairdo wife, her image is good as a first lady...give me a break....His first wife was not pretty enough to be a first lady., well, look at him and his fat belly,,,,,He is as phony as they come, I don't care if he is supposed to be "brainy",,,,he is a cheat, pure and simple, and women don't forget that. !!!!

    December 30, 2011 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  11. Tempest

    It's a good thing his mother didn't have cancer. He probably would have left her for another mother.

    December 30, 2011 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  12. Ron Paul Fan # 1

    It's good to see the Gingrich Humane side!!

    December 30, 2011 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  13. deb-z

    I wanted to cry also when my 21 year old son suffered multiple asthma attacks last month and I could not afford his meds or a trip to the hospital ER! My 24 year old daughter was turned down from Blue Cross also due to a pre-existing condition when I lost my job. Was you mother getting health care? We all deserve health care and many are crying tonight as they need medical care that this country doesn't provide as you took $1,600,000.00 from Fannie and Freddie! I wonder who was with your wife when she was dying from cancer when you were with your mistress! You do not have the morals to represent my family in any political position in the USA! I lost my mother several years ago also; children when they age lose parents. Children and families should get health care so they do not die young and can live to be 77 like your mother and 72 like my mother. My son could die from an asthma attack due to no health care while we in the USA give billions of dollars yearly to countries with government sponsored health care!

    December 30, 2011 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  14. HeWhoSeeks

    When I first read this, I told myself it had to be a joke. Because I could swear I read somewhere that republicans dont have tear ducts. In fact I am sure they dont. So if this is in fact the case, that this individual shed tears, hmm, perhaps he is a closet democrat.

    December 30, 2011 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  15. allens

    you fools believe he is sincere? he is the anti christ of politics

    December 30, 2011 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  16. Mike H

    Yesterday it was all over but the crying for Newt's presidential campaign. Today it's all over.

    December 30, 2011 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  17. Thomas

    Inside every man is a little boy. At Newts age , the time for reflection and soul searching is part of life. I love the baby crying in the background of the video. I didn't see newt respond to the baby crying. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    I hope he finds peace. I will not vote for Newt nor Mitt . They both have to much baggage .

    December 30, 2011 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  18. crappyname

    He is only crying because he was caught lying again and knows that the white house gig isn't gonna happen. Obama 2012

    December 30, 2011 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  19. Garry

    His tears and grief response look very genuine. ( I had a parent who had bi-polar illness and suffered depressive episodes that were hard on him and everyone in my family.) I am certainly not a fan of the former Speaker and am glad his campaign is sinking fast but on this tearing up episode around his mother I do feel for him.

    December 30, 2011 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  20. Rebby_DC

    Totally distracted by the kid crying in the background 😛

    December 30, 2011 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  21. Ronny Paul

    Yes even bad men love their mothers.

    December 31, 2011 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  22. Olaf Big

    GW, lighten up. The sorrows are real, this guy isn't
    P.S. Where do you get time to write sermons on this blog?

    December 31, 2011 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  23. GOP = Greed Over People

    "if you don't agree with Newt on issues you are not alone; however, we are all Americans even those you have major disagreements. We are not enemies, but rather we compete in the world of ideas to advance our nation. The venom actually holds you back and gives us all a window to your anonymous soul"

    The problem we have is the GOP only shows emotion when it is someone they are directly involved with. They shed no tears for the nameless and faceless mothers that will be denied efforts to save their llives and make the latter years better, simply due to trying to keep from taxing the top 1%.

    The "window of my soul" is to diligently point out when the GOP has once again opted for golden schekels over the lives and suffering of the poor.

    Apparently, the "window to your soul" is to make excuses for the not very Christ like actions of the GOP,

    December 31, 2011 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  24. AL

    NEWT is a NASTY Person. He took acting lessons from Reagan.

    December 31, 2011 12:20 am at 12:20 am |

    I think Newt isn't young enough or pretty enough to be president and that's what he
    's crying about

    December 31, 2011 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
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