CHICAGO, January 21, 2012―There is a lot of arguing, handwringing, praise, and questions in the media regarding CNN’s John King leading off the South Carolina GOP debate with a question aimed at Newt Gingrich’s marital infidelity.
John King even left him an honorable way out by asking Newt if he wanted to address the issue. Newt said “no.” But then, his ego and motor mouth overrode his brain.
Only Newt Gingrich could be piously high and mighty over marital infidelity and open marriage. What was it he said a while back about pious baloney?
Newt Gingrich acted like a petulant two-year old when he responded. His “no” should have sufficed. No one would have seen the vicious ugly side of Newt Gingrich, the side that has Newt looking extremely un-presidential.
Worse, he did it on national television with tens of millions of voters watching.
Newt may have gotten applause and a bump in South Carolina, but he looked like the last guy you want answering the phone at 3A.M. handling critical issues, or dealing with the legislature.
But the combustible Newt could not help himself. He went off on a vicious tirade against Mr. King and the media. Newt owes the nation, Mr. King, and the media a very public apology on national television.
Newt Gingrich had no right to be angry with John King or anyone else. He knew that question was coming. It was inevitable. If it did not come during the debate, it would have come at some other venue where millions of voters would be watching.
He is running for President of the United States not the president of World Wide Wrestling™. Trash talk is not presidential. Newt is running on a platform of social and family values. He is espousing traditional marriage. Open marriages are not traditional. Marital infidelity is not traditional.
Gingrich also showed his blatant hypocrisy, as he was one of the leaders of the jackal pack ripping Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky scandal. What goes around comes around. Now the jackals are ripping him.
The question was germane. It was just as germane as questions aimed at Mitt Romney’s tax returns, his work at Bain Capital, or his alleged Cayman Island bank accounts.
By the way, yesterday Mitt Romney asked Gingrich to release documents relating to the former Speaker’s ethics violations and 300 thousand dollars in fines. Here is Gingrich’s response:
“I refuse to take seriously any request from the Romney campaign to disclose anything because they’re clearly not, they don’t want to disclose anything at any level that involves them.” (Politico).
Who does Gingrich think he is? Gingrich’s hubris is astounding.
It is perfectly all right for Newt Gingrich to attack the character, honesty, loyalty, and integrity of his opponents. According to Newt, it is not all right to attack his character, loyalty, and honesty. He is above those questions. He is Newt Gingrich. He doesn’t have to take requests for honesty seriously.
Newt Gingrich is not a victim here. He is not the victim of a smear, he is not the victim of the liberal media, he is not the victim of a vast left wing conspiracy, and he is not the victim of a woman scorned. Playing the victim card also makes him look weak. America does not want a weak president.
Newt has a lot to answer for. He is trying to be just like Barack Obama. No one is allowed to vet him. Vetting Gingrich is considered an anti-Republican smear campaign. His vetting the others is just good politics. Newt is a grandiose hypocrite.
Newt was dead wrong in his response to John King and he was dead wrong today in his response to Mitt Romney. Newt’s sense of entitlement to the presidency has him veering into the realm of fantasy.
Newt’s responses to questions of honesty, integrity, and character are signs he is not fit to lead the nation. He really believes he is entitled to evade his past because it is his past.
Gingrich had two choices the other night. Counter-punch with the truth or shut up. Attacking the attacker or questioner does nothing for you. Attacking the media is futile. The question or accusation will still loom large. Having a temper tantrum just made him look like a liar.
Character counts. You cannot stand up on nationwide television and tout family, Christian, or social values if you do not possess them.
People deserve answers to questions on character, honesty, and ethics. Tantrums are not answers. Gingrich would have been better off not answering the question claiming it was a private matter. People would have understood that. Instead, in Newt fashion, he slashed and burned.
America is not looking to elect a flawed president. It is looking to elect the best president. Newt showed, through his tirade, he is not presidential material. He is still the guerilla bomb throwing, erratic, unpredictable, and combustible character he was years ago. Newt has not changed.
Newt’s response to John King may have drawn a standing ovation in South Carolina. But, the nation saw a man who definitely did not look like presidential material. The American people saw an angry man who cannot keep calm under pressure. They saw a man who cannot take the heat.
They saw the real Newt Gingrich. What they saw was ugly.
Read more about Newt Gingrich here:
Peter V. Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance writer and photographer, cook, and raconteur. He likes to be the sharp stick that pokes, prods, and annoys. His opinions are his and his alone.
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