Is Newt Gingrich Right to Bash Media over 'Open Marriage' Claim?

Gingrich attacks CNN debate moderator for asking about Marianne Gingrich's infidelity accusations.

By SHARE

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich fumed during Thursday's CNN debate when asked about his alleged request to have an "open marriage" with second wife Marianne Gingrich.

I think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office. And I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that.

The accusation came to the surface only hours before the debate, when ABC News posted a teaser of their Nightline interview with the candidate's ex-wife on their website. Her claim that Gingrich wanted to share himself with her and his mistress Callista (now his wife) sent shock waves through the Republican race, threatening Gingrich's chances of making a comeback in Saturday's South Carolina primary. Critics, like TJS's Brad Bannon, are quick to point out that while having an affair with Callista, then a congressional staffer, Gingrich was attacking President Bill Clinton for his affair with his intern Monica Lewinsky. Yet many Gingrich supporters are sticking behind the former speaker as Gingrich, who has admitted to infidelity, denies that he ever asked Marianne to engage in an "open marriage." At the debate, he drew two standing ovations as he turned the attack back on the media, "I am frankly astounded that CNN would take trash like that and use it to open a presidential debate."

[ See a collection of political cartoons on Newt Gingrich.]

What do you think? Is Gingrich right to criticize the media for focusing on the "open marriage" claim? Take the poll and comment below.

This poll is now closed, but the debate continues in the comments section.

Previously: Should Newt Gingrich’s Ex-wife’s Interview Derail His Campaign?