Network considered running interview with Marianne Gingrich — who remains angry at her ex-husband — one day before South Carolina's presidential primary
This can't be good for Newt Gingrich.
ABC News plans to air an interview with Marianne Gingrich — the second of the former Speaker of the House's three wives — on "Nightline" Thursday. Marianne Gingrich is the woman he dumped for his current wife, who is 23 years younger than the Republican presidential hopeful.
(Below right: The candidate and his second wife, in happier days)
The interview is set to air two days before South Carolina holds its presidential primary.
The timing of the interview sparked an internal debate at the network. An insider told TheWrap that ABC planned to run it Thursday, but after the piece was bumped to Friday, Standards and Practices stepped in to nix that date as too close to the election.
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It will run in its originally-planned slot, and that can't be making Newt very comfortable.
South Carolina Republcans are conservative, family-values voters, and an interview with a woman who has told The Washington Post that her then-husband dumped her by telephone while she was out of town for her mother's 84th birthday could have an emotional impact.
It could also raise uncomfortable memories of Newt Gingrich's first wife, whom he dumped while she was suffering from cancer.
In fact, Matt Drudge, in The Drudge Report, wrote that ABC's decision to run the interview resulted in "a civil war" at the network.
Untrue, an ABC News insider told TheWrap Wednesday night. All it raised was the brief hackles of Standards and Practices.
Gingrich is about 10 points behind frontrunner Mitt Romney, who has been married to his wife since 1969.
Drudge did not return an email seeking comment and Gingrich's campaign could not be reached.