Last month, on a campaign website, GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said it was his first wife, Jackie Battley Gingrich, who asked for their divorce back in 1980.
But CNN reports that it has obtained previously – shall we say – protected documents from the Carroll County court system that indicate the separation was requested by Gingrich, then a Georgia congressman.
Not a good thing to come out a week before the Iowa caucuses, when one is trying to draw a comparison with a desperate Washington crossing the Delaware River.
The documents, and interviews with people close to the couple at the time, contradict the Gingrich claim about who wanted the divorce.
Newt Gingrich filed a divorce complaint on July 14, 1980, in Carroll County, saying that “the marriage of the parties is irretriebably (sic) broken.”
Jackie Battley Gingrich, the congressman’s wife and the mother of Jackie Gingrich Cushman, responded by asking the judge to reject her husband’s filing.
“Defendant shows that she has adequate and ample grounds for divorce, but that she does not desire one at this time,” her petition said.
“Although defendant does not admit that this marriage is irretrievably broken, defendant has been hopeful that an arrangement for temporary support of defendant and the two minor daughters of the parties could be mutually agreed upon without the intervention of this court,” her petition said. “All efforts to date have been unsuccessful.”
When CNN presented the information found in the divorce file to the Gingrich campaign, its spokesman stood by the contention that it was Gingrich’s ex-wife who asked for the divorce in 1980.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider