That settles it: Newt's made up his mind to run for president, or he wouldn't be spreading this little story of his soul's redemption around the national media, would he? (Kind of traditional for Republican candidates to take a quick run through the All-Purpose Drive-Thru Jesus-Lovin' Sin Washer!)
Setting the stage for his entry into the presidential race, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., gave a radio interview to be broadcast today with Focus on the Family's James Dobson, in which Gingrich for the first time publicly acknowledged cheating on his first and second wives.
"There were times when I was praying and when I felt I was doing things that were wrong. But I was still doing them," Gingrich said during the interview. "I look back on those as periods of weakness and periods that I'm not only not proud of, but I would deeply urge my children and grandchildren not to follow in my footsteps."
What, you mean asking for a divorce while your wife's recovering from cancer surgery, Newt? You mean there was something wrong with that?
Gingrich argued that the Clinton case was different from his personal transgressions.
"The president of the United States got in trouble for committing a felony in front of a sitting federal judge," he said, arguing that Clinton had "deliberately committed perjury."
Because he had been through a divorce, Gingrich said, he knew the importance of telling the truth during a deposition.
"The standard is: In a court of law should somebody who's popular get away with perjury?" Gingrich said. "And I drew a line in my mind that said, 'Even though I run the risk of being deeply embarrassed, and even though at a purely personal level I am not rendering judgment on another human being, as a leader of the government trying to uphold the rule of law, I have no choice except to move forward and say that you cannot accept felonies and you cannot accept perjury in your highest officials."
Even though Bill Clinton did not commit perjury, and Gingrich knows it.
It's worth noting that Gingrich did not limit his comments about Clinton and the Democrats to legalistic allegations of perjury.
Constantly espousing family values even while he carried on an affair, Gingrich linked his party to wholesome family values and Democrats to, well, something else.
During the 1992 Democratic National Convention, Gingrich said, "Woody Allen having nonincest with a nondaughter to whom he was a nonfather because they were a nonfamily fits the Democratic platform perfectly."
In 1994, Gingrich linked Democrats to Susan Smith, a woman who had murdered her two children in 1991.
Even though it turned out she'd been molested by her stepfather, a South Carolina state GOP executive, of course.
"I think that the mother killing the two children in South Carolina vividly reminds every American how sick the society is getting and how much we need to change things," he said. "The only way you get change is to vote Republican."
I really hope Gingrich does run. Because there's a question I've wanted to ask him for years (Hill staffers are such gossips!): "Can you confirm or deny the allegations that, during the same period you were attacking Bill Clinton for adultery, you were serviced by your employee/mistress (soon to be Wife No. 3) in the front seat of your car while waiting in the parking lot of your kids's school?"
Because I've heard that story for years and inquiring minds want to know. I mean, that's some real family values, right there. Maybe we should call Ken Starr to look into it.