In History, Politics on January 20, 2012 at 6:43 pm

The setting: The GOP Presidential debate in Charleston, South Carolina, January 19, 2012.

The speakers: CNN Moderator John King and Republican Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich.

KING:  As you know, your ex-wife gave an interview to ABC News and another interview with The Washington Post.  And this story has now gone viral on the internet.

In it, she says that you came to her in 1999, at a time when you were having an affair.  She says you asked her, sir, to enter into an open marriage.

Would you like to take some time to respond to that?

GINGRICH: No, but I will.


Newt Gingrich–once again giving “the finger” to America

GINGRICH: I think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office.  And I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that.


KING: Is that all you want to say, sir?

GINGRICH: Let me finish.

KING: Please.

GINGRICH: Every person in here knows personal pain. Every person in here has had someone close to them go through painful things.

To take an ex-wife and make it two days before the primary a significant question for a presidential campaign is as close to despicable as anything I can imagine.


My – my two daughters – my two daughters wrote the head of ABC and made the point that it was wrong, that they should pull it, and I am frankly astounded that CNN would take trash like that and use it to open a presidential debate.


KING: As you noted, Mr Speaker, this story did not come from our network.   As you also know, it is a subject of conversation on the campaign. I’m not – I get your point. I take your point.

GINGRICH: John, John, it was repeated by your network. You chose to start the debate with it. Don’t try to blame somebody else. You and your staff chose to start this debate with it.


Let me be quite clear. Let me be quite clear. The story is false.

Every personal friend I have who knew us in that period said the story was false. We offered several of them to ABC to prove it was false.

They weren’t interested because they would like to attack any Republican. They’re attacking the governor.  They’re attacking me. I’m sure they’ll presently get around to Senator Santorum and Congressman Paul.

I am tired of the elite media protecting Barack Obama by attacking Republicans.


“Destructive,” “vicious,” despicable,” “negative,” “trash,” “false,” “attack any Republican.”

Thus spoke “Mr. Family Values” Newt Gingrich when his record as a serial adulterer was highlighted by his second ex-wife.

But his language was considerably different in 1996 when, as Speaker of the House of Representatives, Gingrich wrote a GOPAC memo that encouraged Republicans to “speak like Newt.”

To do so, Republicans should attack Democrats with such words as “corrupt,” “destructive,” “hypocrisy,” “selfish,” “liberal,” “sick,” and “traitors.”

Nor did Gingrich have any qualms about using the news media to disseminate such accusations.  According to the memo:

“This list is prepared so that you might have a directory of words to use in writing literature and mail, in preparing speeches, and in producing electronic media.

“The words and phrases are powerful. Read them. Memorize as many as possible. And remember that like any tool, these words will not help if they are not used.”

But now that his own record of  “corrupt[ion]” and “hypocrisy” has been put on public display, courtesy of his ex-wife, Marianne, the situation is different.

Gingrich is “appalled” at the “destructive,” “vicious,” “negative,” “false” “trash” used by the news media  to “attack any Republican.”

Nor is Gingrich concerned only for himself or his party.  No, he’s worried for the country itself:

“I think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office.”

“Decent people”?

Like Gingrich, who penned the “GOPAC memo”?

(This was, incidentally, entitled: “Language: A Key Mechanism of Control.”)

Like the Republicans who made “a plaintive plea: ‘I wish I could speak like Newt”?

No doubt, it’s strictly a matter of coincidence that:

  • Gingrich is worried for the country now that he–and his party–have come under scrutiny by the very news media he once manipulated so effectively against Democrats.
  • The language he urged on his followers during the Bill Clinton Presidency made it “harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office.”
  • Gingrich is now using the “despicable” language he once used to slander Democrats to defend himself from accusations of serial immorality and hypocrisy.

It has to be coincidence.

Because, if it isn’t, Gingrich must be everything his opponents–Republican and Democrat–claim he is.

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