The Serial Adultery of Newt Gingrich
a·dul·ter·y –noun voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than his or her lawful spouse.
From its earliest days, Gingrich’s history is marred by sexual impropriety. As a 16 year old high school student, Gingrich began an affair with his Geometry teacher, Jackie Battley, who was nine years older than the boy. Their “nighttime dalliances” in the back of her car continued until Gingrich was 19 years old, at which time the two married in 1962. During their marriage, Jackie gave birth to two daughters. As reported by Jackie in Esquire, while recovering in the hospital from uterine cancer, she enjoyed a visit from Newt in which she was served divorce papers. Newt was sweet enough to bring the children along for the special visit.
Perhaps one reason Jackie agreed to the divorce was the shame of her husband’s affairs with other women. The geometry teacher had stood by Newt’s side during his unsuccessful congressional campaigns in the 1970’s – even as her former student was using his protractor to plot angles with other women. During those campaigns, according to Gingrich’s former campaign scheduler, “it was common knowledge that Newt was involved with other women during his marriage to Jackie. He had girlfriends – some serious, some trivial.” One of these women was Anne Manning, who admitted to a sexual relationship with Newt during his 1976 campaign. She confessed, “We had oral sex. He prefers that modus operandi because then he can say, ‘I never slept with her.’”
Newt met Marianne Ginther at a political fundraiser for her father, an Ohio mayor, in 1980. Ginther knew Gingrich was still married, but that didn’t stop her from beginning an affair with him. Six months after Newt divorced Jackie, he married Marianne. Of their marriage, Marianne reported, “He asked me to marry him way too early. And he wasn’t divorced yet. I should have known there was a problem.” You think, Marianne? After Ginther was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1999, Gingrich called her while she was visiting her mother in Ohio for Mother’s Day to announce that he was engaged in an affair with Callista Bisek. Ginther asked that the couple enter marital counseling, but her request was rejected.
During Newt and Marianne’s divorce proceedings, Callista admitted to an adulterous relationship with Gingrich that spanned over six years – including the period of the Monica Lewinsky scandal when Gingrich had publicly condemned President Bill Clinton for his infidelities. Callista was 23 years younger than Newt and had worked as his congressional aide. Marianne told reporters, “He’d already asked her to marry him before he asked me for a divorce.” Gingrich and Bisek went on to marry in August of 2000.
In preparation for his presidential run, Gingrich knew that he would have to address his long history of infidelities and multiple marriages if he was to secure the support of social conservatives and evangelicals. In March of 2011, Gingrich spoke to David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network. And his explanation for his adulterous relationships? “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.” That’s right. Newt Gingrich cheated on multiple wives over the course of decades because of his strong work ethic and love of his country.
Some people in the United States still care about the sanctity of marriage and the preservation of the family unit. They have the hope that the most high profile role model in the nation will set a decent example for the children of the country. They believe in the words of our nation’s first and greatest President, George Washington, who said in his first inaugural address: “The foundation of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality.”
There are many who casually remark that what a person does in his personal life has no bearing on his ability to be the President of the United States. I strongly disagree. The most sacred vow that a man will ever take in this life is his promise to “cleave unto his wife” and none else. The vow of fidelity is paramount to all other promises he makes. A man who cannot be trusted to be honest with his own wife cannot be trusted to be honest with an entire nation. We learned this lesson with President Bill Clinton.
Many of us remember the infamous words of the finger-wagging, indignant President to the American people, “I did not have sex with that woman.” The debate raged back and forth as to whether Clinton’s sexual escapades had any bearing on his ability to lead the country. Many excoriated the House Republicans for its focus on the President’s sex life, alleging that such matters were of no concern to the electorate.
The House of Representatives Impeachment Managers, led by Bob Barr, correctly made the case that the impeachment trial was not a matter of sex. Rather, Clinton’s actions were a matter of abuse of power and dereliction of his duty to uphold the US Constitution. He had committed perjury and obstruction of justice. A woman named Paula Jones had been taken advantage of by the former Governor of Arkansas. She had a right to seek a redress of grievances in court. Bill Clinton lied, and perjury is a crime. To cover up his crime, he then engaged in a pattern of obstruction. Justice for an abused woman was at issue, and no man in America, whether pauper or President, is above the law.
Does the faithfulness of a President to his wife impact his ability to fulfill his sworn duty to defend, uphold and protect the Constitution of the United States? As the case of William Jefferson Clinton demonstrated, yes it does. The most sacred vow that a man will ever take in this life is his promise to “cleave unto his wife” and none else. The vow of fidelity is paramount to all other promises he makes. A man who cannot be trusted to be honest with his own wife cannot be trusted to be honest with an entire nation.
Consider your own house. If you have a 16 year old child who repeatedly lies to you, steals your money or otherwise behaves in a wholly untrustworthy way at home, could you trust this child to be honest and proper elsewhere? If you have a spouse who lies to you about their whereabouts to cover up the fact that they are sleeping with other people, could you reasonably be expected to believe that they are honest in their dealings with other people? If a man betrays his own wife and children, can he be trusted to be honest with those whom he has even less connection?
Be honest with yourself. Do you really want to give someone who is so dishonest and untrustworthy the keys to the most powerful office in the world? Especially one who has already once resigned in shame for Congressional ethics violations?
Instead, consider supporting Congressman Ron Paul for President. He has been faithful to the same woman for over 50 years of marriage. This speaks highly of his integrity and that of his faithful wife for standing by his side for so many decades in a loving relationship. Congressman Paul served his country in the US Air Force and worked in the private sector as an OBGYN, delivering over 4,000 babies. He is a staunch pro-life Christian who believes in the value of following the U.S. Constitution. In his first year of office, Ron Paul has promised to eliminate 5 bureaucratic cabinets and slash federal spending by one trillion dollars. He will work with Congress to reduce the size and power of the federal government, returning those powers to the states and to the people as stipulated in the 10th Amendment.
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Jake Morphonios has worked as a political consultant and campaign strategist for over two decades and is the author of “Organizing a Grassroots Political Machine”, used in the Steve Forbes 2000 Presidential campaign.
Other Articles by Jake Morphonios:
Romano, Lois (January 3, 1985). “Newt Gingrich, Maverick on the Hill; The New Right’s Abrasive Point Man Talks of Changing His Tone and Tactics”. The Washington Post.
Scheer, Robert (December 25, 1994). “Gingrich Puts a Price on His Family Values : He sheltered his $4-million book bonanza from his struggling, non-trophy ex-wife.”. Los Angeles Times. [link edited for length]. Retrieved Nov. 24, 2011.
Calmes, Jackie; Kuntz, Phil (November 9, 1994). “Newt’s House: Republicans’ Wins Put Their Attack Tactician In a Position to Lead—Gingrich, Having Led Assault On Capital Ways, Faces Unfamiliar Role: Builder—`This Is a Brand New World'”. The Wall Street Journal: p. A1.
Gingrich’s Life: The Complications and Ideals, By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE, New York Times, November 24, 1994
“Gingrich confession: Clearing the way for a 2008 run?”. CNN. March 9, 2007. [link edited for length]. Retrieved December 29, 2009.
Newt Gingrich tells The Brody File he ‘felt compelled to seek God’s forgiveness’, The Brody File, Christian Broadcasting Network, March 8, 2011
McCaffrey, Shannon (March 9, 2011), “Newt Gingrich says his passion for his country contributed to his marital infidelity”, Chicago Tribune
“Callista Gingrich”. Newt.org. 2010. [link edited for length]. Retrieved August 14, 2010.
Gingrich, Newt; Jackie Gingrich Cushman (2009). 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours. Random House.Tweet
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