Blasting the media in Thursday night’s debate on CNN, Republican Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich chastised the moderator and blamed news "elitists" for launching assaults on his moral character after more allegations of infidelity emerged.
"I think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office, and easier for me to deflect attention from my vulnerabilities. And I am delighted that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that." , snapped Gingrich to loud applause and cheers from the audience.
Gingrich was responding to allegations made by his second wife, Marianne, who spoke to ABC News about her 18 year marriage to the former Speaker of the House, revealing her ex told her he wanted an “open marriage” while still carrying on an affair with a congressional aide, who is now his third wife.
Clearly unhappy with the question, Gingrich slammed CNN's John King by saying, "Every person in here knows personal pain. Every person in here has had someone close to them go through painful things. To take an ex-wife and make it two days before the primary a significant question in a presidential campaign is as helpful as anything I can imagine." , and then rebuked further, "John, it was repeated by your network. You chose to start the debate with it. Though it’s generous of you to share the credit for the story, you and your staff were kind enough to start this debate with that."
All this happened, Marianne Gingrich says, during the same time her husband condemned President Bill Clinton for his lack of moral leadership during the Monica Lewinsky scandal of the late 1990s.
Marianne went onto say Gingrich divorced his first wife, Jackie, as she was being treated for cancer. At the time their relationship began, Marianne admitted Gingrich was still married to his first wife and was going through a divorce.
The entire interview with Marianne Gingrich will appear Friday evening on ABC’s NIGHTLINE program.
In the meantime, a statement to ABC News provided by the campaign from Gingrich's two daughters said, "The failure of a marriage is a terrible and emotional experience for everyone involved."
The daughters from his first marriage, Kathy Lubbers and Jackie Cushman said they would not say anything negative about Marianne and added their father "regrets any pain he may have caused in the past to people he loves.", according to CNN.