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

    well I hope everyone had a good decent Christmas.

    December 26, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. s kel

    And Pauls, Newts, facist present?

    December 26, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. s kel

    and fox news child calling people not like them names they take out of context and have no real insite as to their meaning like "socialist" heres a new one now they are calling people after the author of "The Capialist manifesto" written in 1848 I belive at the time of europen upheavel.

    December 26, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. chrissy

    Fox news? Are you lost? Lol

    December 26, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. TORI

    Who cares how many divorces he's had or what his faith is? I can't stand him based on his stance.on issues et.al. He looks like a trollish grinch.

    December 26, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. chrissy

    Have a nice new years s kel and good night!

    December 26, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. carol sullivan

    he's so lucky to have a first wife let alone a second and a third do they need a seeing eye dog to get a good look at him he is a beached whale women must be desperate

    December 26, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy©

    Dear Nicole:
    Your "overheard" thread is running rampant with nasty trolls, and as a matter of fact, the whole "this just in" blog is nothing but a cesspool for trolls, stealing our u/n's.

    This garbage stays up for days, and gives new bloggers the impression that we are the ones actually saying it.

    I realize you have a lot on your plate, but people are getting very, very tired of our pleas being ignored, as well as the report abuse button being ignored.

    If the This Just In blogging community means so little to the CNN, either get rid of it altogether, or implement the same system you have on your other blogs, with live moderators, and an dialog box for the report abuse button.

    And then actually DO SOMETHING about the complaints!
    Post a complaint link.

    We like it here, but our little "family" is not opposed to going to another site. We have watched regulars who have disappeared, and as I have kept in contact, I know why.
    The trolls.

    At the bottom of every thread is
    the CNN Terms Of Service.
    It is a pity that CNN doesn't enforce their own terms.



    December 26, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. hamsta

    none of that matters as long as we vote obama out of office.

    December 26, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. banasy©

    @s kel:

    When I saw your post that you had seen Newt at church, I almost died from laughing so hard!
    I'll bet your eyes were pooping out!
    How did you manage to hold your revulsion down?
    What a sight to see on Christmas Day!

    Those pictures were beautiful, by the way.
    Thank you for sending them.
    You are lucky to be in a city that is so beautiful. (Mostly!)

    December 26, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy©

    Hey, Nicole Saidi. How does it feel to be trolled?

    Good, I hope.
    As good as it makes *us* all feel.

    December 26, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. s kel


    December 26, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. s kel

    He called them by their Last Names , ohhhhhhn noooo, Dont like him politically but I did wish him a Merry Christmas.

    December 26, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. s kel

    duuuuhhhhh we are still in trouble in this country when we have tea party voters like @ hamsta damnnn.

    December 26, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. M Crow


    December 26, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
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