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. Laterday Member

    They gave Newt that single ovation because they are birds of the feathers that flock together, Thank Heaven the women cheater knows upfront that OOOOOOOOOOOOBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMMAAAAAAAAAA will win any one of them, all of them put together.. Newt forgets his baggage of luggages that will trail on the campaign and even when he drop out. If Americans dislike a Mammon, what will they do with some body whose habit is to cheat, cheat on women, on others. Like one of his wives says, Ginrich has no MORALS to be president, President Ginrich will be different from former Italian president Bullusconi ( womanizer).

    January 21, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  2. Ernie

    While I agree in a way with some to the points that Newt makes, I must look at the past when the candidate stands on a platform of morality and family value to the point that some groups pose a threat because they are supposedly promiscuous. While at the same time doing worst behind the sense and the getting angry when asked about this to me I think this is the epitome of hypocrisy. In plain language I tell you that this is what you should do and believe in but I can anything but as long as nobody knows. By the way for all of the true believers you cannot embrace and ignore “thou shall not commit adultery” but at the same time ignore “ Treat thy neighbor as you would like to be treaded “. Newt was right about one this and that is that no one on earth is perfect and he is a perfect example of this fact. Now doe that phrase everyone is created equal and has the same right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. No where in this does it say this is on for a certain group of for certain people.

    January 21, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  3. tim

    He is such a slime,,how he made it this far is a bloody nose for all Americans!!!!

    January 21, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  4. 30307

    I am from GA and I went to Newt's alma mater Tulane, and there is no way in HELL I would ever vote for him. He is a very very smart man who uses his gifts for questionable actions. Honestly, I think he is an embarrassment. Also, for Newt to say that Obama is behind his latest disgrace (like the President has time or gives a rat ass) is just ludicrous - and a way for him to deflect from his bad behavior!!!

    January 21, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  5. Don

    You definitely have that right you brainless Republican fool. A Gila Monster is more likable than you and better looking as well. A Steaming Pile of Dog Feces is more likable than you Newt and not only is it better looking but it smells baetter as well. In Fact Newtster I don't think there is ANYTHING in existence that is more brainless and less likable than you, in fact 99% of America knows this is factual, you are the most brainless and least likable of ANYTHING in the known Universe. The other 1% are those who would vote for you, and they are just as brainless and unlikable as you are so go figure.

    January 21, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  6. Coffeehead

    "Voters shouldnt focus on his past" How amazingly narcisistic is this man ? ! I'll bet he would like for everybody to forget that he was thrown out of congress by his own party on ETHICS violations !! This man has absolutly no moral compass & he wants to be POTUS ! I guess what scares me even more is the fact that voters cant wait to vote for this Man.... Is this really the best the GOP has to offer ?

    January 21, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  7. ALPHA

    CNN / ABC / NBC / CBS ar just a few of the Liberal media organizations still trying to beat up the conservative Republican candidates.

    How silly you all look!! Mr. Gingrich put Jonh King in his place. I did feel sory for King tho, he's just the stooge who was trotted out there to ask the question that the "big wigs" wanted asked.

    The look on Kings face was priceless....he he he

    January 21, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  8. Marie MD

    newter leroy, FYI, YOU would lose to a rock in a personality contest. We don't need a president, or anyone like you, in the WH. I can just see him going off on a head of state of another nation because they said something to him that insults his lack of integrity and values.
    What is he going to do bomb their country? This leroy is more scary than the village idiot from TX, #43, because he would start a war with another country at the drop of a hat (or his wife's helmet hair).

    January 21, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  9. timothy

    You mean a good Christian family man who has been married to the same woman for many years and loves his country more than self is more likable than a 3X married guy who divorced two sick wives, was fined $300,000 for ethics violations and kicked out of the U.S. House by his own party, and by ALL accounts is wholly narcissistic?
    That's really hard to explain...

    January 21, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |

    I'm appalled by the media for not responding to Gingrich's fierce attack on the press. Now, it's his excuse to not answer any more those kind of questions. Well, we live in America where the personal lives of political figures are exposed and questioned. As a Congressman, Gingrich campaigned on family values and shamed those who were caught while he was having multiple affairs. He led the charge to impeach president Clinton...Hmmmmmm.....Hypocrisy!!! He is no where fit to debate the smartest, classiest, and the most brilliant president of all times. Not to forget the president's sense of humor, charm, logic, and vocals:)...President Obama is unbeatable!

    January 21, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  11. FedUp

    Maybe so. However, Newt would win in the intelligence, negotiation, foreign affairs and experience fields. Much more important to me in a President.

    January 21, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  12. CB FL

    Newt says he would like to debate the President. I would like to see the First Lady debate Newt's wife (Helmet Head)

    January 21, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  13. FedUpwithLA

    He's definitely right. Obama wins in the "cool" category. But since when does "cool" a good President make? Bob Marley definitely had a "cool" image. Would he have made a good President? Gingrich wants to make his point, and he may be right, but he comes off looking like his shorts are too tight. What do you want? A President who believes in his convictions, or one who looks "cool" on the tube? The first rule of a newer "Bible," Agassi I, Chapter I: "Image is everything." You really don't believe that, do you?

    January 21, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  14. Greg Morgan

    Yes, Newt would lose to Obama in a personality contest. Other contests in which Newt would lose to Obama: An intelligence contest, a personal ethics contest, a professional ethics contest, a human decency contest, an academic achievement contest, a basketball contest, a looks contest, a plays-well-with-others contest, a mental health contest.

    January 21, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  15. fred

    Newt would lose to a pot roast in a personality contest

    January 21, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  16. nolimits3333

    Obama is a better president than you too, Newt.

    January 21, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  17. jim

    he's also a better president than you'll ever be as well

    January 21, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  18. lefty avenger

    Newt is disgusting. Discarding used wives and taking money from companies that he vilifies. Newt Gingrich is the epitome of the republican corporate hypocrite. He can take that Vulture Capitalist Romney with him to blazes.

    January 21, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  19. Independent Voters

    Newt you got that wrong I like MSNBC ED show and Al Sharpton Politics Nation, Rachel Meadow, I like Wolf CNN, and like CNN News Cast. President Obama is a great president he for the people. Newt and the rest of the republicans are agianst middle class and poor people.

    January 21, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  20. Thomas

    True , you would lose .

    January 21, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  21. CCCDaughter

    What a hypocrite you are! You have been a womanizer for decades. Your daughters are each making $56,000 to work on your campaign, paid for by the Vegas billionaire, who he and his wife's only goal is to move the Capitol of Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. So, that would be your first agenda if you become President. The reason why I would never vote for a Republican, is because America comes first, there is no second!

    January 21, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  22. RickyGuns

    That's it tell it like it is Newt. Give us all those facts about why we shouldn't vote for you. Then keep on thinking you'll beat Obama.

    January 21, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  23. talbet

    His new campaign slogan: Vote for me despite the fact that I basically suck.

    January 21, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  24. insight iowa

    Wow... these guys just keep going. I also saw on the morning news in Romney's speeches he actually said "Obama didn't cause the recession" and then he said "Obama's ideas are bring us out of this recession". So if Obama didn't cause the recession and if Obama's ideas are bring us out of the recession... Why would we not vote for Obama?

    January 21, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  25. Babs

    B.O. likable? Hmmmmm. Don't know why Newt would say that. Newt's ideas are wonderfully grandiose and make us hopeful for great change. I don't care about his personal life 15 years ago...wouldn't want anyone investigating mine...we all should grow, mature, and of course with that come changes in our ideas and ideals. What media calls "flip-flopping" is really maturing, learning, and gaining new focus. Go Newt!!!

    January 21, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
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