Marital Infidelity, Negative Campaigning and the Ressurection of Newt Gingrich
According to Palm Beach post GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich not unlike himself came out swinging this morning when accused of being a hypocrite for blasting then President Bill Clinton for having an affair at the same time the former House Speaker was cheating on his own wife.
During an interview with Spanish-language television Univision, the twice-divorced Gingrich said he wasn’t criticizing Clinton’s sexual dalliance with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Rather, he claimed he was criticizing Clinton’s response to it.
Gingrich distinguished his infidelity from Clinton’s, saying Clinton “lied under oath” while he has never done that.
“I have never lied under oath. I have never committed perjury. I have never committed a felony,” he said.
Gingrich also said he has no regrets for attacking CNN newscaster John King for beginning a debate last week in South Carolina by asking about his ex-wife’s claims that he asked her to embrace an “open marriage” when he was having an affair with his now wife, Callista.
The question about his infidelity was inappropriate because of all the problems facing the country, he said, adding his ex-wife’s claims were false.
As to his attack on the media in response to the question, he noted that the audience loved it.
Having convincingly won the South Carolina Republican primary and more so in basically all important demographics, including married women, it remains to be seen whether Gingrich has brought this issue of marital infidelity full circle from the Clinton years such that it can be said infidelity is no longer an issue in American politics.
There is no one who follows American politics at any level would have said even as late as a few months ago that a person with a checkered marital record like Gingrich, let alone the rest of the baggage the man carries would have a shot at being nominated by the Republican party, given its past strong identification with family values.
In fact, Gingrich was left for the dead twice during this nomination process but he has to everyone’s surprise resurrected himself, even though few give him a chance to cross the finish line before self-destructing in the remaining period of the primaries.Continued on the next page