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The bitter backstory between Newt Gingrich and Romney backer, Susan Molinari

Later today, Mitt Romney's presidential campaign will host a Newt Gingrich-bashing conference call with two surrogates, former Rep. Susan Molinari and former Sen. Jim Talent.

Molinari's dislike for Gingrich spans more than a decade. She served with him when he was House Speaker. She saw, in her words, how destructive and egotistical he is.

"Incredibly smart and pragmatic, he is at his best when he is building a team. He is at his worst and most self-destructive when he swells with his own sense of invulnerability and moves to the front and center," Molinari wrote in her book. "Representative Mom: Balancing Budgets, Bill and Baby in the U.S. Congress."

Molinari's beef with Gingrich has a deeply personal aspect as well. Her husband, former Rep. Bill Paxon, was a top leader in the coup to oust Gingrich in 1997. It failed. Some blame Republican leader Dick Armey, now the leader of tea-party organizer FreedomWorks, for selling out his fellow plotters when he learned that Paxon would be speaker and not him.

Paxon mysteriously soon left his post in Congress. It was never clear why

"There is a concerted effort to take Bill Paxon out before he becomes a bigger threat to Gingrich than he is," Hill reporter Sandy Hume reported at the time, according to this Arianna Huffington. "Paxon and Armey haven't been on speaking terms since the coup."

Soon after, Hume, son of the Fox commentator, committed suicide.

About the same time, rumors surfaced that Hume and Paxon had been involved in a a gay affair. Some (namely MSNBC's Joe Scarborough) blamed Armey for leaking the information to stop Paxon. Some blamed Gingrich, since he benefitted most. Some blamed them both for the rumor.

Because South Florida is New York's sixth borough, word of the Paxon-Gingrich-Hume imbroglia has been the subject of whispers by some political operatives tied to the Empire State (Paxon was a Buffalo rep.). It's almost impossible to know just what specifically happened all those years ago, but there's clearly deep scar tissue here that gainsays a simple political narrative that will unfold on a 30 minute conference call.

Comments

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HinterlandG

Newt Gingrich is a bigger threat to decency and working together than he would care to admit. I don't like Mitt Romney but I abhor Newt Gingrich and I would vote for Romney just because of that fact.

Joanne

I agree with Ms.Molinari. Gingrich has shown that he will attempt to take down anyone who gets in his way including the Republican Party.

Bea

Rumors run rampant in Washington, because of the ambitions of everyone. Also, when one commmits suicide, everyone looks for a reason. A person doesn't commit suicide over one incident in his/her life. There has to be long standing conflict within.

spoofproof

Romney does not have the balls or the intelligence to say what We The People know is true & need to hear. Romney is a nice-guy-company-man who has been going along to get along his whole life. Newt Gingrich is nowhere near as sweet & likeable as Mitt Romney. In the sick glitter of image-only politics Newt is paying a heavy price for not being squeaky-clean. Little girls and girly-men don't like Newt because Newt Gingrich is mean and tough. Here's hoping the people of South Carolina hand Mitt Romney his hat and show him the door. We don't need "electability". We need fearless, straightforward, straight-talking leadership. We are on the brink of World War III. Newt Gingrich is the Churchill of our time.

rollinson

None of this matters to this voter, and I suspect to millions more like me: if the Republicans picked someone in prison guilty of the most heinous crimes as the nominee, that person would be a 1000 times better than the traitor we have now!!!

Ann

So when Brit Hume is giving his guest commentary on the campaign, he has very personal issues in the background to influence what he is saying on the air. Maybe Brit should just bow out until this is over. It has been very evident that he and quite a few of the others on FOX have been in Romney's corner. Did Brit influence those opinions? Newt is a strong leader who has accomplished amazing feats & at least we know where he stands. Romney has taken both sides of the important issues; how can we possibly trust him?

ThePaganTemple

For those who may be wondering why Fox seems to be so deeply in the tank for Romney, wonder no more. Clear Channel Communications, which owns Fox News, is itself owned by-Bain Capital!

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/10547-romneys-bain-capital-owns-media-giant-broadcasting-limbaugh-hannity

spoofproof

Any new-age script-kiddie who believes all that sweetness and light that your schoolteachers pumped up your glory hole are in for a big, big surprise. People have not changed one little bit throughout the long sad tale of human history. The same greed, violence, lust, and ignorance that plagued the Soul of man 5000 years ago is just as powerful now as it was then. Mitt Romney is a man of putty who has been molded by the men who helped him get to where he is today. Does anyone here REALLY believe Mitt Romney governed as a Conservative in Massachusetts? Mitt Romney is a new-age kinda guy who has been bought and sold by the powers that be in this world. Mitt Romney is NOT his own man. Newt Gingrich is the last man standing who knows how brutal a place this old world really is and that you don't preserve the kind of Liberty we've enjoyed for 235 years in the U.S.A. by compromising and making-nice with people who swear that they will destroy your nation and kill or enslave every citizen. This ain't no foolin' around, kids. The forces of Life and Death are locked in mortal kombat. This is dead-serious. Men like Mitt Romney will get you killed. Believe it.

Wendilynn

Actually, Tim Pawlenty couldn't get a job at Fox because he was too pro romney so I"m not sure I buy your conspiracy there.

Gingrich is a cancer. He plays nice as long as he believes he's on top, but take away his toys and the claws come out and he doesn't really care who he takes out in the swipe. I have laughed that anyone would fall for his comments trying to blacken Romney as a "will say anything" politician when Newt has been that way his whole life. How he's behaved in this nomination process is proof of that. Cracked me up to see him praise the "king of bain" for a few days and then now try to distance himself like his Super PAC was "acting on their own" and being unreasonable to post something so obviously discredited. He slams Romney for doing exactly what he's also doing.

David

The real villain here is not Gingrich but Dick Armey, who pulls the strings for the Tea Party. If Gingrich drove Hume's son to suicide, he would not be such a frequent guest on Fox News.

George Marvin

Obama will beat Romney or Gingbitch in a landslide. 60/40. They'll both choke on their own right wing vomit.

bob

Roger Stone is the master, bravo Roger!

Kimberly

Oh for goodness sakes. Romney will do anything to be president. Here is the real story: Progressives in the Republican Caucus came together with the progressives in the Democratic caucus to get Gingrich out. Why? Because he was not letting them play their games. They wanted to spend. He wanted to cut spending and balance the budget. Susan Molinari is as conservative as Mitt Romney. And Jim Talent is a lobbyist making millions of $$ right now.

As far as Obama winning re-election. Dream on. A rock could beat him.

John

It seems to me that there is only one honest person out there. How is that for an oxymorom,
a "honest politician"? Well for sure there is one person that foresaw everything taking place today over a decade ago in 2002. And there is a short 4 minute video to prove it located at
http://southcarolinaprimary.org/?page_id=74

Seems to me this is the only real choice we have in the future unless you want the status quo

MARGIE HEATHCOCK

Wake up SC,We need a strong person to beat Obama.Newt is the one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Joann Prinzivalli

As a former Staten Island resident who admired Former Rep. Susan Molinari for her middle-of-the-road spunk (she wore a "Keep your laws off my body" t-shirt at the 1976 Republican National Convention), I give a great deal of credence to what she has to say about Newt Gingrich. The rumors about her husband are merely smoke aimed at discrediting her.

Joanne

Susan Molinari was not the person who wore that
T-shirt at the 1976 convention. You have the wrong Susan so please get your facts correct.
I do not belive that either of the Molinari's attended the 1976 convention. Her father Guy Molinari was a delegate committed to Reagan at the 1980 convention and I don't recall Susan even attending that convention in Detroit. How do I know , well because I was there as a Reagan alternate- delegate from Staten Island.

matilda

It was susan huckvale arann an interior decorator from staten island who wore the t shirt keep your laws off my body, susan molinari would have been 18 partying in college

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