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. CoUs

    I don't know if this man (Gingrich) is well educated. You can tell the way he answeer questions really reflict the shadow of his compitency. Few weeks ago, when he was interviewed by one of America's newscaters, when he says and I quote " Palestine people are invented people". He doesn't know what he is saying!....

    December 26, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tabitha

    Awesome, fast times @ ridgemont high in here! Must not be no raves this week in ur hood huh kids? Sucks to be you guys!! Lol

    December 27, 2011 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. Pedro Sanchez .

    I still believe on Gingrich . And I think he can Lead the Nation better than Mitt Romney . My respects for who cares to save our Nation , from Economical issues against China world trade , now Mr. Romney if you don't have dirty landry , my respects to you two . May be Rick Perry has better answers on Romney conduct .

    December 27, 2011 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
  4. Alex

    Seems like Ron Paul didn't write the newsletters, and he's been defending racist drug laws, and racial profiling for many years.

    December 27, 2011 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
    • ron mcloughlin

      As leader yor responsible for everything put out in yor name.

      December 27, 2011 at 3:20 am | Report abuse |
  5. hamsta

    @skel the tea party didnt trespass.the tea party didnt cause traffic jams.the tea party didnt disrupt hard working americans jobs.the tea party didnt have drug overdoses.the tea party didnt vandalize.the tea party didnt have the riot police called on them.the tea party didnt commit violent crime.all of that was done by ur beloved occupy protesters.sounds like a guilty conscience pointing the finger at the tea party as is always the case with u left wing nut democrats.all the tea party wants is less government intrusion less taxes and less of that insane spending.

    December 27, 2011 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
  6. ron mcloughlin

    They certainly do, although Gingrich has more baggage than an elephant can handle. But Ron Paul? Shame on him. He gets a big X-out in my book. Besides, isn't he 76 y/o? Fugget it!

    December 27, 2011 at 3:18 am | Report abuse |
  7. Andreas Moser

    Barack Obama still looks like the perfect candidate to me.

    December 27, 2011 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike S.

      Absolutely if this is all that the GOP have to offer. Tha man is a joke. Just because he can collect money for his campaign does not give him the knowledge to run this country.

      December 27, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. gung hoe

    @jif Isnt funny how great minds think alike.What surprised me is that bamasy agreed with us that reagon was the best president weve had since lincoln! Probably had to much eggnog

    December 27, 2011 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ gung hoe:
    Good morning.
    I think that banasy agreed that the indiscretions of Clinton and Gingrich were not of as much importance as their abilities to lead.
    I don't think that she shares my degree of admiration for President Reagan.

    December 27, 2011 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  10. SFHarry

    You may like my video about Newt's three marriages at
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQSsMRe6BJE
    There are chickens in it. Everybody loves chickens!

    December 27, 2011 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • nsaidi

      Ha, we were just watching that here in the newsroom and laughing out loud. That's a pretty clever take on the news, and it looks like you've gotten some good discussion going on in the comments on the piece. Have you considered sending an iReport to CNN? That might be a good place for you to check out; cnnireport.com. There is a Sound Off assignment where you can share your take on the news on video: http://ireport.cnn.com/topics/7233

      December 27, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  11. NorCalMojo

    They don't change my opinions in any way.

    I still don't like Newt and I still like Paul.

    December 27, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  12. chrissy

    @ nicole saidi, ty for cleanin up the troll garbage but u forgot l, not me at l0:05

    December 27, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ben Franklin

    To bad you can't just buy any one you want for President. The 1% could have anyone they wanted. ........ oh ya, I forgot. YOU CAN. So don't waste your time getting too worked up about it.

    December 27, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  14. chrissy

    lol @ ben franklin, yes you can! In the primaries! When it comes to the actual election...NOT, thank god!

    December 27, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  15. banasy©

    @JIF,@9:22:
    You are correct.

    @nsaidi:
    Thank you for cleaning this up.

    December 27, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
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