Politics

01.25.12

Newt Gingrich: I’m Not Like Bill Clinton

Pressed at a Florida Univision forum, the former speaker rejected a comparison to Clinton—even though both were having affairs at the same time in the '90s. Lois Romano reports. Plus, Wayne Barrett on the lack of evidence that Gingrich ever testified about his affair.

You got hand it to the guy. He always tries to find a small patch of moral high ground on which to stand. No matter how tiny.

Newt Gingrich insisted Wednesday in Miami that there was nothing similar about his personal failings and those of Bill Clinton—even though both men were having extramarital affairs in the late '90s. And Gingrich, as speaker of the House, tried to impeach Clinton over his.

Pressed during a forum at Univision—the Spanish-speaking television network—about the hypocrisy involved when “at same time he was doing the exact same thing,” Gingrich was indignant.

It wasn’t the same thing, Gingrich repeatedly insisted. “I didn’t do the same thing,” he said. “I didn’t lie under oath. I didn’t commit a felony.” He added that in his own divorce depositions, he told the truth—which Clinton did not when asked about Monica Lewinsky.

Undaunted, journalist Jorge Ramos kept the heat on, provoking Gingrich to testily say, "There’s some place here where there’s a mental synapse missing," since the questioner was still insisting they did the same thing.

Moving along, Gingrich was then asked about ex-wife Marianne’s charge that he asked for an open marriage so he could continue his affair with now-current wife, Callista. This time, Gingrich did not snap at the questioner—as he had when CNN’s John King made the same inquiry during a debate last week. “It’s not true,” he said crisply.