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. Dan

    Really – Newt calling them a liar with absolute conviction when he is the liar- does he just make this up and hope he is right? Newt couldn't uphold his oath to his wives, lies to the American People during debates and wants the American peoples trust? Help me understand How is this guy is still even in the race? And who ( or who is paying for) is doing the polling to show he is even close to Romney?

    January 26, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  2. psl

    Obviously Gingrich lied. Twice lied now on the same subject... One can only conclude he is lying about wanting an open marriage. Gingrich is a very sleezy politician and represents all that is wrong with Congress.

    January 26, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  3. Disgusted

    Mr. Gingrich is the worst sort of self-aggrandizing opportunist. John King withered in front of Gingrich's self-righteous rage at the SC debate, where he (King) had the golden opportunity to press harder and expose NG for the liar he is. The latest story of King's journalistic rehabilitation is welcome, but a little late. That pee stain on his trousers may fade, but it won't wash out. He was a weenie, plain and simple.

    I am sorry that NG's daughters have so little regard for themselves that they would defend their father's reprehensible marital record. Have they forgotten that he also dishonored their mother? That said, they are satisfying one of my goals for the 2012 campaign. I want Republican primary voters continue voting for NG as the Romney alternative and hand him their Party's nomination.

    Then ... Obama 2012!

    January 26, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  4. bear

    It was not an error it was an outright lie.

    January 26, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  5. V in Chicago

    Typical Newt. Calling everyone else a liar when he is the one doing the lying. Newt Gingrich is one of the most despicable human beings I have ever seen. Whenever he gets backed in to a corner it is always "your facts are incorrect" (when they ususally are correct) or "their lying". And, if anyone know anything about lying, it would be the former disgraced speaker.

    January 26, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  6. tim

    they should have to swear an oath to tell the truth before debating for the presidency.

    January 26, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  7. Ellen

    Not surprising. This is, after all, a man who has taken three marriage vows, breaking two of them, and a vow to honor his elected office which he also broke (and was forced to pay a fine and step down). How can we believe anything he says?

    January 26, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  8. MidwestMountainMan

    Gingrich speaks without thinking. He does it time and again and eventually has to admit he was wrong.

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

    The lies are always on the front page and retractions are buried next to the obituaries.

    January 26, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  10. Anonymous

    There is a lot about this man that scares me........ he spews the right words, but deep down I believe he thinks he is Napolian and is here to save the world.......... He believes he is just and righteous by saying he has made mistakes and that he is sorry... but forgiveness is in God's eyes and we mere mortals base a man on what he does forward and this man scares the living hell out of me and I have voted Republican for over 40 years........... I will change my vote if this man becomes our canidate for the first time in my life time........ As a side note how would Gingrich's daughters know what this man was doing in his private time, did he tell his daughters every time he met with his mistress? So how can they be witness to his reasons to divorce his second wife?

    January 26, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  11. SDC43

    Another solid indication of the character (or complete lack thereof) from Gingrich. How the GOP can consider him a viable candidate for president is beyond understanding. I'm an independent and would never consider voting for someone with such a dubious recod and history in Washington. How the GOP expects to have any success when so many are willing to support men like Gingrich is incredible.

    January 26, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  12. SK

    Newt's true colors are finally showing. What a fraud and hypocrit.

    January 26, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  13. bookworm

    So, he lied, and repeated that lie until it was inevitable that he own up to it. And he doesn't even have the integrity to admit it.....hiding behind his campaign who said it was "inaccurate". No, folks....it was a bold faced lie, and it earned him a standing ovation a few debates ago. Totally sickening. PLEASE open your eyes, and see there is only one candidate who has integrity and is worthy of your vote. Ron Paul.

    January 26, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  14. Christian

    So if one part of his debate defense of wanting an open marriage was a lie ... how can we be sure he isn't lying entirely when he denies the allegations altogether.

    January 26, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  15. Cfrench

    Gingrich made another mistake? That's all he does.

    How can republicans trust Gingrich to uphold the oath of office when he has shown time and time again that he can not even uphold the oath of marriage? Do republicans really think the zebra can change its stripes?

    January 26, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  16. Alex

    See – a pathological liar and cheater. Not fit....

    January 26, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  17. Steve

    Wait..Are you saying the Newt lied?


    It is actually harder to find anything he has said that is truthfull. The clown is a 24/7 lie machine.

    January 26, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  18. GOP = Greed Over People

    No surprise, where I come from that is a called a "liar"!

    Everyone but the evilrelics and tea baggers already knew that.

    The newt indeed makes "family values" a joke punchline.

    January 26, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  19. dave

    He also said every personal friend, which for Gingrich, is an oxi-moron....

    January 26, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  20. Christian

    Newt is a liar. If Newt lied in his defense of wanting an open marriage and then in the next sentence calls his ex-wife's claims to be false ... how can we believe him???

    January 26, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  21. nullterm

    And here we go. Nice try, Newt.

    January 26, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  22. Max.

    LIAR...not an 'error'

    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 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  23. 4merRepubCT

    This is the sort of reporting that should be all over the place. When this issue was brought up at the debate, the crowd went wild when Gingrich asserted that he had several people who would deny that the story was true. Now it turns out that there isn't anyone who would do that. Gingrich's daughters encouraging ABC News to kill the story is not denying its truthfulness, just that they don't wan the public to know what a lowlife their father is.

    Is it possible that so many Americans want a serial-adulterer and his home-wrecker, former mistress to represent the country they argue is so exceptional?

    Well....maybe they've got a point. One would hope that the level of deceit, lack of morals and ethics, and hubris that Gingrich exhibits is the exception, rather than the norm, for Americans.

    January 26, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  24. Me

    Liar liar pants on fire!

    Really! trying to hide out by calling the press 'liar'!!!!... Anyway, probably worked: sure more people heard that than this...

    January 26, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  25. Scott

    The headline should say "Gingrich Lies".

    He says whatever he wants in the moment to get a rise out of the crowd in debates. He lost the FL debate because the crowd was educated and respectable. Too bad SC voters already voted for him based on lies.

    January 26, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
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