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:

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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. Tyceson

    Too bad Gingrich isn't likable because he is too dishonest to do a good job as president.

    January 21, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  2. NH Grandma

    He'd lose on ethics and in understanding what middle class people are dealing with today. He would lose, hands down! We reject Newtie and his ex-wife should be thanked for further exposing his lack of ethics. Actually, he did a good job exposing his lack of ethics as House Speaker, so he really needs no help. Hearing someone like him ramble on about "Family Values" is laughable. Obama would handily clean house.

    January 21, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |

    understatement of the year

    January 21, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  4. I just puked in my mouth

    Since most humans operate directly from personality then I'd say great that he acknowledges he's a loser. We've seen his personality in play and it leaves much to be desired as both a spouse and possible presidential candidate. This man needs to work on himself, maybe his loss will assist him in his recreation, only time will tell.

    January 21, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  5. florence Reynolds

    Yes we love Obama he is a true likable President and you Newt are a hypocrite who came down on Clinton while you did this twice .
    Also I do not trust you a bit .
    You are a very mean person ,with no kind heart .
    I do hope you get voted out and go live in sin with Calista .

    January 21, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  6. charlie avila

    If obama is re-elected, he will turn the united states into a poor third world country. Since he ran for president, I saw him an enemy of all americans and a friend of the illegal immigrants. If he see himself loosing the re-election, he will call for a martial law, or provoke a 2nd civil war between americans, illegal immigrants, gangs and the drugs cartels. See all the guns he illegally introduced in mexico, which are in cartels hands. Obama have an evil agenda against amaricans....

    January 21, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  7. jim

    I bet a week's pay he's already cheating with one of his staffers, and Callista is fine with it. Keeps his tubby ass off her. He's a serial philanderer – he's not gonna change. He's also a hypocrit and a liar, with very little support from those who worked with him in Congress. Not a good resume for a chief executive.

    January 21, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  8. patty Biller

    Wow, ya think??? Love Obama; and my family and me are voting for him again in the upcoming election! GO OBAMA!!!

    January 21, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  9. Mort Guffman

    He'd lose to a vacuum cleaner in a personality contest.

    January 21, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  10. Puddin

    I beg to differ.....likeability is a very important part of being president. However, I agree with him that he is not likeable. "Look at the person I am now." I have, and just because someone "says" they have changed does not make it so. Romney has been rightfully critized for saying what he thinks everyone wants to hear just to get elected. No reason to believe Gringich is any different. I wonder how voters for him would feel should he and wife #3 get into office and then part ways because he or she has found someone else that suits their cause better. The idea of putting someone like them in the White House is repulsive to me. I do not believe his "Come to Jesus" meeting. He is saying what he thinks voters want to hear (especially the evangicals) in order to get himself elected.

    January 21, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  11. kiminatl

    No Newt you got it all wrong! President Obama is just a better man, human being, American than you! So is just about everyone else in this country.

    January 21, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  12. alfranken

    Not only is Obama more likable than Newt he is more ethical and capable as well. There is nothing, nothing that the former house speaker can dig up about the President that can compare to his flawed character. Only Ron Paul has the resume to take on the President. Ron Paul will unit the independents with the conservatives that are serious about getting us out of debt.

    January 21, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  13. bcrunner

    No kidding! Compare President Obama, a family man by the way who has brought in mother-in-law into the White House to make sue his children are always around family when he and the First lady are travelling, married to the same woman, against a man who had an afair while married to his first wife, then had an afair again while married to his second wife, and by the way, don't think for a minute that he did not ask her for an "open marriage". And, let's not forget he was trying to impeach President Clinton for the same offense... and, we have not even touched on his ethics violations.... If he becomes the nominee, the Republicans have resorted to scraping at the bottom of the barrel.... And, one more thing... Calista, every time I see her, she reminds me of plastic...

    January 21, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  14. znHcats

    Gingrich spews hates & bias to those are have less fortunates and other don't agree with him, and disrespects Palestinians and wants to stir another wars with other countries, not to mention he is a corrupted and deceitful politician. I don't want to a president like him to represent of the US.
    Don't compare you with Obama, you are a inferior being.

    January 21, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  15. Just a thought

    Hey Grinch, I would throw Morals, Ethics, and intelligence in as others where you lose the moment they say "let's get ready to rumble."

    But of course for your party, these are concidered redeeming qualities.....With the GOP/Tea Potty fools, these characteristics are called "librul think'n". And to think these knuckle heads see you as an alternative to Pres. Obama...What has this country come to that even a minority (i.e. Tea-a-tards) still want GOP/Re-dumblican policies?

    January 21, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  16. Stubbs

    Newt's also gonna lose to Obama in an election contest.

    January 21, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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