Newt Ally Calls Ex-Wife Unstable, Unhinged

Gingrich associates mount effort to defend the Republican.

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Allies of embattled GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich are coming to his defense against his ex-wife's new and salacious charges, labeling Marianne as "unstable" and "unhinged."

What's more is that they are slapping at ABC, which is set to run an interview Thursday with Marianne Gingrich in which she claims the former speaker wanted an open marriage so he could date his current wife, Callista. Gingrich's supporters claim the network is trying to get the Republican out of the race just as he's peaking in the polls.

What was once a quiet campaign to distance Marianne from Gingrich has kicked in to high gear in advance of the interview and GOP presidential debate Thursday.

One former associate of Marianne Gingrich, former congressional wife Catherine Mann-Grandy, told Whispers that the speaker's second wife was often rude, loud and unreasonable, and she doubted her story about the open marriage. [Could Romney Stumble in South Carolina?]

Citing a code among congressional wives, Mann-Grandy said, "We pretty much kept our lips closed, but Marianne was emotionally unstable and I particularly felt that she was obstreperous and rude."

She described Gingrich's ex-wife as "outrageous, she is headline grabbing, she has always been that kind of person...we all have character flaws, but at this moment for her to choose this and to say these things about an open marriage, I mean, hello. I mean first of all, she's probably making it all up. It's he said, she said, but he doesn't get to say, just she gets to say." [Read the U.S. News debate on whether Gingrich can beat Obama.]

Mann-Grandy said she hopes Americans dismiss Marianne Gingrich as a loose cannon. "What I'm hoping is that the Americans who watch this, the patriots who watch this, will look at this and say, 'OK, this is a woman who is angry, seems unstable, a little unhinged,' because that was her rep."

Like a lot of Gingrich supporters, she also blamed ABC and the media for using his ex-wife to punish his success in the polls. "If Newt were not doing so well in South Carolina, she would not be talking. Nobody would care. Let's face it: They want to get rid of Newt, they want [Mitt] Romney."

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