Another Republican presidential contender may be out of the running with allegations that he wanted his wife to have an open marriage; Newt Gingrich’s second wife, Marianne, has alleged that while Newt Gingrich was married to her, he approached her about having an open marriage.
Newt Gingrich is discrediting Marianne’s allegations as those of a vengeful ex-wife. However, Newt Gingrich has had a past history of extra-marital affairs and has admitted to sleeping with his current wife Callista, while he was married to Marianne.
The question as posed by Washington Post writer Chris Cillizza is how the recent allegations will affect Newt Gingrich’s chances in the primary in South Carolina, which is extremely conservative. The phrase “open marriage” might tinge the perceptions of Newt Gingrich in South Carolina where sex talk is not something that is valued in politicians.
A separate issue that is common amongst conservative politicians is the hypocrisy of saying one thing and doing another: touting family values on the campaign trial while exploring alternative lifestyles at home. It’s not only ugly to the liberals, but to the conservatives as well.
If Marianne Gingrich’s allegations are correct, and Newt Gingrich was asking for an open marriage in 1999 at the very same time he was speaking out on behalf of “family values.”
Even though an ABC poll in late 2011 showed that a majority of voters claimed Newt Gingrich’s sex life would not play a role in whether or not they would vote for Newt Gingrich, but I think that the recent allegations by Marianne Gingrich might be more offensive to conservative voters.
The allegations are not going to be easy to prove; the open marriage allegations are a case of “he said” “she said.” That said, the focus on Marianne Gingrich’s opinions on her ex-husband are likely to take precedent over any issues that Newt Gingrich would like to discuss in the presidential contest.
The issue of whether a politician’s sex life should or not come into play at this point in the debate is a relatively moot point; some of the voters that Gingrich is trying woo at this particular moment are extremely conservative and are likely to be easily offended by any allegations of this nature.
As for Marianne Gingrichs’ credibility, voters will have to decide for themselves when they watch her on ABC. However she does in her interview, her allegations won’t be good for the Gingrich camp.