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Report: Upcoming ABC Interview With Gingrich Ex-Wife Could 'End' Candidate's Career, Network Likely to Air This Thursday


Newt's daughters react...


UPDATE: An ABC News executive told The Associated Press the network is likely to air the interview Thursday on "Nightline." The Blaze's earlier report and background on the controversy follows below.

According to Drudge Report, Marianne Gingrich -- ex-wife of GOP candidate Newt Gingrich -- dropped what sources claim is a game-changing bombshell about the former House Speaker -- one that could "end" her ex-husband's career. The two-hour long interview, conducted last week by Brian Ross, is said to contain "explosive revelations" that will "rock the campaign trail."

The controversial nature of the interview is now causing major waves at the network, according to sources, and a "civil war" has since exploded at ABC on exactly when the tell-all will air.

Drudge reports that executives at ABCNews say it would be "unethical" to run Marianne Gingrich's interview so close to South Carolina Primary and that a tentative decision has been made to broadcast the interview next Monday after all votes have been counted.

According to Drudge, a source familiar with the incident finds the decision to hold off airing the segment until after the primary odd, given that ABC has been assailing other candidates aggressively.

Gingrich canceled a press conference on Wednesday, reportedly to address the matter.

This is not the first time, however that Gingrich's second wife (out of three) has claimed she could level the Contract with America author's career in one fell swoop.

Marianne was also interviewed for an Esquire profile of her ex-husband back in the summer of 201o. She touched on the idea of a Gingrich presidential run, saying, "He believes that what he says in public and how he lives don't have to be connected." She added, "If you believe that, then yeah, you can run for president."

Since he was a teenager, Newt Gingrich has never been without a wife, and his bond with Marianne Gingrich during the most pivotal part of his career made her the most important advisor to one of the most important figures of the late twentieth century. Of their relationship, she says, "We started talking and we never quit until he asked me for a divorce."

She sounds proud, defiant, maybe a little wistful. You might be inclined to think of what she says as the lament of an abandoned wife, but that would be a mistake. There is shockingly little bitterness in her, and she often speaks with great kindness of her former husband. She still believes in his politics. She supports the Tea Parties. She still uses the name Marianne Gingrich instead of going back to Ginther, her maiden name.

But there was something strange and needy about him. "He was impressed easily by position, status, money," she says. "He grew up poor and always wanted to be somebody, to make a difference, to prove himself, you know. He has to be historic to justify his life."

She says she should have seen the red flags. "He asked me to marry him way too early. And he wasn't divorced yet. I should have known there was a problem." [...]

And he did the same thing to her eighteen years later, with Callista Bisek, the young congressional aide who became his third wife. "I know. I asked him. He'd already asked her to marry him before he asked me for a divorce. Before he even asked."

He told you that?

"Yeah, he wanted to — "

But she stops. "Hey, turn off the tape recorder for a second. This is going to go places ..."

Meanwhile, as tentative plans to air the interview circulated, Gingrich's campaign released a statement from his two daughters from his first marriage -- Kathy Lubbers and Jackie Cushman -- suggesting Marianne Gingrich's comments may be suspect given the emotional toll divorce takes on those involved:

The following is an email from the Gingrich daughters to ABC News Leadership:

To:  ABC News Leadership

From:  Kathy Lubbers, Jackie Cushman

Date:  January 18, 2012

The failure of a marriage is a terrible and emotional experience for everyone involved.  Anyone who has had that experience understands it is a personal tragedy filled with regrets, and sometimes differing memories of events.

We will not say anything negative about our father’s ex-wife.  He has said before, privately and publicly, that he regrets any pain he may have caused in the past to people he loves.

ABC News or other campaigns may want to talk about the past, just days before an important primary election.  But Newt is going to talk to the people of South Carolina about the future – about job creation, lower taxes, and about who can defeat Barack Obama by providing the sharpest contrast to his damaging, extreme liberalism.  We are confident this is the conversation the people of South Carolina are interested in having.

Our father is running for President because of his grandchildren – so they can inherit the America he loves.  To do that, President Obama must be defeated.  And as the only candidate in the race, including Obama, who has actually helped balance the national budget, create jobs, reform welfare, and cut taxes and spending, Newt felt compelled to run - to serve his country and safeguard his grandchildren's future.

Whether the interview will air this Thursday on Nightline has yet to be confirmed but a tweet from Politico's Keach Hagey corroborates the claim:

This is a breaking story. Please check back for updates. 


(h/t: Drudge)

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