January 26th, 2012
08:23 AM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich campaign admits error

(CNN) - Newt Gingrich's campaign admitted Wednesday night the former House speaker was inaccurate when he claimed his team offered several witnesses to ABC News to refute statements made by Gingrich's second wife in a controversial interview aired last week.

CNN Chief National Correspondent John King reported the campaign said it only recommended Gingrich's two daughters from his first marriage, who wrote a letter discouraging ABC to release the interview.

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Marianne Gingrich claimed in the ABC interview that her husband asked for an open marriage while he was having an extramarital affair with his current wife, Callista Gingrich.

"The story was false. Every personal friend I have who knew us in that period says the story is false. We offered several of them to ABC to prove it was false. They weren't interested," Gingrich said at a CNN debate last week.

In an interview on Tuesday, King pressed Gingrich on those claims, saying ABC News insisted no such witnesses were put forward.

Gingrich said ABC's defense was "just plain baloney."

"If they're saying that, then they're not being honest," Gingrich said. "We had several people prepared to be very clear and very aggressive in their dispute about that, and (ABC News) wasn't interested."

On Wednesday, however, the campaign conceded the candidate was wrong, both in his debate answer and in his interview with CNN on Tuesday.

R.C. Hammond, the campaign's press secretary, told CNN the only people the campaign offered to ABC were the speaker's two daughters, Jackie Cushman and Kathy Gingrich Lubbers, who make regular appearances for their father on the campaign trail.

Also see:

Obama shares intense encounter with Arizona governor

Gingrich shoots for the moon

Bachmann will run for reelection

Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich • TV-John King U.S.A.
soundoff (504 Responses)
  1. TomJ

    He was "inaccurate"??? He blatantly lied about it twice...how are Republicans supporting this guy? Given his likely performance in the general election, his supporters might as well vote directly for Obama.

    January 26, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  2. Doug from Seattle

    This is what lying liars who lie do! And no one is better at it than Newt!!!

    January 26, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  3. Rsprings

    An Error? No, he lied to deflect the issue. This is what you'll get with Gingrich. Plus, how can He and his wife stand in front of the voters when they were having an affair while he was married. Oh... they got religion and asked forgiveness. How convenient. The gall.

    January 26, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  4. meb

    Say it aint so! Newt Lied? Who would have thought such a thing was possible? He knew he didn't offer "several people" to refute what is second wife said. He was in full defense mode and did what he does best and that is deflect, distort and lie.

    January 26, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  5. Dan, TX

    It's OK, you are a politician and we don't expect the truth. No problem Newt, it won't affect my vote.

    January 26, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  6. kenny

    So Gingrich says ABC was being dishonest in their statements but now that it has been admitted by his campaign what he said was "WRONG", why was his statement not "DISHONEST" just like he claimed CBS was "Dishonest". Oh I forgot. It's Newt so what he says is not dishonest. Only wrong. There is a difference because Newt is not a "Dishonest" person. Give me a break.

    January 26, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  7. SAI

    That Gingrich has lied once more is no news; as a serial adulterer all through his life, and as a self-aggrandizing politician, he has made lying his second nature, it seems. The irony is that the party that preaches and claims conservative, family values should even consider this person as its bellwether.

    January 26, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  8. Jim Bob

    "RC was briefing me on this the whole way through". So here's the question. Was Gingrich lying, hoping it would go away, or is he SO ineffective at management that he didn't have his facts straight about an issue in the forefront? If he said it wrong as he was unjustly attacking John King, he should have found out immediately after the debate and offered an apology or at least correction, right then. Personally, without having a staffer take the heat. This guy is a "leader"? I have no respect for him, and no trust of him.

    January 26, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  9. Rob

    Newt's "wrongness" got the desired effect–the biggest cheer from the audience, which I'm sure helped him in his SC win.

    January 26, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  10. Sorensen

    The old, embarrassing, "catholic" adulterer is lying and cheating as usual. Why are people surprised? It is his way of

    January 26, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  11. Obama 2012

    IIn other words...he LIED! Typical characteristics of a serial adulterer.

    January 26, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  12. cathstar

    Newt Gingrich caught in a lie. I'm shocked!!! I hope this doesn't infer that all politicians lie. I would be devastated to think that!

    January 26, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  13. mommytwice

    so: A) why would anyone consider a friend to be a reliable witness, when the open marriage discussion surely was not had with friends gathered around listening, and B) Of COURSE he would say his ex wife is lying, who wouldn't?? Whether she is or not is anyone's guess, but we do know for a fact that he goes through wives like crazy. Does that matter? Maybe, maybe not, but it does give pause when thinking about his credibility and character. I won't be voting for him, that's for sure.

    January 26, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  14. JuanVonDinklus

    Ahhh newt, don't let facts get in the way. After all, the more you say it the more everyone will believe it – cuz they can't think on their own.

    January 26, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  15. lgny

    It's interesting to see how Gingritch rattles off statements with such conviction that people assume he's correct even when he is not. Only later when the facts are irrefutable does he back off.

    January 26, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  16. Just make it up

    This is what Newt is best at. Is this bringing back any memories of his Speaker of the House days? He knows he can say something completly outragous for his own good, and then retract it a couple days later where it gets buried. They called his ethics into question... there should be no doubt as to why they voted yes... and no reason to believe they wouldn't have voted yes even if his story is true (highly doubtful) that he encouraged them to vote yes.

    January 26, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  17. LJ

    And that's why Gingrinch won't be elected. He always says whatever it takes to prove his point with no regard for what the truth is.

    January 26, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  18. jim

    Gingrich is a liar and cheat. Who knew?

    Marianne Gingrich's story may or may not be accurate for any number of valid, non-deliberate reasons. It was a while ago, it was a emotionally charged time, etc. Newt doesn't contest her story based on these things. Instead he goes striaght for the "She is a malicious liar" defense. Nice.

    Also, how can "personal friends" refute Marianne Gingrich's claims? To do so, they would have to be with her and Newt for every conversation between and that's patently ridiculous.

    January 26, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  19. Max.


    Oh! What a liar! this is same person who out -rightly and forcefully called Romney 'dishonest'. This was no 'mistake', let's simply call it what it is...it is a lie and any person who willfully tells a lie is called a LIAR. This man asked his first wife for an open relationship in order to have continuous sexual activities with Callista his sweetheart.

    How on earth can Americans stoop this low to even vote for Newt in a primary election as a presidential candidate? Is this what the office of the president deserves? Is this an indication of how far we have strayed from basic values like sanctity of marriage and truthfulness?

    A real time LIAR like Newt has no moral authority to even seek the office of the president. Is this what we call a 'True Reagan Conservative? Let's all punish the bigot by ignoring his name on any of the primary/caucus ballot. His very name is a disgrace to our nation, in addition to the blatant fact that he was kicked out of congress for unethical conduct.

    OMG! What a liar! How lower should Newt stoop to prove how immoral he is?

    January 26, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  20. wide-eyed

    "admits error"???? Come clean, how about admits lie?

    January 26, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  21. joey

    lying about lying, get used to it

    January 26, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  22. JC

    An error? What they should have said was that good ol' Newt got caught in a lie; and certainly not the first with regards to his marriages. The guy is a sleaze; always has been. I'd love to see a viable alternative to our current president, but this guy leaves everyone feeling like they need to wash their hands.

    January 26, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  23. Zenichi-Maro

    Ladies and Gentlemen, the Standard Bearer for the Republican Party and the Conservative Family Values set has SPOKEN! And he LIES!

    Seriously? This is the front runner in the GOP primary?

    God help us all.

    January 26, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  24. davec.0121

    In other words, when Gingrich angrily denounced John King and ABC news, he was lying through his teeth. Again.

    Clever, though – many more people will hear the lie than will hear the retraction. More sleaze from the master.

    January 26, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  25. jim

    R.C. Hammond, the campaign's press secretary, also disclosed that Newt's "personal" friends could only vouch for Newt's regular attendance at their swinger's parties.

    January 26, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
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