Former House speaker Newt Gingrich fought back against charges of hypocrisy this morning on Fox News Sunday. Host Chris Wallace asked Gingrich whether he was hurling stones from a “glass house” in 1998, when he was “leading the charge” to oust President Clinton from office for lying about an affair, all while Gingrich was having his own.
“Look, obviously it’s complex,” Gingrich responded, a tad coolly. “Obviously I wasn’t doing things to be proud of.” Still, he said, “the question I raised was simple: should a president of the United States be above the law?”
Gingrich acknowledged that his past would be an issue in the 2012 presidential campaign, should he decide to run. “We’ll find out six months or a year from now whether people are forgiving and whether they put in context events that are 10 and 15 years old,” he said.
“People have to measure, at 67, have I matured? Am I a person that they can trust and rely on as a leader? Discipline is part of it,” he continued. “I think that’s a legitimate question. And I expect the American people will, in the end, be remarkably fair.”
“I don’t think I’m perfect. I’ve admitted that I’ve had problems,” Gingrich concluded. “I’ve admitted that I’ve sought forgiveness, but I also think that over time, if you look at my total record, I’m a pretty effective leader.”
(h/t James Hohmann)