Back to Top

Gingrich will ruin GOP claims to righteousness

The Republican Presidential Primaries are in full swing. Over the weekend Newt Gingrich won South Carolina. South Carolina is well-known as a conservative and Christian family values-oriented state.

It is this fact that makes it so surprising that Gingrich won. Gingrich is a man who has had three wives, cheated on at least two of them, and divorced them while they were ill. Newt Gingrich is morally reprehensible in terms of staying faithful and upholding the institution of marriage. If he wins the nomination, the Republican Party will lose any claim of being the moral party.

To realize Gingrich’s hypocrisy, all one needs to do is look at his relationship history. Gingrich originally married Jackie Battley from 1960 to 1981, but he then cheated on her with Marianne Ginther, his future second wife. While separated, Battley didn’t want to divorce Gingrich, but he was adamant about it. He even forced her to go over divorce paperwork while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer.

Gingrich then married Marianne Ginther, which lasted from 1981 to 1999. During the last six years of the marriage he had an affair with Callista Bisek, his third wife. This was during the same time he called for Clinton’s resignation. Gingrich eventually divorced his second wife when she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, even though doctors told him not to put Marianne through any undue stress. After the divorce, he then married Callista.

Shining further light on Gingrich’s hypocrisy, in a recent ABC special, Marianne stated that Gingrich asked for an open marriage. When asked about this during a debate, Gingrich received called the media "despicable" and recieved a thunderous applause. Yet the only despicable person is Gingrich.

To cheat on any person that you’ve promised to care for “in sickness and in health” is wrong, but Gingrich did this twice, both while they were very ill. What makes it worse is that Gingrich had the gall to call for Clinton’s resignation during the Monica Lewinsky scandal even though he was in the middle of his own affair. Gingrich even said at the time, “There is no administration with less moral authority than the Clinton-Gore administration.” That he could say this with a straight face is astonishing.

Especially reprehensible is that he lied to his wives for all those years. If Marianne is to be believed, Gingrich told her that he loved her every night while in his D.C. apartment in front of Callista. Gingrich attacked the media for asking whether he requested an open marriage with Marianne, but if he did, at the very least he would have been just a cheater, and not also a liar.

Additionally hypocritical though is how Gingrich despises gay marriage. He claims that gay marriage will ruin the institution of marriage. He even refused to attend his lesbian sister’s wedding for this reason.

Yet Gingrich has already desecrated the institution. Gingrich promised before God to take both Jackie and Marianne to be his wife “till death do us part,” and said he would be with them in “sickness and in health.” Gingrich has personally made these verses meaningless. The bible condemns adultery far more than homosexuality, especially in the New Testament. Gingrich has no place to judge anyone.

Anyone looking at Gingrich’s personal life can see that he is a cheater, liar and hypocrite. The fact that South Carolina overwhelmingly voted for him also says a lot about the state. During the 2000 Republican Presidential Primaries, South Carolina destroyed McCain’s campaign amid rumors that he fathered a black child. The fact that this killed McCain’s campaign bodes ill for the state’s progress on eliminating racism. The argument was made, however, that they didn’t like the idea of having a nominee with an affair.

However, this excuse is now moot. South Carolina killed McCain’s campaign not out of fear of having an adulterous relationship, but out of racism and ignorance. That South Carolina bought Gingrich’s attack on his wife also shows that they are perfectly fine with the institution of marriage being broken, so long as it’s not between same sexes or different races. By voting for Gingrich and cheering for his attack on his ex-wife, South Carolina Republicans have proven themselves not to be home of upright Christians, but of ignorant, misogynist, racist, hypocritical voters.

Gingrich may have won South Carolina, the “kingmaker” in Republican politics, but the primaries are only three states in. South Carolina and Gingrich may have lost their moral credibility, but for the rest of the GOP, it is not too late to ensure that his campaign dies. Anyone else in the field is morally a better person than Gingrich, so vote for them and not a hypocritical cheater. If he does become the nominee, however, I never want to hear another rant on how homosexuals will ruin marriage or how democrats have no morals, as you will have no room to judge.