It was the best of days and it was the worst of days for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Fresh off of Perry dropping out of the GOP race and endorsing Gingrich, ABC News ran an interview with Gingrich’s ex-wife, Marianne Gingrich, in which she claimed Newt asked for an open marriage between her, Newt and Gingrich’s then-mistress and now current wife Calista Gingrich.
While this isn’t exactly the freshest of news — Esquire magazine ran a story in 2010 profiling Newt in which similar allegations were brought up — this story came from a widely watched television news source on the eve of a crucial debate for the South Carolina primary, and included the “open marriage” bombshell. Gingrich’s marital record — he is twice divorced, and both divorces occurred while his ex-wives were suffering from serious diseases — has been more than ample fodder for evangelical and family-values voters.
Whether this matters, of course, depends on whether you think family values are an important issue in this campaign. His affair took place at the same time Congress was impeaching former President Bill Clinton for denying his affair with Monica Lewinsky. However, that affair — and the allegations brought up in this recent interview — occurred a long time ago.
Should this matter, or is it nothing more than a dirty trick? What do you think?
— Benjamin Nanamaker is the editor of the InvestorPolitics blog
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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