Justin Elliott (Salon): Jackie Gingrich Cushman has decided to resurface the most damaging anecdote of her father’s political career: that Newt Gingrich demanded his first wife hash over details of their divorce while she was stricken with cancer in a hospital bed. Cushman suggests in a new column that the story is false.
But Cushman’s column, titled “Setting the Record Straight,” is directly at odds with the testimony of her mother from just a few years after the 1980 incident … the column is likely part of a conscious inoculation effort. Cushman writes a syndicated conservative political column and recently co-authored a book with her father.
Cushman doesn’t offer much in the way of details, besides saying that she was present during that 1980 hospital visit and that the media has repeated unspecified “untruths”… here is what Newt’s wife (also called Jackie) told the Washington Post in a Jan. 3, 1985, profile:
“He walked out in the spring of 1980 and I returned to Georgia. By September, I went into the hospital for my third surgery. The two girls came to see me, and said Daddy is downstairs and could he come up? When he got there, he wanted to discuss the terms of the divorce while I was recovering from the surgery … To say I gave up a lot for the marriage is the understatement of the year.”
Newt Gingrich’s spokesman, by the way, told me in March that Newt denies the “terms of the divorce” part of the story but acknowledges there was “an argument.”
The question becomes: Should we believe Gingrich’s wife from five years after the incident, or what his daughter claims 30 years later when Newt is gearing up for a presidential run?
Full article here