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January 19th, 2012
11:29 PM ET

Video: King explains opening Gingrich question

John King says that it was his decision to ask Gingrich about his ex-wife's allegation; David Gergen weighs in on the issue.

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Filed under: 2012 Election • David Gergen • John King
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Meg Chand

    Let me commend you for asking Newt Gingrich the "open marriage" questions. He is seeking a public office -the higest public office of the Land and possible in the world – and we need to know if he has the core values, honesty, and the stableness of character that befits this high office. His inflated ego should not prevent the media from asking such questions.

    January 23, 2012 at 11:58 am |
  2. oakland dave

    Generally I agree, such topics get in the way of real issues but Newt's indignation was hypocritical in the extreme. This was the guy who oversaw as speaker, the entire nation grind to a halt for a year over Clinton's dalliance with Monica. He helped introduce these topics to the mainstream. D
    on't backdown John

    January 22, 2012 at 5:12 am |
  3. Joann Duff

    I don't think John King should apolgize in any way for asking that question. If character matters in an election, than I think it's a jounalist's duty to ask those questions, regardless of who the candidate is. Gingrich's famlly life was dominating the headlines; furthermore Gingrich gave permission for his daughters to go public, so why Gingrich, a seasoned politician, took offense is beyond me. He should have answered the question calmly and it would have been forgotten. That particular issue was the elephant in the room at that debate and he knew it. Again, being a seasoned politician, Gingrich had to have known his marital difficulties were going to come up in the debate somehow in some way. My sense is he made a calculated decision to turn the issue away from him and onto John King and CNN.

    January 21, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  4. william

    Bravo! John, I also agree with Patricia Korth about metal illness surfacing. How could a person of compassion and moral character respond like he did? OH, he did it once before did'nt he with a sick wife. I find him to be no more no less than a cable tv evangelical paster hunting for idiots to believe in his theology.

    January 20, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
  5. Cee.La.

    John king was right on in asking about this mans baggage......but Gingrich is a seasoned player and in a brilliant move, used it to address the rights favorite booger boo, MSM......its okay for Fox to call the president anything from a socialist, birther,anti christian, anti american etc, etc, but when you ask them a question......it turns into an attack...LOL....

    January 20, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
  6. Karen

    I am just sitting here and lauging at the way Mr. Gingrich suddenly wants to run a clean campaign when in fact he was one of the front runners in the slaughtering of Mr. Clinton by the way, he ended up cheating on his wife the same as Clinton did. Mr. Gingrich is a hypocrit who is now "appauled" at questioning concerning his personal life when I remember he was one of the front runners who spoke so dammingly about Clinton and his actions then. How the world has changed. He is full of it. Karma is what it's called.

    January 20, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
  7. John Rajah

    Congratulations,CNN,for enabling Newt Gingrich win the Republican nomination.

    John King threw Newt a softball on Wednesday,and Newt scored a homerun,rather predictably by lashing out at the "Elites"so hated by GOPers.
    Deliberately or otherwise,CNN has enabled Newt's impending victory.

    January 20, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
  8. Nicole

    As a conservative christian i beleive that divorce and infedility are things Jesus spoke strongly aganst, so how can the Republican Party endorse a man who has so lttle respect for the values of marrage that he divorced twiced and wanted an open marriage, how do they marry his history with what Social christian conservatism stands for morally.

    January 20, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
  9. tomas robles

    Its appalling just as Gingrich said about the media questioning his infidelity and immorality during the GOP presidential campaign, that this kinds of questions discourage decent candidates to run for office. Well, then is he a decent candidate after this allegations of infidelity of open marriage including his former mistress now his wife? and For her to be a future first lady is appalling itself. And who is he to say this things against the media when the tea party with the backing of the GOP made fun and insulted Pres Obama during the election and post election regarding his race calling him a gorilla with a picture, calling him a muslim and cannot be trusted, questioning his birth certificate, etc. these are all insults and demonizing Obama. This is what they call the decent campaigning and decent GOP and tea party with a conservative agenda? what a hyporcrite they are. Mr Gingrich is dangerous to be the president of the US. Mr Gingrich is corrupt and will put this country further down just like what George Bush Jr did. Remember, history sometimes repeats itself.

    January 20, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  10. pat gomez

    The question was appropriate, but it should not have been the lead off question. While I believe ALL aspects of a candidate's life are fair game, there are other issues which should have come first in the discussion.

    January 20, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  11. Don Pisel

    I agree with Mr. King in asking the question To Newt on his affair with his latest wife. I like how he say that he has
    found God and now he is a perfect person. You notice that his curtain wife is always at his side to make sure.
    I will not vote for him.

    January 20, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  12. Ken Pouncey

    I am so disapointed that you have not spent more air time with comments about the brilliant remarks of Ron Paul. He is, by far, the most presidential of all the candidents, yet your network and others seem to be ignoring his campaign. John Stewart has mentioned this several time as has others. His remarks, last night, lasted over 21 total minutes of intelligent and brilliant remarks, but your network seems to be more interested in Gingrich's 2nd wife. Please be fair with your coverage of all of the candidates and stay away from the smut. If I want to hear about wives and such I'll buy an Esquire magizene. Ken Pouncey

    January 20, 2012 at 11:13 am |
  13. katherine carter

    John King you did a terrible job moderating. You pushed Rom Paul to the side lines. I give you a F for moderating an A for Sensationalism. It was your job to get the issues to Americans on the table and let all candidates a chance to speak.
    CNN wants politics spun the way they see it, You all told the world that Romney won Iowa. Wrong ...Rick Santorium. You all think Newt has SC....I think you are wrong again.

    January 20, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  14. Joan

    John King, what were you thinking? Yes, it may have been a fair question to ask somewhere in the debate, but it took the night to a new low right at the beginning and turned the audience off of your role unfortunately. You also kept ignoring Ron Paul and left him out until the audience prodded you. It was not a good way to start off the debate, it was a tabloid question and it fed into the mistrust of the media. Gingrich's ex may have a case but she lost points by doing the interview on the day of the debate and just before an important vote. Why didn't she do it weeks or months ago? Unfortunately she came off bitter and opportunistic which may not be true but is a logical percetion. The only one who was helped by this whole interview and question is President Obama because it has continued the perception that the whole Republican field is weak, has too much baggage and is just a big reality show.

    January 20, 2012 at 10:23 am |
  15. TM

    I think John King was right in asking the question. I just wish he would have stood up for himself more. Gingrich is a hypocrite and should not be president.

    January 20, 2012 at 9:06 am |
  16. Nan

    It was politically advantageous for Gingrich to have the question about his ex-wife's allegation right off the bat. If I was his Campaign strategist, I would have planned it just this way because the best defense is a good offense. In fact, I wonder if his campaign DID ask for that question to be addressed first because they knew it was going to come up and it was an elephant in the room. Even if I personally don't care for Gingrich, it was masterfully played politics (if not grandiose, lol) So well played that Gingrich won the hearts of this debate. I wonder what would have happened if this wasn't the first question. Hum, I bet he wouldn't have done so well.

    January 20, 2012 at 4:14 am |
  17. ECM

    I am in total agreement with John King bringing up the issue about the comments made by Newt Gingrich's ex-wife. It was the proper thing for him to do as a journalist. What, will CNN be the only network not to ask about it when you have the opportunity? John would not have done his best if he had not asked. Newt's and oher candidates entire lives should be put on the front line for the people to know the character & ethics of those running to be President of the U.S. Don't get mad, just respond in an appropriate manner...or is Obama the only one to be put on the hot seat...he sure took his hits in the last election when some of the media would not let go of a certain issue surronding him. Newt is angry but it is his way of trying to make the media/journalist feel bad and hopefully to deter anyone else from binging it up again. But John, kudos to you for simply doing your job and a good one at that. All he has to do is respond and let the people decide. People should not be so quick to judge others and not expect their wrong doings to come back and bite them in the *** at some point. Besides, perhaps she is telling the truth and she feels that people should know about his character. Isn't that what the women did to Cain, informed the public of his character. The bottom line is that people will believe whatever they want. Just ask Barack Obama or anyone else for that matter.

    January 20, 2012 at 3:48 am |
  18. feysal olol

    I'm no fan of Newt but John question was distasteful.

    January 20, 2012 at 3:01 am |
  19. clinton

    You know Anderson, things are heating up again!

    January 20, 2012 at 1:32 am |
  20. John

    It was interesting that the 1 hour post debate coverage spent the first 54 minutes covering the (according to the CNN poll) 1st, 2nd and 4th place candidates. The Anderson Cooper post debate circle jerk didn't mention Ron Paul until the 54 minute mark and even then only said his name twice in passing.

    I always thought of CNN as a neutral and unbiased place to get news of the day. I guess I was wrong. Paul was ignored during the debate AND the post debate coverage. He is only 1 of 4 candidates. Imagine if he was 1 of 2. Would we just keep the camera on Romney the whole time?

    January 20, 2012 at 1:20 am |
  21. Sharon Brevik

    John King did the right thing in presenting Newt Gingrich with this conflicting and controversial suject, right at the opening of the debate. Newt is an actor and knew exactly what he was doing, screaming like a small child. He has acted this way in tight situations on many occasions. It is his way of getting attention. This is exactly why the house wanted to throw him out of his Speaker job. He is erratic and undependable. He creates a scene if things do not go his way. Thanks, John, for a good evening of entertainment. You are always a gentleman, and the best.

    January 20, 2012 at 1:08 am |
  22. Tim

    I agree totally with John King and David Gergen. It was pure theatrics by Gingrich, he knew the question was coming and got on the attack. He was right to do so as it gained him serious points. I do think Gingrich will not win the Nomination, he must not be President.

    January 20, 2012 at 1:08 am |
  23. Robert

    I do believe that the "open season" the MSM has enjoyed on Republicans for so long is coming to an end. Newt handled being attacked with such an abhorrant question beautifully. I hope that the frankness he brought to that absurd question continues throughout the remainder of the political season. Enough spin and tiptoeing around baseline truths.

    January 20, 2012 at 12:37 am |
  24. ERudolf

    The audience reaction is no action, the GOP debates has been nothing if not a display of mean-spiritness and those are the people that Gingrich has always pandered too

    January 20, 2012 at 12:36 am |
  25. James Newstead

    Funny that THIS is what people care about. The man gives his cancer stricken wife divorce papers in the hospital for crying out loud. That made a certain Democratic candidate resign his campaign in 2008 but I guess the family values party doesn't care.

    January 20, 2012 at 12:34 am |
  26. Lina Moussa

    you did a good job, John!

    January 20, 2012 at 12:15 am |
  27. Patricia Korth

    I disliked the way Gingrich jumped on John King and has anyone else noticed the erratic attitudes (ups and downs) in Gingrich's behavior? It's a little scarey and I wonder if there isn't some mental illness surfacing there. Would he react the same way if the prime minister of another nation asked him a question he did not like? Surely the voters would not give someone like that a win.

    January 19, 2012 at 11:59 pm |