What Gingrich’s Open Marriage Debate Hissy Fit Says About GOP Family Values

The good news in the Republican clown show masquerading as a presidential primary is Rick Perry is dropping out.  The bad news is he endorsed Newt Gingrich, advocate for making poor children janitors, and according to Marianne Gingrich (wife #2) someone who believes “open marriage”.


video platform
video management
video solutions
video player

I’m not going to mince words.  “Open marriage” amounts to claiming commitment to one person, while dogging around with one or more others.  In religious circles, dogging around with other people is called adultery.  So let’s get passed the euphemisms.  Newt Gingrich expected his previous wife to condone adultery.  She wouldn’t do it, so Newt moved on to Callista.


One can argue that a politician’s private life is and should be private.  Normally, I would agree with that sentiment.  The problem is this particular politician asserts that the constitution should define marriage as between a man and a woman. Not a man, his mistress and a woman.  Moreover, he’s a serial adulterer.  It’s as if for all his talk about marriage, Newt’s the kind of guy who recites his vows while having his fingers crossed behind his back.  That’s a character issue.  If someone has a questionable ability to commit to marriage vows, what does that say about his ability to commit to things like upholding the constitution?

Newt had adulterous affairs in both of his previous marriages.  Perhaps he has reformed, or perhaps as he told Marianne, Callista is totally cool with open marriage.  Maybe she was cool with it when she was the mistress, but applies a different standard now that she is the person who Newt would be unfaithful to.

Given Gingrich’s pride in how closed minded he is I’m surprised to see that he believes in open anything.  Yet, if we look at the conservative attitude toward women, this should have been obvious.


As Michele Bachmann put it, a woman is supposed to submit to their husband.  If one has the misfortune or lack of grey matter to marry someone like Newt, then she must overlook the infidelity – not to mention the risk of social diseases.  Boys will be boys. If the boy’s affair is made public, then the dutiful wife must stand by her man during the mea culpa press conference.

Of course, Newt is doing all he can to redeem himself, after blaming patriotism for his previous infidelities.

“There’s no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate. And what I can tell you is that when I did things that were wrong, I wasn’t trapped in situation ethics, I was doing things that were wrong, and yet, I was doing them.

I found that I felt compelled to seek God’s forgiveness. Not God’s understanding, but God’s forgiveness. I do believe in a forgiving God. And I think most people, deep down in their hearts hope there’s a forgiving God.

Somebody once said that when we’re young, we seek justice, but as we get older, we seek mercy. There’s something to that, I think. I feel that I’m now 67 I’m a grandfather. I have two wonderful grandchildren. I have two wonderful daughters and two great sons in law.”

Callista and I have a great marriage. I think that I’ve learned an immense amount. And I do feel, in that sense, that God has given me, has blessed me with an opportunity as a person. Forget about all this political stuff. As a person, I’ve had the opportunity to have a wonderful life, to find myself now, truly enjoying the depths of my life in ways that I never dreamed it was possible to have a life that was that nice.

Though, I will give Newt some credit.  At least he didn’t pull a John Ensign, running to his mommy and daddy to pay off the mistress to keep quiet.

However, his response to the question during the most recent GOP debate tells us much more about Newt than about his philosophy on marriage.  Rather than addressing the question, he used the classic conservative tactic of attacking the media.  Let’s get this straight.  Newt was the serious adulterer.  Newt is the guy who blamed patriotism for his infidelity.  Assuming Mariane’s account of Newt’s attitude toward marriage is true, this presidential candidate has a problem with the truth and with accepting responsibility for his own actions.

Blame the media all you want, Mr. Gingrich.  Character is an issue.  Blaming others for your conduct is one of the many reasons that you are not presidential material.

 Image from joshuapundit.

28 Replies to “What Gingrich’s Open Marriage Debate Hissy Fit Says About GOP Family Values”

  1. What I love about the position Gingrich has put the GOP in is that they never really had the
    moral highground–they now smell absolutely fetid. Its a wonder to watch. You know moderate
    republicans are in horrible pain.

  2. Isn’t it a fact that his “adultery” is polling well with the all white MALE fundamentalist evangelical base, while the women married to those particular men are polling the exact opposite? And isn’t it a fact that when Newt moved to Georgia from Pennsylvania he converted to the Southern Baptist tribe, but since his infidelities became an issue last spring (when he was doing his “exploratory campaign”) he converted to Catholicism? What’s the next trick he will pull out of his magician’s jacket, like Gob Bluth from “Arrested Development”?

  3. I guess he thinks this controversy will now disappear. Not.
    Herman Cain tried playing the victim too, how’d that work out.

  4. Let’s not forget his famous “Woman can’t be in combat….They get infections.” remarks as Speaker.

  5. Funny how the GOP is so forgiving of Gingrich’s hijinks. I doubt they’d be this forgiving if a Democrat did the same.

  6. The Republicans are extremely forgiving of their own and they require it of their women and daughters. It’s a dark mark on the Christianity they claim to follow. And the way they handle the less fortunate is totally unacceptable. And when you destroy the middle class you create more who are less fortunate.

    The TAX CODE should reward those companies that want to invest in America. Too bad we don’t have patriots anymore. Greed is running rampant. Romney and Newt both belong to the greed club.

  7. They never pass up an opportunity to mention Bill Clinton or John Edwards whenever a GOP politician like Gingrich is justifiably skewered for his behavior. If Barack Obama ever did anything like they’ve done, they would not be any more forgiving of him than they are of those two men.

    Just like Weird Willard, Nasty Newt does not like being challenged or questioned either, especially when questions about his racism or serial adultery come up. The folks who are supporting him care a lot less about his serious shortcomings than they do about ousting a president they hate beyond reason. They see him as their favorite anti-Romney candidate.

  8. If they ever discovered, or could even believably invent, anything remotely comparable about Barack Obama, it’d be “*those people* are animals who can’t keep it in their pants.” When it’s a white, right-wing male Christian, it’s “Boys will be boys, and ‘real women’ should be loyal and understanding”.

  9. God forgives all sinning Republicans. When a Democrat fails to follow the ten commandments he or she is scorned for life. God does not forgive Democrats.

  10. The hypocrisy of Newt is what really matters politically. he went after Bill Clinton for having an affair WHILE he himself was having an affair with Callista. He took it so far as to bring impeachment charges against President Clinton because he lied about having an affair.

    It was pretty rich to hear Gingrich get up on his high horse about what a despicable question it was to ask in the debate, but he had no problem letting the country get unnecessarily dragged through every little tawdry detail about President Clinton.

  11. My question is: How in the hell do they define love? Commitment?

    Seriously – from what I’ve read, it suggests that Newt doesn’t have a clue as to what love is. Infatuation and lust? Sure. But the “real thing” doesn’t seem to even compute to the jackass.

    As far as I’m concerned, Newt is no more mature (connected to self discipline rather than age) than a kid with the hots.

  12. For once Sarah Palin was right. She said that Newt’s poll numbers would rise in SC after the open marriage disclosure.Wouldn’t it be great Calista as First Lady and Sarah Palin as Newt’s concubine.

  13. I was struck by his wanting an Open marriage.
    Did he ask so that his wife would ask for the divorce and let him off the hook?
    Did he NOT want to marry Callista? Did she not want to marry him?

    Either scenario is not conductive to christian or family values.
    He is such a sleaze.

  14. He wasn’t the only Republican guilty of such hypocrisy during that time. Hustler’s Larry Flynt exposed some of the very ones throwing rocks from their own glass houses. In addition to Nasty Newt, there was the late Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois who had a decade-long affair during the 1960’s with a married woman that broke up the marriage. During this time, he was in his 40’s, but he called it a “youthful indiscretion.” Then there was also the late Rep. Helen Chennoweth of Idaho, who was carrying on with a married man. Apparently, folks like Gingrich are incapable of acknowledging that when they go after others for what they have done or are doing at the time, they get hoisted on their own petards because of their false claims to moral superiority to Democrats.

  15. this is the real Newt Gingrich. Totally unreliable and unbelievable, completely untruthful and someone you would never want to trust. And yet for some reason the people still want to support him. If you’re not old enough to remember what he was like when he was in with Clinton, maybe you should read up on him because he is not someone you want to trust with your country. And he will run as far as he can to get away from talking about it. Blame someone else that’s the best he can do

  16. that might be the scariest yet eerily most intriguing thought i have had in a long time! thank you for the laugh…and let us hope is remains just a thought…

  17. You got that right, Shiva. Newt is counting on low information voters who are too young to remember him, and those who remember, but based on false information, are just as hateful and angry as he is.

  18. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought his answer was a “hissy fit”. Also, it’s beyond my understanding how old Pigface could find even one person to get naked with him. Yeck !!

  19. What does it say about Republican politician family families, what we already knew, it’s all marketing and public relations lies used by conmen to target their market segment. Gullible Christian’s who lap this stuff up as a fantasy and then who ignore reality when it slaps them in the face.
    Have you never noticed, politicians always suck up to and complement those people the most, who they will actually do the least for (they sell legislation to their corporate pals for cold hard cash).
    What do the political parties ever actually do for small business’s, think about it. When corporations routinely grind small businesses into the dirt, what do politicians do to support those corporations that destroy small business and, what do politicians do to protect small business from rapacious corporations?
    Get the picture, when a politician is going to do absolutely nothing for you, they will through you a few compliments and then, screw you over.

  20. Great comment and points!

    On point one:…”it’s all marketing and public relations lies used by conmen to target their market segment. Gullible Christian’s who lap this stuff up as a fantasy and then who ignore reality when it slaps them in the face…

    Fundamentalist Christians are “gullible” because of their rigidity to change, which conveniently ALWAYS slap them in the face (that pesky universe!). So, marketing to them is “easy”, a no-brainier which shows just how lazy and opportunistic republicans have remained since Nixon.

    Point Two: I like your angle, but…I would replace the words “small business” for the word “women”, as in the case of Newton Leroy (ewww…imagine getting complimented from some guy named “Newton Leroy”)…they throw you a few compliments, con you and then throw you away for some “thang” with more “money” or power.

  21. Right you are! Just this morning, a wingnut set up a VERY false equivalency of “well since Obama was 28 when he met Michelle, what about his old girlfriends? Why odesn’t anyone talk to them?” Ummmm….cause what he did before he even MET his wife is completely immaterial, not infidelity in any way, etc…

    The samw poster also suggested the media track down Obama’s college day drug dealers. Again, Obama made (and fully, openly admits to) mistakes while he was still a teenager—Newt was a skirt chasing hypocrite while in politics, at 50 (and probably still is).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.