In what appears to be a last ditch attempt to halt Newt Gingrich’s late momentum in South Carolina, a fake CNN Breaking News alert was emailed to state Republican activists early Thursday morning claiming that the former House Speaker pressured his ex-wife to have an abortion.
CNN did not send out the email alert.
The email alert was sent from fake account made to look like a CNN breaking news email address: “BreakingNews@mail.cnn.com.”
“A source close to Marianne Gingrich tells CNN that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich forced her to abort a pregnancy conceived during the affair that preceeded her marriage to Gingrich,” the fake email reads.
Marianne Gingrich, who went public this week with charges that Gingrich once asked her for an “open marriage” while he was having an extramarital affair, has not made that claim.
“An ABC News interview with the Speaker’s ex-wife aired Thursday evening which detailed the candidate’s request for an open marriage and their subsequent divorce,” the fake email alert adds.
During the 2000 Republican presidential primary, Senator John McCain was the target of a whisper campaign implying that he had fathered a black child out of wedlock. (McCain’s adopted daughter is a dark-skinned child from Bangladesh). Voters in South Carolina were reportedly asked, “Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for John McCain if you knew that he fathered an illegitimate black child?”. McCain would later lose the South Carolina primary, and the nomination, to George W. Bush.
This particular individual is supporting the GOP establishment candidate, Mitt Romney. A win by Mitt tomorrow could well end the primary race. A win by Newt could signal a big upset.