The Ticket

Gingrich spokesman: The Speaker misled in response to John King during debate

Chris Moody
The Ticket

At long last, CNN's John King gets his revenge.

A week after Newt Gingrich berated King on air for a question about his messy divorce in 1999, a campaign spokesman has admitted that Gingrich veered from the truth during his response.

Kicking off the Republican presidential debate in Charleston, South Carolina last week, King asked Gingrich about an interview his ex-wife, Marianne Gingrich, gave to ABC News in which she alleged that Gingrich had requested an "open marriage" so he could see other women on the side. In response, Gingrich erupted. "To take an ex-wife and make it two days before the primary a significant question in a presidential campaign is as close to despicable as anything I can imagine," he said. "The story is false. Every personal friend I have who knew us in that period said the story was false. We offered several of them to ABC to prove it was false. They weren't interested because they would like to attack any Republican."

According to Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond, however, that last part wasn't entirely true. He later told CNN that the campaign only offered Gingrich's daughters to address the story for ABC.

Here's King on his show Wednesday night:

Tonight, after persistent questioning by our staff, the Gingrich campaign concedes now Speaker Gingrich was wrong — both in his debate answer, and in our interview yesterday. Hammond says the only people the Gingrich campaign offered to ABC were his two daughters from his first marriage.

CNN will host another Republican presidential debate Thursday at 8:00 p.m. at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. Wolf Blitzer is scheduled to moderate.

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