Are The Interviews With Newt Gingrich's Ex-Wife a Gift for the Candidate?

Are The Interviews With Newt Gingrich's Ex-Wife a Gift for the Candidate?

Newt Gingrich unleashed moderator John King at the big debate in South Carolina Thursday night.

Durring the debate, King asked the candidate, "As you know, your ex-wife says you asked her sir,  to enter an open marriage, would you like to take some time to respond?"

Gingrich replied, "No, but I will," as the room applauded he continued to say, "I am appalled that you would begin a Presidential debate with a topic like that."

His in-your-face answer got him a standing ovation and may even result in an upset victory in Saturdays South Carolina primary.

Many TV pundits are looking at this situation being a gift to Gingrich.

Debate moderator John King of CNN, the target of Gingrich's wrath, defended his decision to lead off with that question.

"If we are going to deal with it, lets deal with it up front. Let's not try to sneak it into the middle of the debate somewhere and people at home either agree with that or disagree with that," King told Anderson Cooper.

Gingrich wasn't backing down when he appeared on Fox News' On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.

"To open a national Presidential debate at that kind of personal level was such nonsence and as you can tell, the audience agreed totally that it was just nonsense," Gingrich said to Van Susteren.

It was the now infamous ABC News interview with Gingrich's ex-wife Marianne that ignited the fireworks.

Marianne told ABC News' Brian Ross that "He was asking to have an open marriage and I refused."

Durring the debate, Gingrich said, "The story is false, every personal friend I have that knew in that time period knew that story is false."

Marianne also claimed Gingrich asked for a divorce over the phone.

Marianne told Ross, "On the phone. He said, 'I want a divorce.' I said, 'Is there someone else?' and it was quiet, and I knew."

That other woman became Gingrich's third wife, Callista.

Marianne says Gingrich told her, "She's going to help me become President."

Marianne also says, the day after the phone call that ended her marriage, she saw Gingrich give a speech about "The Demise of American Culture."

In his speech, Gingrich said "When a liberal talks about values, will he or she actually like us to teach American history? Will they actually like young people to learn that George Washington was an ethical man? A man of standards, a man who earned the right to be father of this country?"

Marianne told Ross, "How could he ask me for a divorce on Monday and within 48 hours give a speech on family values and talk about how people treat people?"

Gingrich's daughters from his first marriage came to his defense on Nightline.

Kathy Lubbers said, "Our father and Marianne had a difficult marriage, they had a difficult divorce. She's unhappy and this has been over for over a decade."

Now, across the USA, everyone has an opinion on the Gingrich drama.

Jenny Sanford, the former First Lady of South Carolina, divorced her husband after he admitted to an affair with an Argentinian mistress.

Sanford was on MSNBC and said, "It does call into question his character, certainly on a personal side and he wouldn't get my vote."