Overheard on CNN.com: Do Gingrich's divorces, Paul's newsletters matter?
Readers are debating how Newt Gingrich's past impacts his current GOP candidacy.
December 26th, 2011
07:29 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Do Gingrich's divorces, Paul's newsletters matter?

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

The GOP candidacy saga continues in the days leading up to the Iowa caucuses on January 3. Current conversation is centering on two men: Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul. Readers have been talking up a storm about recent CNN stories about both candidates.

Newly recovered court files cast doubt on Gingrich version of first divorce

Newt Gingrich claims his first wife wanted their divorce in 1980, but court documents obtained by CNN appear to show something different. Readers debated the importance of divorce in the presidency, with a large percentage of readers saying Gingrich's baggage makes him difficult to elect.

bzscorpio: "Even if Newt wasn't lying about his first wife wanting the divorce, the real issue here is that the man who wants to appeal to 'family values' voters has had two marriages end because of his infidelity. The guy is just a total scumbag."

There were also a lot of readers who thought commenters were being too judgmental of Gingrich.

cosaslo: "I must say, if you haven't been through one (divorce) you should keep your traps shut and your ideas to yourself. For those of us who have, what I can say is Newt, glad to see ya. The stuff they are throwing at you now ain't nothin'."

The comparisons to former President Bill Clinton did come.

obamamentor: "Let me get this right: Newt was trying to impeach a president for doing what Newt was doing also at the same time."

boblawbla: "I don't recall reading any stories of Newt Gingrich getting (oral sex) from an intern in the Oval Office and then lying about it. So much for that character thing everyone seems to be focused on."

Some said they were fed up with politicians on both sides.

StoneTools: "I can't, for the life of me, understand how anyone can run for political office or re-election with the baggage that these politicians carry with them. This includes Democrats, Republicans, independents, etc. The list of them is so long, it's not worth repeating here."

calmncool: "They are counting of a lot of really stupid voters."

What do you think? Can Gingrich become the GOP nominee? Share your thoughts on video via CNN iReport and post a comment below.

But let's not forget about Ron Paul, who also was the subject of thousands of comments on CNN.com. Conservative commentator David Frum wrote an opinion piece examining the roots of the candidate's devoted following, taking a look back at some controversial newsletters published under Paul's name back in the 1990s.

Ron Paul: Codger, crank or more?

Frum asserts that Paul "was ready to exploit the even greater racism and extremism of others for financial gain," and our commenters had plenty to say in response. Many were outraged:

Tempesttt: "If gullible people didn't take this tripe seriously, I'd be laughing about it. It's funny that the best they can do to tarnish Ron Paul's name is pull up some old newsletter from almost 20 years ago that he didn't even write nor endorse. The more the media hates on Ron Paul, the more I am convinced that he's the man I want to be the next president of the United States."

Readers debated the significance of newsletters written so long ago.

timjayko: "Ron Paul did not write those newsletters, nor does he agree with them. Take a look at Newt Gingrich's track record. You could write a whole friggin' book on his slimy history. Or Romney's flip-flopping policies. Could make a waffle breakfast for hundreds with this changes on political stances throughout the years."

nsinex: "If he didnt write them, he let people he trusted write them. If people he trusted had those views, he couldn't have thought their views were too far off."

PhillyEric: "What none of the Ron Paul defenders is willing to address is how his 'I didn't know the contents of the newsletters' defense is actually helpful. If you knew that there were newsletters being published with your name on them, wouldn't you verify that the contents reflected your views? Or wouldn't you at least take the time to find out who was writing them and what they stood for? All this defense argues is that he is so money-hungry or unprincipled that he didn't care what his name was being used for. I certainly haven't seen him offer to return the millions of dollars in profits."

But most simply disagreed with Frum.

narniaisboss: "I'm sorry, but whether or not you like Ron Paul, you have to admit that this is complete nonsense."

What do you think about these stories? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. s kel

    but I did wish him a Merry Christmas, but like I said hes still a grinch

    December 26, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    Here's my comment:
    Obama will win in 2012.
    The End.

    December 26, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzzzzzzz

      @ banasy on the 7:54 pm post LOL

      December 26, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    Happy New Year, s kel.

    December 26, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. yebiga

    Weren't there thousands of Ron Paul newsletters written over a period of 20 years or more? Only a very small number had these perverse racist slights. It is valid to question these but when considered in the light of Ron Paul's long career this is hardly consistent.

    The over the top attack by many in the MSM is both disingenuous and transparent. In a pre-internet world this would be the end of Ron Paul; today, I think it will do more harm to the various channels, their journalists and commentators at the vanguard of this rabid assault.

    December 26, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. gung hoe

    You know what you go newt you been divorced SO WHAT.Ronney reagon who at the begging I couldnt stand,but he was divorced and at a time that that was not accepted.And reagon became the best president since lincoln.You go newt!

    December 26, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. gung hoe

    @skel whos the scrooge certainly not i. I Talked to you saturday and gave you and your family best wishes

    December 26, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. banasy©

    Obama will win.
    It's a moot point.
    You know what else is irrelevant?
    The This Just In blog.
    They consistently ignore the reports of abuse, and the abuse is rampant.

    December 26, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ¿TTUИFFUЯ ( ½ ELF slayer & ½ BUGBEAR KILLER )

    OBAMA WILL WIN,,, CAUSE... we want to see how big a whole we can dig...

    December 26, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzzzzzzz


      December 26, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Charlie Olafson

    The digging up if 30 year old divorce papers is just tabloid journalism. They married, they divorced and I dont care. What I care about is what we he do for the economy, jobs, foreign wars, the debt etc.

    December 26, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I don't know who will win, but Gingrich's divorces do not matter to me at all.
    I agree with gung hoe that Ronald Reagan was one of the greatest presidents we've ever had.

    December 26, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bigwilliestyles

    Somehow, the right's position has morphed into this: 'we went after Clinton with everything we had concerning Lewinsky, so the Gingrich affair (sic) should be ignored because we didn't get what we wanted when we went after Clinton.' By the way: the same posters that reach back for Clinton where Gingrich and Cain are concerned are the same ones that keep telling us not to reach back for George Bush culpability for the economy where President Obama is concerned. Hypocrites, the lot of 'em.

    December 26, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©


    You noticed that too, did you?
    I agree with every single point you made.

    December 26, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I wasn't concerned with Clinton's infidelity, and I'm not concerned with Gingrich's divorces. That's their business.

    December 26, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. banasy©


    December 26, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ¿TTUИFFUЯ ( ½ ELF slayer & ½ BUGBEAR KILLER )

    i'd vote for just about anyone if i knew they could fix the econmy...
    i wish trump would run..

    December 26, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
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