Newt Gingrich, the former, failed Speaker of the House who prosecuted President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial told Fox News host Chris Wallace he sees no hypocrisy on his part as he prosecuted Clinton for lying about an affair while he, himself, was having a clandestine affair of his own.
The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent today labels Gingrich “a conservative intellectual of sorts,” and calls the 67-year-old soon-to-be presidential candidate’s recent positions “comic and unsightly,” saying, “now he appears to be taking things to a new level: He’s now trying to rewrite the role he played in the drive to impeach Bill Clinton, in order to compensate for the fact that his performance during that episode looks rather hypocritical and ridiculous in light of his own adulterous history.”
Sargent calls the comments you can hear in the video below “a sanitized version of one of the highest-profile moments of his career,” and adds, “What’s more, during the 1998 midterm elections, Gingrich was intimately involved in the creation of a GOP ad campaign that made this claim about Clinton: “What did you tell your kids? … It’s wrong. For seven months he lied to us.”
“Though both of these are partly about the legal issues surrounding Clinton’s conduct, they are both clearly hypocritical in light of his own history — hypocrisy he’s now trying to sanitize out of existence.”
Gingrich, a twice-divorced, thrice-married serial adulterer, has been on a morality and social issues campaign for most of his career, but has stepped up the rhetoric and focus, including making a film about Pope Benedict XVI with his third wife, Calista, and converting to Catholicism in 2009. Gingrich is the first Speaker of the House to ever be disciplined for ethics violations.
Gingrich, according to his first wife, visited her in the hospital as she was recovering from cancer surgery to discuss the terms of their divorce.
Last month, speaking about DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act that two federal judges, the Attorney General, and the president have all decided is unconstitutional, Gingrich lied when he stated, “The President is replacing the rule of law with the rule of Obama. The President swore an oath on the Bible to ensure that the laws be faithfully executed, not to decide which laws are and which are not constitutional.” DOMA is not in the Constitution. The president does not need to defend laws that are unconstitutional, he merely needs to enforce them, which he still is.
The presidential oath of office is clear: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Note it does not say I will execute and defend the laws, it says I ”will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”