Gingrich: I would lose to Obama in a personality contest
January 20th, 2012
09:37 PM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich: I would lose to Obama in a personality contest

(CNN) – While Newt Gingrich insisted on Friday he would be the best candidate to compete with President Barack Obama in November, he added there was one match in which he would lose against the president.

“He’s likeable. I would never beat Obama in a personality contest,” Gingrich said on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.” “But the presidency is not about likeability. The presidency is about are you capable of doing the job?”

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In the interview, Gingrich also argued the recent controversy over his marriage history helps him connect with voters, claiming the timing of a new ABC News interview with his ex-wife has fueled supporters to rally around the candidate.

“I don't believe anybody who's going to vote tomorrow didn't already know I've been divorced and married,” Gingrich said. “It's all been out there for months. It was a sense of 'But why would ABC bring it up now?’”

The former House speaker received a standing ovation after he forcefully chided CNN for bringing up the interview in the first round of questions at the Republican presidential debate Thursday night.

He said South Carolina voters on Friday thanked him for attacking the media, with some supporters telling him he was “in their prayers.”

While Gingrich said presidential candidates should be prepared for conversations that are “amazingly detailed and amazingly open,” he said voters should not focus on his past, but the person he is today.

“Look at who I am now. Look at how close Callista and I are as a couple,” he said.

Also see:

Perry drops out, endorses Gingrich

Judge-drawn Texas redistricting map tossed out by Supreme Court

Gingrich releases 2010 federal tax records

Santorum tries to shoulder past Romney, Gingrich in debate

Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich • President Obama • South Carolina
soundoff (241 Responses)
  1. Jariv

    Hey, that is why you will lose. That is the main topic in which the DNC will concentrate and mostly the people of the United States. DNC, Independents, Latinos, Blacks and others. Please people, wake up.... PLEASE!!!!

    January 20, 2012 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  2. Mike Buck

    Newt, hats because you are a loser..."He turned me into a newt"

    January 20, 2012 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  3. SafeJourney

    Newt, you would LOSE to President Obama, period. And the GOP/TP knows it.

    January 20, 2012 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  4. normajean @ verizon ,com

    We hear every day what Gingrich is capable of and it isn't being presidential!!! This is a man that sees himself in quite a different light than the voters do. He;ll take his share of the votes, but if he becomes the candidate , he will not beat president Obama ... Newt is a man with a history, of immorality,greed devisiveness,lies and just about every other word in the catagory. He has run before and lost, he has not only lost elections but lost any degree of honor or character he may have had. This is NOT a presidential man!!!!!This country deserves better!!!!

    January 20, 2012 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  5. poopmeister

    He could argue until he is blue in the face. The fact that he was so up on himself that he thought he could tell his wife to either put up with his indescretions or he would divorce her, is appauling. I'm sure that my description is loose in it's reality of what actually happened but the average voter will probably sum it up quite the same way I did. No GOP candidate should ever have had as many marriages that Newt had! They preach all the time about family values! Newt seems like he would be more comfortable with the Hollywood lifestyle or maybe just quit his day job and work as one of those media hounds he complains about all the time. Oh wait, he has no personality......why is this guy even in any limelight?

    January 20, 2012 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  6. Sarah Palin, Fierce Advocate for Childhood Obesity

    It's not just in the personality department that Gingrich comes up short next to Obama. Credibility, family values, ethics, intelligence, patriotism, all areas where Obama leaves Gingirch in the dust.

    To be fair, there are areas where Gingrich beats Obama: hypocracy, ego, self-importance, arrogance.

    January 20, 2012 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  7. Mel

    The problem for you Mr. G. is that he is capable and you are not, look at your history, in addition to coming up short in the likeability category.

    January 20, 2012 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  8. BlackDynamite

    Newt would lose to Freddy Krueger in a personality contest

    January 20, 2012 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  9. Charlie in Maine

    You can take that to your Camen Island's Bank. Obama is a better speaker, a better husband, he has a better plan for the country, he is a better human being than you. You are better at voter suppression, hiding money and cheating on your spouses than Barack Obama, There your superiority ends. Maybe the "milquetoast" Romney won't be the GOP's nominee after all. Maybe you can lie and cheat your way through the primaries and slither onto the ballot. Maybe Obama has to defeat you to finally relegate your trickle-down BS to the dustbin of history where it belongs.

    January 20, 2012 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  10. AB

    Newt Gingrich should have seen this coming. The issue of his infidelities will not go away. Nor will the issue of his many other transgressions while in public office. This man is deeply flawed and unfit for the office of POTUS. He does not have the moral fitness to govern the country. His political solutions to the country's fiscal and economic problems nearly bankrupted the country. New Gingrich is the man who caused two government shut downs 18 years ago. The American people would do well to remember that fact.

    January 20, 2012 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  11. Hey

    A rabid dog is more likeable than Newt.

    January 20, 2012 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  12. AChangeIsComing

    Its certainly helps self-improvement when one has self-awareness. I can admire someone who knows that he's not likable, because - you know - he's not.

    January 20, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  13. Sushant

    Because you don't have character legs to stand on.

    January 20, 2012 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  14. Sushant

    Why you boast your past achievements ( which are not yours)?

    January 20, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  15. Paz

    I am a republican, but it's a shame seeing the clowns that are running!!!

    January 20, 2012 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  16. Bubba

    I've met planter's warts more likable than Newt.

    January 20, 2012 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  17. Pat in IL

    Everybody is more like able than you are. Why try to make being a jerk a virtue? It's not, because tha kind of behavior is immature and disrespectful, at best.

    January 20, 2012 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  18. Chainyanker

    So what's the difference between the media reporting news and 'attacking'. Seems to me that if the news is not favorable to a person then it's 'attacking' but if it's favorable or neutral then it's 'accurate reporting'. Get real Newt but I'll believe your ex before I believe you. She seemed credible to me but not you when you often use weasel words and give half-truths.

    January 20, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  19. Patricksday

    I think of Dana Carvey's SNL Character "The Church Lady" and she would shread Newt for his affairs. This is who the "Christians" want?

    January 20, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  20. Middle of the road

    Newt, seriously, you would lose to just about anybody in a popularity contest. "Windbag" is the nicest thing that could be said about you

    January 20, 2012 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  21. Richard Stallman

    You would lose in a general election too

    January 20, 2012 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  22. Melo-D

    Oh Newtie the only people this will appeal to are your braindead supporters. That's it. GOP debate audiences are not a reflection of this country, not by a long shot.

    January 20, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  23. Anya

    I would died before I vote for Newt. I think his behavior was terrible on CNN and disrespectful to CNN. What a shame!

    January 20, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  24. Clyde Farris

    Gingrich says that Obama is more likeable than he is... No surprise – even convicts on death row are more likeable than Gingrich.

    January 20, 2012 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  25. Orwell proven

    Hey Gingrich: You would lose to Obama in a personality contest, character contest, intellectual contest, fact check contest, family man contest, a great human leader contest, communicator contest, morals contest, and somebody I would like to see as POTUS contest.

    As a fascist, hypocrite or ugly human being, you are hard to beat. Give me a repentant Jimmy Swaggart tear, and you might win the sorriest human contest and the pity party contest.

    January 20, 2012 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
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