Newt's ex gives bombshell interview to ABC
With Newt Gingrich gaining on Mitt Romney in South Carolina, you might have expected something like this.
Marianne Gingrich was going to keep quiet only so long. The fact that she has now given an interview to ABC News is not surprising, as much of the timing of it is raising a few eyebrows.
Matt Drudge first broke news that Marianne Gingrich, Newt Gingrich's second wife who he left after a lengthy affair with his current wife, Callista, has given an interview to ABC News, which appears to mark only the second time she's spoken this cycle.
My colleagues Dylan and Keach report that the interview is likely to air tomorrow night, which would coincide with the final debate before the South Carolina primary vote on Saturday.
Marianne Gingrich has barely spoken this campaign cycle, and the fact that Gingrich has a messy personal past is well known.
But based on her comments in the past about their relationship - Marianne Gingrich has said her then-husband called to ask for a divorce by phone while she was visiting her mother for her birthday in Ohio, and while he was leading the charge against Bill Clinton over Sexgate - it seems unlikely that this is going to be a positive thing for Gingrich at a time when his candidacy is surging.
ABC debated briefly the idea of airing the interview so close to the primary. But once the interview became public knowledge, they had little choice in the matter.
Gingrich's children issued a response:
The failure of a marriage is a terrible and emotional experience for everyone involved. Anyone who has had that experience understands it is a personal tragedy filled with regrets, and sometimes differing memories of events.
We will not say anything negative about our father's ex-wife. He has said before, privately and publicly, that he regrets any pain he may have caused in the past to people he loves.
ABC News or other campaigns may want to talk about the past, just days before an important primary election. But Newt is going to talk to the people of South Carolina about the future- about job creation, lower taxes, and about who can defeat Barack Obama by providing the sharpest contrast to his damaging, extreme liberalism. We are confident this is the conversation the people of South Carolina are interested in having.
Our father is running for President because of his grandchildren - so they can inherit the America he loves. To do that, President Obama must be defeated. And as the only candidate in the race, including Obama, who has actually helped balance the national budget, create jobs, reform welfare, and cut taxes and spending, Newt felt compelled to run - to serve his country and safeguard his grandchildren's future.
Marianne Gingrich reportedly told people that she could end Newt's career "with a single interview." It's evident that the campaign believes this is true as they prepare for the revelations that will no doubt be damaging on a personal level.
A lot of people don't care about this stuff - some do. Marianne Gingrich may not be the most credible interview subject given the nature of their divorce but it is likely that some SC voters will refuse to vote for Gingrich as a result of the ABC News sit-down.