Newt Gingrich Scandal
Generally speaking, most people do not have a favorable view of those who seek higher office and even fewer people have tolerance for those who go to Washington and misbehave, which is why Newt Gingrich’s scandals irk so many of his former supporters. He’s become the quintessential example of those who show one face to the public (that of a moral man who is committed to bringing the values of the family to the nation’s capital) and another in private (that of a philandering womanizer who is in politics solely for personal gain). Here are a few samples of the scandals Newt Gingrich has found himself in.
Dumped his cancer-stricken 1st wife to marry his mistress. One of the first of the Newt Gingrich sandals started when he was just 19 and he married his 25 year-old high school geometry teacher. Feel free to read that last sentence over again. Yes, Newt seduced and married his teacher in 1962 and had two children with her while she worked to put him through college. However, when she became stricken with cancer in early 1980, he filed for divorce. It didn’t help matters that he’d already been several months into an affair with a Secret Service employee named Marianne Ginther, who he later married.
Dumped his MS-stricken 2nd wife to marry his mistress. Newt Gingrich’s scandals continued into his second marriage with Marianne. It was an open secret in Washington D.C. that Newt was cheating on his wife with several different women, but he was a leading power player in Congress and no one would dared confront him about it. Things grew complicated though when as Speaker of the House, Gingrich pursued impeachment charges against then-President Bill Clinton for committing perjury (specifically, for lying about having an affair with a young intern named Monica Lewinsky). During the impeachment hearings Gingrich was carrying on his own affair with a Congressional aide named Callista Bisek, who was 23 years his junior. When Marianne told him that she had developed multiple sclerosis, he continued the affair with Bisek for another eight months, then called Marianne on Mother’s Day to ask for a divorce. Gingrich married Bisek in 2000.
Cry-Baby Newt. During his budget battles with the Clinton White House in 1995, another Newt Gingrich scandal broke. During the budget negotiations, Newt was insistent that the budget could only be balanced by drastic cuts to entitlement programs while President Clinton held firm to the belief that the cuts Newt wanted would hamper economic growth. With the deadline looming to pass a budget, Newt threatened that he would allow essential government services to shut down for lack of funds rather than give in to Clinton’s demands. And that’s just what happened. Twice that year, in fact. When interviewed about his stance, Gingrich admitted that he was so insistent on the cuts in part because he felt the President had slighted him earlier that year by making him board Air Force One through the rear entrance rather than the main entrance when the two travelled to Israel for the funeral of recently assassinated leader Yitzhak Rabin. The normally conservative “New York Daily News” was so infuriated by Newt’s reasoning that they published an editorial cartoon that called him a cry-baby for his irrational stand.
Newt embraces birtherism. Most recently, Newt Gingrich stepped into another scandal when gave an interview with the “National Review” in 2010 when he made the following observation about President Obama, “What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]?” Gingrich’s remark about Kenya was in reference to a (disproven) far right-wing conspiracy theory known as birtherism, which states that Barack Obama lied about his birthplace and that he was born in Kenya, making him ineligible to serve as President of the United States.