Gingrich, Opponents Taken On At UPenn (Updated With Video)
Politico is reporting that last night at UPenn’s campus, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich was greeted by many-a-nasty Democrat. Several students walked out of his speech and he was even questioned by a student on the extramarital affairs for which he’s uber-famous.
“You adamantly oppose gay rights … but you’ve also been married three times and admitted to having an affair with your current wife while you were still married to your second,” Isabel Friedman, president of Penn Democrats, said to Gingrich. “As a successful politician who’s considering running for president, who would set the bar for moral conduct and be the voice of the American people, how do you reconcile this hypocritical interpretation of the religious values that you so vigorously defend?“
This was, of course, less than 24 hours before the Obama administration pulled an awesome, deciding the Clinton/Gore-backed Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional. But Gingrich responded by telling Friedman he hopes she feels better about herself and tongue-in-cheekily appreciated “the delicacy and generosity in the way [the question] was framed.” He responded the way a politician knows best: He’s had problems in his life, his God is a forgiving one and it’ll be up to the American people to decide whether someone who cheated on his first wife with his second, then his second with his third, deserves to be the executive in charge of the country. While the thought of Newt Gingrich often brings up retched thoughts and our last meal, this quote was particularly well phrased: “If the primary concern of the American people is my past, my candidacy would be irrelevant.”
In today’s Daily Pennsylvanian, the Opinion Board reacted to the way in which Gingrich was treated, saying, “Gingrich was a guest at the University and should have been treated with respect. The type of behavior students exhibited lowers the level of discourse on campus and is not becoming of an esteemed institution such as Penn.”
Even in the days leading up to Gingrich’s speech, students’ anticipation was marked by rudeness.
Penn Democrats distributed an e-mail on its official listserv two weeks ago in which it resorted to name-calling and referred to Gingrich as “an evil salamander.” This week, some students hung posters of the politician’s face and some of his controversial quotes on doors of bathroom stalls and above urinals.
While the fairness in which Gingrich was treated is perhaps up for debate, at least the Penn Democrats didn’t call Gingrich a goon from a secret Facebook account, as some are prone to do.