Court Papers Reportedly Contradict Gingrich On First Divorce

One of the most difficult problems faced by Newt Gingrich in appealing to religious voters is his record of adultery and three marriages. His campaign insists that it was his first wife, Jackie, not Gingrich, who wanted the first divorce. However, recently released papers contradict that claim and indicate it was Newt Gingrich who wanted the divorce.

The campaign previously insisted that “it was (Jackie Gingrich) that requested the divorce, not Newt.”

That first divorce was particularly because Jackie was reportedly dying of cancer and rumors suggested that Newt actually served the divorce papers the day after her cancer surgery — Gingrich denies the claims as does their daughter.

CNN was told the divorce papers were sealed but it later found the documents.
Friends of both Gingrich and his first wife contradicted Gingrich’s claims about who wanted the divorce.

The papers show that Newt Gingrich filed a divorce complaint on July 14, 1980, in Carroll County, saying that “the marriage of the parties is irretrievably (sic) broken.” Even more interesting is that Jackie filed opposing the filing — a curious response if she wanted the divorce or, as the campaign claimed today, she asked him to file the papers. She added that “[a]lthough defendant does not admit that this marriage is irretrievably broken, defendant has been hopeful that an arrangement for temporary support of defendant and the two minor daughters of the parties could be mutually agreed upon without the intervention of this court . . . All efforts to date have been unsuccessful.”
Jackie Gingrich has never spoken to the media on the allegations. However, in 1985, she stated”He can say that we had been talking about it for 10 years, but the truth is that it came as a complete surprise.”

The bigger concern for evangelical voters is that Gingrich was already in a relationship with a 28-year-old congressional aide at the time. He later married the aide, Marianne Ginther Gingrich, and then divorced her 19 years later for another, and younger, congressional aide whom he married soon after his divorce. The third wife, Callista Bisek Gingrich, is now campaigning for him.

I have previously written how candidates like Gingrich who are running on faith should not complain when asked about their own commitment to faith. In this case, Gingrich clearly violated (repeatedly) an oath to God in a different ceremony. With the declining separation of church and state, such questions are likely to increase.

How relevant should that be to voters? Would it be equally relevant if he was not campaigning for religious voters?

Source: CNN

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241 thoughts on “Court Papers Reportedly Contradict Gingrich On First Divorce”

  1. Greenwald, yesterday, plus an update:

    “It’s perfectly legitimate to criticize Paul harshly and point out the horrible aspects of his belief system and past actions. But that’s worthwhile only if it’s accompanied by a similarly candid assessment of all the candidates, including the sitting President.

    UPDATE: Also, President Obama today signed the NDAA and its indefinite detention provisions into law (a law which Paul vehemently opposed); the ACLU statement — explaining that “President Obama’s action today is a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law” and “Any hope that the Obama administration would roll back the constitutional excesses of George Bush in the war on terror was extinguished today” – is here.”

  2. @rafflaw: …but [Ron Paul] is trying to forget his own history.

    Doesn’t that apply equally well to Obama and his campaign promises, or Romney and his left-leaning governorship, or Hillary and her overblown re-imagining of her role as First Lady as actually being an international peace negotiator bravely ducking a rain of bullets?

    It is unfair to penalize one candidate with such a criticism and not the others, when it applies. Doing so is just disguised partisanship, inventing a test that no candidate can pass and then selectively using it to exclude just the candidates one dislikes.

    Ron Paul’s newsletter lies are lies, to be sure, but when all the candidates are liars, we have to judge the degree of harm their lies have caused. I think it is a stretch to claim either Hillary’s lies and Ron Paul’s lies have done any actual harm to this country or any citizens. To my knowledge they are all lies to salve ego or conceal embarrassment, something virtually everybody has engaged in at one time or another.

    On the other hand Obama’s campaign lies of populist rhetoric we now see he never subscribed to have done immeasurable harm; not only did he embrace the Bush/Cheney authoritarian policies, he voluntarily extended them into new realms, like asserting the right to kidnap, indefinitely detain, torture, or kill American citizens on American soil without any due process whatsoever. He has failed to enforce the rule of law on his predecessors, which is the only thing that would defend the Constitution, and seized new unconstitutional powers for himself.

    If new Presidents do not use their power to punish the Constitutional violations of their predecessors, and simply engage in further predations upon the Constitution, as Obama has done, the Constitution itself becomes irrelevant. That is the harm Obama has done to the country and to all of us, he has made our rights irrelevant, and we are now simply subjects of an Imperial President: Just like your selectively applied rule, the President will now decide if you have the right to free speech, habeas corpus, life, property, or any rights at all. If the President decides to declare you a “threat,” you have no rights at all, and he doesn’t have to share his reasoning or evidence that you are a threat with anybody.

  3. puzzling,
    I agree that Ron Paul has enlarged the discussion between the candidates when it comes to the war issues, but he is trying to forget his own history.

  4. OS,

    To me Greenwald is saying is that if it wasn’t for Paul in the race, areas where Obama has failed certain progressive ideals would be missing from the discussion entirely. He goes on to name those, like the War on Terror, Patriot Act, Iran, Surveillance/Police State, Drug War, Drones, Whistleblowers, etc.

    Greenwald states that many liberals don’t want to be reminded about these failings, and that too many are caught up in blind partisanship: “… Then there’s the inability and/or refusal to recognize that a political discussion might exist independent of the Red v. Blue Cage Match… Worse still is the embrace of George W. Bush’s with-us-or-against-us mentality as the prism through which all political discussions are filtered. ”

    Paul deserves credit for keeping these concerns in the debate and making the bipartisan consensus around them controversial. I’m not sure why that concept is “enabling” in your view. The campaign’s ability to actually question the US war machine and its consequences are things the public has rarely seen, especially since 9/11.

    I hadn’t seen this ad before linked from GG’s column. It’s as powerful a way to re-frame the debate on our foreign policy for regular voters as any I’ve heard. Frankly, I’m fine if this message is “enabled”:

  5. Looks like Gingrich and Perry may get a break on the Virginia ballot:

    Virginia AG Cuccinelli may intervene in ballot flap

    FORT DODGE, Iowa – Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and other Republican presidential candidates who failed to get onto the Virginia primary ballot may have a glimmer of hope thanks to the intervention of Virginia’s top lawyer.

    The state’s attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, is planning to file emergency legislation to change the Virginia law that has kept most of the GOP candidates off the primary ballot, Fox News reported Saturday. Only former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul met the requirement of 10,000 signatures to participate in the March 6 primary.

  6. Also, I don’t think anyone has said Greenwald has “endorsed” Paul or anyone else, for that matter. What he has done is more or less done what the Madison Avenue types would call “positioned” Ron Paul. That is different from an endorsement, but is still a kind of left handed promotion by damning his opponents with faint praise.

    Analyzing statements linguistically is something I do professionally. And as I said earlier, no matter what anyone says, Paul is scary and I see what Glenn Greenwald is doing as a form of enabling. One of the reasons Ron Paul is scary is because he can be charming. Mark of a good demagogue is to be charming while they are picking your pocket.

  7. puzzling, if you can’t throw it, kick it, hit it or shoot it, there is very little to watch on the television machine. At the rate I use it, the remote batteries will last until the Second Coming.

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