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Weigh in on Personal Issues and the Presidency

Newt Gingrich blasted a debate moderator for asking a question about his ex-wife. Should questions like these be out of bounds?

It may have been the most dramatic moment to date in the 2012 presidential campaign.

Newt  Gingrich responded angrily Thursday night when CNN moderator John King used the first question in a Republican presidential debate to ask the former House speaker to respond to allegations leveled at him by his ex-wife.

Marianne Gingrich told ABC News, that her former husband asked her for an "open marriage," before the couple divorced.

Gingrich told King he was "appalled" by the question.

Questions about his personal life and possible sexual dalliances also dogged former president Bill Clinton during his 1992 campaign and during his stint in the White House.

We want to know if personal questions have a place in presidential campaigns. Was King's question out of bounds? How important is a candidate's character in determining who should be president and how do we judge character? We want you to take our poll and weigh in with your comments below.

M Hayes January 24, 2012 at 03:39 AM
Kristen and John, I, find it somewhat ironic, how the two of you cannot get off, the Clinton, Weiner fiasco, you seem to be on a train, going nowhere..I, am not in the habit, of judging, you, apparently are experts, in that field, how lonely, it must be, to, be, perfect.. you have beaten the Clinton, Weiner rug to shreds, give it up already!!!Maryann
Kristen Ferrari January 24, 2012 at 03:44 AM
Maryann, I find it ironic that you're claiming I'm beating anything to shreds. You disputed my point and I was making an attempt to correct what you thought my point was. Weiner was not my example but since it was brought up, I simply asked a question. I am not perfect and stated that in my response to you. I said I am divorced and therefore would not presume to lecture anyone on the sanctity of marriage. I'm just not sure where your argument is coming from. As a mother, I want someone who can bring this country around just as you do. I never stated my political position just my concern over the hypocrisy of something. I'm not sure where the problem is with doing that.
M Hayes January 24, 2012 at 04:08 AM
kristene, Goodnight, sleep well, this to, shall pass!!! Maryann
Tom LaSusa January 24, 2012 at 02:49 PM
I'm going to echo John and Kristen here -- the fact that Newt had marriage infidelities or asked his second wife for an open marriage are not the issue here. What happens in someone's bedroom/personal life with another consenting adult is their own business. That may not make them a particularly good person, but it shouldn't have any bearing on whether or not they can perform a certain job. I've long said that IMO Bill Clinton was one of this country's best presidents, if not a terribly good husband/human being. No the real issue here is that Newt has based a large portion of his campaign on a 'moral platform' and bringing back a 'classical America.' Essentially he's standing up there on his podium, passing judgement on the rest of us, while he doesn't feel he needs to follow the standards he -- and many of the GOP -- are trying to enforce upon the rest of the country. So I do have to admit my surprise that South Carolina chose Newt. Maybe they've decided that his merits outweigh his shortcomings. And that's their prerogative. But then I challenge them, as well as anyone else who supports Newt, to not become hypocrites in the future: If Newt's personal lifestyle choices are not an issue to them when choosing a potential presidential candidate, then the same should apply for all others. No judging gays or condemning women's right to choose -- it's their personal choices and should not be decided -- or judged -- by anyone else in the country.
Kristen Ferrari January 24, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Thank you Tom, for understanding my point. It is puzzling to me that my point was so sorely missed. There are other important issues this country faces but if a question cannot be asked based on a candidate's actions, what hope do we have?

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