Photo via Esquire.
This interview is allegedly causing a "civil war" at ABC over the timing of its airing. Drudge has the exclusive:
Marianne Gingrich has said she could end her ex-husband's career with a single interview.
Earlier this week, she sat before ABCNEWS cameras, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.
She spoke to ABCNEWS reporter Brian Ross for two hours, and her explosive revelations are set to rock the trail.
But now a “civil war” has erupted inside of the network, an insider claims, on exactly when the confession will air!
ABCNEWS suits determined it would be “unethical” to run the Marianne Gingrich interview so close to the South Carolina Primary, a curious decision, one insider argued, since the network has aggressively been reporting on other candidates.
Dana Loesch speculates over at Big Journalism:
We all know that Newt Gingrich cheated on two of his three wives. He cheated on his wife Jackie, who had cancer, with Marianne Gingrich, the woman who gave an interview to ABC. If the details are simply that he was unkind to her or didn’t treat her right well, surprise! You were the mistress! You helped break up a marriage and thus forfeited your right to be outraged when the next mistress usurped your spot as the new wife. I have no pity for the “other woman.” I guess that’s why I find Marianne Gingrich’s late-to-the-game interview so odd. Could there be any bigger bombshell than they story of their union?
If there’s a civil war going on over at ABC News, it’s about when to air the story so that it does the maximum amount of damage to Newt, the guy who poses the greatest threat to Pharaoh Obama. Should they air it before the NC primary and let him go down in flames now, only to have a Santorum rise out of the ashes, or do they wait until later – perhaps until he wins the nomination, and then destroy him in the general. Or do they just leak rumors about it now, and see if they can put enough doubt in peoples’ minds for Mitt to win decisively in SC, but not enough for Newt to bow out, so the not Romneys continue the death march to Super Tuesday.
These things have to be done very delicately as the Wicked Witch of the West told Dorothy. There are many options before them. All of them helpful to the Master.
What this story does do is follow a familiar pattern of a certain political camp using smears and/or old family secrets that are nobody’s business to torpedo opponents’ campaigns. I’m not saying anyone in Chicago had anything to do with encouraging Marianne to tell her story. She could have decided to do it on her own accord with no prompting whatsoever. I’m just saying that this follows a very definite pattern.
Here’s what Marianne Gingrich told Esquire in August 2010:
But there was something strange and needy about him. “He was impressed easily by position, status, money,” she says. “He grew up poor and always wanted to be somebody, to make a difference, to prove himself, you know. He has to be historic to justify his life.”
She says she should have seen the red flags. “He asked me to marry him way too early. And he wasn’t divorced yet. I should have known there was a problem.”
Within weeks or months?
She looks skeptical. “It’s not so much a compliment to me. It tells you a little bit about him.”
And he did the same thing to her eighteen years later, with Callista Bisek, the young congressional aide who became his third wife. “I know. I asked him. He’d already asked her to marry him before he asked me for a divorce. Before he even asked.”
He told you that?
“Yeah, he wanted to — ”
But she stops. “Hey, turn off the tape recorder for a second. This is going to go places …”
Back in the 1990s, she told a reporter she could end her husband’s career with a single interview. She held her tongue all through the affair and the divorce and even through the annulment Gingrich requested from the Catholic Church two years later, trying to erase their shared past. Now she sits quietly for a moment, ignoring her eggs, trying to decide how far she wants to go.
Now Politico is reporting that the interview will air Thursday night, coinciding with the final debate before the South Carolina primary on Saturday.
I asked Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond about the interview, and he released a letter to ABC News execs from Gingrich’s daughters, Kathy Lubbers and Jackie Cushman, who have become his biggest surrogates in answering questions about their family. The letter is below:
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.
Greta Van Susteren weighs in:
I have no idea what this ABC interview is other than the limited stuff I am reading on DrudgeReport at this hour. I am flying blind in this posting and my opinion is only based on what little I know now.
What I DO know is that we are only 2 days out from the South Carolina primary and there is a high risk from the Drudge Report description of an explosive interview of unfair poisoning of those going to the polls. There simply is not enough time for a candidate to respond to the explosive report and fairness also includes fairness to the candidate.