In a Nightline interview, Gingrich’s second wife Marianne says that Newt wanted an “open marriage” so he could be married to her and date Callista, who is now married to the GOP presidential candidate. Newt and Marianne were divorced after she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
So at last night’s South Carolina debate, when CNN reporter and debate moderator John King asked him for a response to the allegations, he went off on King and the “news media.” The other night, we went to Mediabistro’s “Meet the Teachers” event where one of the attendees talked about being prepared for an “unexpected” question. It sounds to us like Gingrich had some rehearsed anger here, making sure to deflect attention away from the issue (though he said the story was false) and onto distaste for the “elite” news media.
“It’s as close to despicable as anything he can imagine,” he says. He was “appalled” and “astounded.” How’s about you give us all a break Newt Gingrich?
We know that personal matters have become part of the political discussion. Gingrich should know that more than anyone since he was in government during the Monica Lewinsky affair and used it to his political advantage.
Just a couple of days ago, Gingrich volunteered very personal information, his tax returns, in order to, once again, gain political advantage against Mitt Romney.
Shortly before the bombshell from his second wife, Gingrich got the endorsement of his formal rival, Rick Perry, as he dropped out of the race during this press conference. Perry made comments in a political ad last month that some found appalling. And caused an international incident with comments about Turkey. Gingrich doesn’t seem bothered by that.
Rick Santorum went on CNN and told Erin Burnett that you can buy one of his signature sweater vests with his name on it for $100 (it’s part donation to his campaign, he says) and then gave the line: “One of my supporters said this is my Second Amendment vest: the right to bare arms.” Burnett and Santorum’s people off-camera were appalled by that. Not a peep from Gingrich.
Jokes aside, it’s obvious that these candidates spew a lot of high-minded, on-message talk while never losing sight of the political pros and cons of their actions and positions, a most un-authentic way of communicating with voters. One minute, they’re attacking Romney for his work in the private sector. When it becomes bad for their campaign, they stop. The list goes on.
We trust Gingrich has recovered from the appalling attacks by the elite news media he suffered last night. Meanwhile the guy who should be appalled, John King, said Gingrich talked about the issue in a much more “calm manner” earlier that day. “He’s trying to promote himself, promote his agenda,” King said. Sounds about right.