NORTH CHARLESTON, South Carolina—Newt Gingrich scored an early victory in tonight's Republican Presidential Debate with an indignant response to moderator John King's question about his ex-wife.
"I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic such as this," Gingrich said to huge applause.
He added that bringing up the issue so close to the primary "is as close to despicable as anything I could imagine."
Gingrich's ex-wife Marianne Gingrich told ABC News' Brian Ross that Gingrich asked her for an open marriage so he could carry on an affair with his current wife, Callista. Gingrich and his daughters have denied the charge.
When King tried to defend his network, noting that the interview with the former Mrs. Gingrich is airing on ABC later tonight, Gingrich attacked CNN for repeating the "false" claims in the interview.
"It was repeated by your network, you chose to start your debate with it. Don’t try to pass the blame on to someone else," he said to a standing ovation.
Gingrich is paying the victim card and media critic with aplomb. This is the only thing anyone will be talking about tonight, and he won the moment.