John Stewart feeds on hypocrisy like a hurricane sucks energy from a warm sea. And Newt Gingrich’s surly response to a debate question about his ex-wife’s open marriage allegation sent Stewart off the scale.
During the debate two days before the South Carolina primary, CNN moderator John King asked Gingrich about his second wife’s statement that he wanted an open marriage, because he was having an affair with another woman.
Gingrich, a self-described “family values” candidate charged that the question was “as close to despicable as anything I can imagine.” The response draw jeers for King and applause for the Republican, who went on to win the primary in South Carolina, a so-called “family values” state.
“All [King] has to do is point out the hypocrisy of a family values crusader who presided over Congress at the time of the Republicans’ ‘Clinton penis scavenger hunt’ suddenly finding that kind of questioning of a Presidential candidate unseemly!” said Stewart with incredulity.
Stewart said King should have pointed out “that [Gingrich] insists that gay people would sully the sanctity of marriage — whilst being a career marriage sully-er!”
“How dare you sir in front of all the good people of South Carolina, ask me about something as tawdry as my three somewhat overlapping marriages,” Stewart said in mock indignation. “How dare you!
“Oh My God! John King is going to crush this guy!” the commentator bellowed.
But no. King did not follow up. So we will.
Gingrich left his first wife after she had been stricken with cancer. He asked for a divorce while she was receiving treatment in the hospital. In 1981, six months after the divorce was final, Gingrich wed Marianne Ginther.
While still married to Ginther, Gingrich began an affair with House staffer Callista Bisek, who is 23 years his junior. He married Bisek shortly after his divorce from second wife Marianne was finalized in 2000.
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