Gingrich on Clinton impeachment, telling the truth
January 25th, 2012
01:23 PM ET
9 years ago

Gingrich on Clinton impeachment, telling the truth

Doral, Florida (CNN) – At a Latino forum Wednesday Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich talked about character and perceived hypocrisy related to his personal history.

Univision anchor Jorge Ramos asked the former House speaker about his role in the impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton in the late 1990s when he was engaged in an extra-marital affair.

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"People think that's hypocritical to criticize President Clinton for doing the same thing that you were doing at the same time," Ramos said to Gingrich at the forum sponsored by Univision Network, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Miami Dade College.

"I didn't do the same thing. I have never lied under oath. I have never committed perjury. I have never been involved in a felony. He was," the former speaker said, referring to the allegations of perjury involving the Paula Jones sexual harassment civil case and Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky.

Gingrich added, "The fact is I've been through two divorces. I have been deposed both times under oath. Both times I told the truth in the deposition because I know that it is – and I'm not a lawyer – I know it's a felony."

In a March 2007 interview with James Dobson of Focus on the Family, Gingrich talked openly about what he was going through personally when he was going after Clinton for his personal transgressions.

"And I drew a line in my mind and again, our listeners may not agree with me. But I drew a line in my mind that said, even though I run the risk of being deeply embarrassed, and even though at a purely personal level I am not rendering judgment on another human being, as a leader of the government trying to uphold the rule of law, I have no choice except to move forward and say that you cannot accept felonies and you cannot accept perjury in your highest officials."

Further speculation about Gingrich's personal past was fueled last week when ABC News aired an interview with his ex-wife, Marianne, who alleged the former speaker proposed an open marriage. Gingrich has lambasted the media while staunchly denying the claim.

Ramos pressed, "Isn't that a fair question about your character?"

"Sure, and the answer is it's not true," Gingrich said. "Did I blame you for asking? No."

"The CNN commentator decided to make it the first question on a national presidential debate. And I thought to myself we got unemployment, we have immigration, we have Afghanistan, we have the price of energy, we have housing problems," Gingrich said. "And these guys think this kind of trash ought to be the first question of the national presidential debate? By the way the audience agreed with me entirely."

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Filed under: 2012 • Bill Clinton • Florida • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (68 Responses)

    If only Newt could tell the truth, but that's beyond him. This guy is a first class hypocrite, period.

    January 25, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  2. Nick-o

    Loose cannon. Bad for diplomacy, bad for bipartisanship. His own party disowned him in the 90's and many congressmen/women say they won't support such a person who divides them and callsa them childish names. he calls Obama stupid, Romney a liar. He's a loose cannon. I cannot believe he's in the running. The GOP is a mess.

    January 25, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  3. lgny

    Let's see... Gingritch being deposed as part of a divorce: Yes, it's appropriate to question him about affairs.

    Clinton being deposed by Starr whose mission was to investigate govt. corruption: No, it's none of his business what the president may be doing on the side. Clinton was stupid to lie. He should simply have said "that's out of your scope." or "none of your business."

    January 25, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  4. Kenneth Close

    To mention a man who deviled the office he held by receiving a BJ in the Oval Office,disgusting.

    January 25, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  5. David

    If he publically announces that he has repented and asked God for forgiveness of his sins, then his past mistakes are forgiven and forgotten by God. People forgive as they want to be forgiven. People also have trouble forgetting a person's past. To discount God's Word is to discount God. We all know there are many people who do not believe, and make light of those who do. I believe they will come before God, one day, and be held accountable for their actions.

    I do not endorse any candidate. I am simply pointing out that we all have an ability to be forgiven by God and people. To forgive and be forgiven, we must act accordingly. The decisions we make affect not just us, but those around us. Each time we go to the voting booth, we voice our opinion on the direction of the nation. The people we elect are required to represent us, not tow the party line. This back and forth along party platforms has gotten old. Listen to the people or we will find people who will.

    America, please make an informed vote, not on rhetoric or propaganda. The truth is out there. Work to find it.

    January 25, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  6. BLKMANinAmerica

    OK..................such a typical repuk answer.................DENY DENY DENY then be "outraged" at the question being asked then DENY DENY DENY somemore. Good move playa!

    January 25, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    There is no perceived hypocrisy with Gingrich, only hypocrisy. He pursued a line of attack based on behavior he was engaged in, and he still has the arrogance to try and justify and excuse it. Always remember, this is someone who believes himself to be in the same class with Churchill and de Gaulle, which clearly makes him delusional as well.

    January 25, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Well, Newt is right on this. The issue at hand was not the actual affair but Clinton's false testimony (the cover up) concerning it. The two situations are not comparable. Of course the lefties just love to try and compare them because the lefties completely excused Clinton's escapades as his private business.

    January 25, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  9. Sandy

    Clinton lied....THAT was the impeachment offense...Not canoodling with other than the wife.
    There is a distinct difference in what happened to the two men.

    January 25, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  10. K Parks of Colorado

    Newt can claim that Clinton prejured himself all he wants however he wasn't ever convicted of anything or proven guilty. Meanwhile Newt broke his marriage vows several times and didn't tell his wife until after he had cheated. Do we really want to elect someone into the highest office in the land that we ALREADY know can't keep his promises in his personal life?

    January 25, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  11. Mikey

    Attacking the media when you don't like the questions they are asking might work with the GOP primary crowd, but it won't wrok in the general election. Clinton did lie under oath. However, I would like to see some video of Gingrich at the time. I don't think his only attacks on Clinton were about lying under oath. I believe there was a lot more sanctimonious moralizing, which we now know was total hypocrisy.

    Newt married one of his high school teachers when he was 19 years old. He divorced her when she was sick with cancer. He divorced his second wife when she had MS, after years of affairs with his current wife. Total time between the two divvorces and remarriages – 10 months. Go ahead GOP, nominate this slimeball. He'll get eaten alive.

    January 25, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. Paul

    I can't believe people would go for newt over Romney.

    January 25, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  13. Al-NY,NY

    Newter and the rest persued this affair with such zeal that they could not deal with any other issue. Sexual misconduct to them was the worst thing possible and that was the only thing they could do to keep Clinton down. After months (and millions of $) of this fanatical chase, they brought him before congress where he lied. The GOP was like a pack of lions chasing a wounded deer. Whatever they could do to impugn Clinton, they did. Try again, Newter. You lose

    January 25, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  14. ddblah

    Looks like the sway of right wing media is rather limited. Thought the bombardment from Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and the like would make voters think twice about Gingrich. Well, didn't happen.

    January 25, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  15. ass09

    Mr.Gingrich will you sign a bill for open marriage ?Will you support 2/3 marriage or unlimited whatever you can destroy family life and value ? Did you ask mercy to your all victim and ex wife's ?Can you make dog tail straight with butter and oil if not.Then how can you change your character ? Why you are always telling Ex President Reagan. What you did your self and what can you do ? What Mr. Reagan did everybody knows in this country give less lecture on Mr.Reagan

    January 25, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  16. Thomas

    "The CNN commentator decided to make it the first question on a national presidential debate. And I thought to myself we got unemployment, we have immigration, we have Afghanistan, we have the price of energy, we have housing problems," Gingrich said. "And these guys think this kind of trash ought to be the first question of the national presidential debate? By the way the audience agreed with me entirely."

    Newt is yesterdays trash today !

    Newt Gingrich / Tom DeLay

    January 25, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  17. Vanessa

    Mr Ramos is a serious reporter with a very respectable career. He only asked what everyone wanted to know. Mr Gingrich is wrong if he believes that something as delicate as what he did, won't go unnoticed. Doesn't matter anyways, regardless of who the nominee is, Barack Hussein Obama will b our president for 4 more years! Hispanics 4 Obama! Si se puede!

    January 25, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  18. carrie

    Newt spins everything, it is always the other guy , never will he admit his own hypocracy and still will lie like the dog he is! He makes me feel ill when I look at him!

    January 25, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
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