On Tuesday night, after being questioned about the allegations of sexual assault against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich told Megyn Kelly she was "fascinated with sex" and didn't care about discussing policy. Kelly, for what it's worth, held her own against the former Speaker of the House and promptly reminded him that she was not fascinated with "sex" but was, she said, "fascinated by the protection of women and understanding what we’re getting in the Oval Office." "I think the American voters would like to know …” Kelly started. It was there that Gingrich cut the Fox News anchor off on live TV and asked her why she didn't want to talk about sexual allegations against former President Bill Clinton, who would be living in the White House, since she was so concerned with alleged "sexual predators."
It was an uncomfortable and contentious exchange. For one, talking about sexual assault and harassment allegations is not talking about "sex." It's talking about sexual assault, which is a very, very different thing. Leaving aside even the allegations of 10 women to claim that Trump has groped or kissed them against their will, Trump's own comments from the leaked 2005 Access Hollywood video are also about alleged sexual assault. Joking about kissing women or grabbing them by their "pussy" because one is in a position of power and can do "whatever" one wants is joking about sexual assault. So Gingrich is wrong about the fascination with sex. He's also a hypocrite, because no one seems more obsessed with sex and sexual assault than Newt Gingrich.
Where to begin? Gingrich is a pro at being "fascinated with sex," the consensual kind, since the '90s. Way back in the day, for you youngsters, Gingrich led the charge to impeach then President Bill Clinton for lying about receiving a consensual blowjob. And he hasn't stopped digging at Bill Clinton since. Being obsessed with allegations that a presidential candidate might have assaulted women is a big deal. Extramarital affairs and sensational sex scandals? Not so much, at least in comparison. So, strike one, Newt.
Gingrich has also had three wives. One of whom he divorced while she was getting cancer treatment because she wouldn't commit to an "open relationship." He divorced all of his wives while allegedly sleeping with the woman who would become the next one (although he initially denied the affairs, he later said, in an interview with CBN's Brody File that there was "no question, at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate"). So slamming Clinton for his consensual (albeit inappropriate) extramarital affairs is strike two for Newt.
And then, we have the fascination with sexual assault. Since the leak of the Access Hollywood tapes, Trump has paraded the women who have accused Bill Clinton of rape and assault in front of the cameras. On the Sunday after the leak of the tape, he invited them to the second presidential debate. At first, Gingrich actually was against Trump's power move. But then, as every other Trump surrogate has done, Clinton's accusers have become the first topic he brings up in interviews when asked about Hillary Clinton's ethics or Trump's slump in the polls since the sexual assault allegations. It was Gingrich's first move last night when Kelly asked about Trump's scandals. So, uh, strike three, Gingrich.
Obsession with sex is one thing. So is being obsessed with sexual assault. Gingrich is fascinated with both acts, as long as it's in the name of taking the other side down.