Ex-wife bombshell hits as Newt surges

Maybe Newt Gingrich should have opened a second six-figure Tiffany account — for his ex-wife Marianne. ABC News is touting a new interview with Marianne, who was married to Gingrich for 18 years, in which she says Gingrich wanted an “open marriage” so he could have a mistress. He lacks the “moral character” to be president, she says. The interview is set to air tonight on Nightline.

This comes right as Gingrich is surging in the socially-conservative state of South Carolina where evangelical Christians have traditionally made up more than half of the primary voters. A new poll suggests Gingrich is leading Romney 34% to 28% ahead of Saturday’s vote, with Ron Paul in third place with 15% and Rick Santorum with 14%. Rick Perry had only 5% of likely voters. (Gingrich leads Romney 37-20 among evangelicals, according to the poll.)

In a boost for Gingrich, Texas governor Rick Perry today dropped out of the race and endorsed Gingrich – conceding “Newt is not perfect – but who among us is?” Meanwhile the news broke that Rick Santorum, not Mitt Romney, was the winner of the very close contest in Iowa.

Luckily for Romney, Gingrich’s personal life is diverting attention from Romney’s tax returns and tone-deaf comments such as he earned “not very much” from speaking fees last year – only $373, 327.62.

Tonight’s candidates’ debate will be worth watching.



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