Unethical Quote of the Month: Newt Gingrich

“There’s no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate. And what I can tell you is that when I did things that were wrong, I wasn’t trapped in situation ethics, I was doing things that were wrong, and yet, I was doing them. I found that I felt compelled to seek God’s forgiveness. Not God’s understanding, but God’s forgiveness. I do believe in a forgiving God. And I think most people, deep down in their hearts hope there’s a forgiving God.”

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich, preparing for a presidential run by attempting to explain and apologize for his serial marital betrayals, the most spectacular of which was visiting his first wife while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery to announce that he was divorcing her to marry his mistress. Then he cheated on his second wife, the former mistress, with a member of his staff. He ditched Mistress #1, Wife #2, for Mistress #2, who became Wife #3. This is why he needs a forgiving God, or at least a forgiving electorate.

Newt’s defense now is that he felt so passionately about his country that it caused him to dump his cancer stricken wife (so much for all that “in sickness or in health” stuff), and later, while he was leading a party that was making the case that a U.S. President shouldn’t be having on-the-job sexual encounters with interns, using his staff and appointees to cover it up, and lying about it under oath in court, to commence a second extra-marital affair of his own. This, naturally, helped let President Clinton wiggle of his well-earned impeachment hook, and also helped cement the socially destructive public perception that 1) everyone cheats on their spouses, so it’s okay, and 2) you can’t trust any of our elected leaders.

Thanks for nothing, Newt.

God is welcome to forgive you; I won’t. You are obviously untrustworthy. Once cheating on a spouse may be a mistake; cheating on a second spouse is a behavior pattern. If a politician who likes to invoke God will lie to and betray two women who he swore, before God, to take “’til death us do part,” not to mention his children, I see no reason to assume that he won’t betray voters who has never met, loved, or lived with.

God’s forgiveness is irrelevant to the central issue of whether New Gingrich has the reliability of character and core values to justify entrusting him with great power. As his self-serving quote demonstrates, he does not.

But good luck with God, Newt.


31 thoughts on “Unethical Quote of the Month: Newt Gingrich

  1. One can only assume from his comments that, either he does not feel as passionately about his country as he did before and therefore has a successful marriage, or this marriage will fail because he feels so passionately about his country that he is running for President. Wonder hoe the Values Voters will deal with this?

      • It’s for those exact reasons that Newt Gingrich will never be President. Maybe he’s resolved those character issues. Maybe the pressures of his responsibilities DID lead him to neglect his personal life to such a degree. And as a Christian, I forgive him. I’d forgive Edwards, too… if he ever asked for it! But “forgiveness” is not synonymous with “trust”.

        There’s no denying that both of those men are brilliant. But both have likewise demonstrated their penchant to putting their own personal pecadilloes ahead of their moral duty as a public figure to provide a good example as well as good leadership. I put Newt on a higher plane, because he HAS sought forgiveness and, I believe, that quest is not just a PR stunt. However, it’s not wise to place a man in the ultimate position of power when such doubts exist based on the past.

        We need look no further than other recent aspirants to the White House on that score. Nor did we always dodge the bullet. There are no “squeaky clean” candidates for sainthood in politics. But we must choose the best we can on the moral factor and pray that his leadership will be up to the task.

  2. The ugliness and arrogance of this man is unbelievable. Luckily it’s up to God and not the rest of us to forgive this jerk.

    • Ben, I’ve heard this about forgiveness or pardoning (source unknown):

      “An offense can only be forgiven by the person offended. Thus, an offense against God can be forgiven only by God.”

      If this be so, many of the Slimey Newt’s offenses are against the electorate, or against those who trusted him. So, in whose hands does pardon belong?

    • Ugliness and arrogance? It takes a special kind of ugliness and arrogance to think you’re wiser than God about who should be forgiven. Thankfully, you must be without sin so it’s safe for you (the communal you) to throw stones and be unforgiving toward others. EVERYONE deserves forgiveness, grace and mercy.
      Curmudgeon used a quote and so will I but mine will be attributed: “Those who forgive most shall be most forgiven” William Blake
      BTW Gingrich, Romney and the rest are candidates for president not sainthood. No one is righteous … no not one. (Romans 3:1) but I’m sure y’all will vote for someone as pure as yourselves. Good luck with that.

      • In a word, balderdash. We have an obligation to judge the conduct of others so we can assess our own conduct and establish clear standards. Saying someone isn’t a saint doesn’t mean that there isn’t a huge gap in ethical conduct among non-saints, and that the best shouldn’t be distinguished from the worst. The Bible doesn’t say not to make character judgements—the Bible says not to stone whores to death when you paid them to sleep with you—a rather different lesson.

        Newt can seek forgiveness when he is genuinely contrite and accepts responsibility. Saying that you were too patriotic to be faithful to your wife is NOT that. In fact, it’s an insult.

        Meanwhile, good luck to YOU picking a leader without judging his character or conduct. This was a fatuous comment regurgitating half-baked cliches instead of thought. Better luck next time.

  3. Newt, if the strain is too much and you truly love America, do your party and your country a favor and drop out of this race.

  4. Ok I just dug up this gem of a quote from Newt:

    “People need to hear what I have to say. It doesn’t matter what I live.“

    Is this a winning quote or what? In related news, God picks a putrid public latrine to be his prophet.

    • Take a minute and think long and hard on that quote.

      That quote is actually extremely amazing and important.

      It is saying that no matter who that person is, what that person says is important.

      That plumber who just unclogged your drain? What he says can be important. A poet starving slowly because he cannot make a living doing with what he loves? Important. A crooked politician hanging out in Washington D.C.? Important.

      Just because you do not understand the weight of a quote does not make it a bad or stupid quote.

      That you think such a quote is stupid says a lot about yourself.

      • Oh spare me your overweening condescension Joshua. If you seriously believe the messenger is irrelevant to the message, you have a lot of growing up to do, and a sore need to brush up on your comprehension of what others are writing. Sure I agree a message should ideally stand on its own, but we live in a real world where both PRESENTATION and CONTENT are important in order to reach an audience. And presentation includes the standing of the messenger. That said, it’s not like Newt has something so unique to say that I can’t get it from a more credible source who does not do violence to my sensibilities. Live in your own little world if you like but most people find it easier to internalize a message that is not delivered by a practicing hypocrite.

  5. Bill Cosby hasn’t ever held (as far as I know) elected office. He ain’t perfect, neither, but he ain’t holding himself out that way. Newt and his ilk like to say they are until they’re caught, and then they pull the “youthful indiscretion” defense or something just as gorge-inducing. REALLY? You spent 30 years with the same mistress in DC and that was a YOUTHFUL indiscretion you didn’t fix until you were 60+ (I can’t recall the ages exactly, but I’m still disgusted). I wasn’t that dumb when I was TWENTY.

    • Well, no, but Bill collects a lot of speaking fees to preach responsible parenting, and has paid out a lot of money to assistants and aspiring actresses who credibly claimed that he drugged and molested them. Which, you’ll agree, is a bit worse than anything Newt did.

      • I’m disappointed to hear that about Cosby (you can tell my knowledge of celebrity goings-on is worse than abysmal). No one is perfect, but there is a big chasm of a difference between being imperfect and continually being a lowlife and excusing or aggrandizing oneself with no intention of stopping. I hope Cosby is not the latter, where Gingrich most assuredly is.

  6. Pingback: Newt Gingrich and the Republicans are Ruining Traditional Marriage « Tex Shelters Online

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