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. James PDX

    Don't look at people's past, people. So let's elect a murderous pedophile as president. I'm sure he won't do it again and he seems so nice, especially with children. And he's also more likeable than Newt.

    January 20, 2012 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  2. LegendRx

    President Obama, he's more likable and smarter than the whole republican field of candidates.

    January 20, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  3. Angela Birch

    Of course Obama is more likable than Gingrich, he is an honest man. You can't trust the word of Gingrich, he lies. Obama is also more capable as a president. He took an economy that was bleeding 750,000 jobs a month. Withing 6 months had turned it around so we are gaining hundreds of thousands jobs a month. A nation that had lost half the value in the stock market under the previous administration and doubled it. Took failing companies within a week of closing down and with a loan and restructuring the companies are now profiable, have paid back most of their loans and are hiring Americans. From record failing businesses to record profits in businesses. Bin Ladin is killed, and yes the president was involved in it and Gadaffy is no longer threatening America as well as the people of Libya. On that alone Gingrich couldn't make up his mind. First he wanted to bomb it. Then he wanted no part of it, Then he said we should invade it, then he decided he had no idea what he would do but he is sure he would do it better than Obama. Obama formulated a plan with our allies and they worked together to accomplish it. Gingrich would still be floundering around,

    January 20, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  4. Lee

    LOL, this is not saying much.... I mean other than dead people like Atilla the Hun, Adolf, Jack the Ripper, and Ted Bundy, how many actual living sociopaths would be less likable than Newt? (unfair to count Mitt)

    January 20, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  5. bill

    This man is so full of it. He is the biggest hypocrite. I hope the Republicans make the mistake of nominating him as he will implode at some point.

    January 20, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  6. Chris

    Well, yes. That's pretty obvious Newt.

    January 20, 2012 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  7. GeneK

    Beating Newt Gingrich in a personality contest would be a pretty low bar.

    And how are people supposed to look at what kind of a man Gingrich is today and how close he and his wife are if he doesn't want to talk about his personal life?

    January 20, 2012 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  8. conoclast

    I for one would dearly love to see an Obama/Gingrich debate, even if it had no bearing on the election. Imagine the root of the division between right and left - that of whither America, socialist or fascist - being debated right out-front by two articulate adversaries - so the voters can watch and learn! Of course, for some the term "learn" is a stickler; it requres an open mind. Think we're adult enough as a society to actually debate and decide our own future? There are those - mostly on the right - who obviously don't think so.

    January 20, 2012 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  9. Tomis

    He sure know how to say the wrong thing at just the wrong time.

    January 20, 2012 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  10. Reg Cliff

    "Obama's more likeable than me" says Newt.

    Maybe it'd be shorter to list people disliked more than Newt...

    January 20, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  11. Bill

    Newt, you would lose to just about anyone in a personality contest. And not because you stand by your principles at the expense of your popularity. People don't like you because you're a narcissistic, pseudo-intellectual bully and a demogogue pandering to people's ugliest fears and prejudices.

    January 20, 2012 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  12. John

    Newt Gingrich would lose to President Obama at anything.

    January 20, 2012 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  13. DGC

    Newt, I hate to break the news but 100 % of decent people in this country would be embarrassed to have you be our representative.

    January 20, 2012 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  14. gary

    He'd kick your butt in a morality contest too.

    January 20, 2012 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  15. AQ

    Dear Newt,

    A *real* newt is more likable than you. A rabid rat is more likable than you.

    January 20, 2012 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  16. gary

    He'd kick your rear end in a morality contest too.

    January 20, 2012 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  17. Fire0bama

    Speaker Gingrich, you are wrong! I like your personality 100 times more than 0bama's! He plays dirty political tricks and trys to fool people all the time. Your straightness and frankness is much more admirable than that lying 0bama! Go Speaker Gingrich!

    January 20, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |

    Newt,.. you lose on many fronts when compared to Obama,.. you name it. Character,.. honesty, family values, loyalty, and intelligence. You proclaim yourself to be a Christian,.. but you have broken several Christian commandments,.. you fake contrition, and make a big show out of it. You lose.

    January 20, 2012 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  19. dallas.alphonso

    That's what we want in the White House, someone with no character whatsoever, sad

    January 20, 2012 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  20. Bratina

    “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.

    UHHH... I don't think it's the divorce issue NEWT. You sir are a pig.

    January 21, 2012 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  21. Mike Fleissner

    He wants to think he is as important as Churchill or Pericles. He is more likely to be as evil as hitler if he gets the power.

    January 21, 2012 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  22. mommytwice

    The presidency may not be about likeability, but it IS about integrity, honor, and doing what you have vowed to do. Newt has not a trace of any of these characteristics. Not one. Of COURSE he'd lose a personality contest to Obama. He'd lose one to anyone with a shred of pleasantness. He's not a likeable, not trustworthy, and he's a hypocrit. Thanks, Newt, but no thanks.

    January 21, 2012 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  23. mochica

    You would lose to Obama in a presidential election. He's more likeable than you and he's a better human being. He's a far better president than you would ever be. Just go home!!!!!!

    January 21, 2012 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  24. stars

    hey newt you better enjoy this while it last because that interview with your ex-wife aint over buddy. I think she is going to drop a bomb on you the atomic bomb. For sho you know.

    January 21, 2012 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  25. vikingslost

    That's a no-brainer. Newt is not capable of being President of the United States and many in his own Republican Party have said so.

    And President Obama will demolish either Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich in the November election,

    Obama/Biden 2012

    January 21, 2012 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
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