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Gingrich: Decision to air interview with ex-wife 'simply wrong'

GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich said a decision by ABC News to air an interview with one of his ex-wives would be “wrong” and blamed the “liberal media” for attempting to distract voters from the failures of the Obama administration.

"I’m not going to say anything negative about Marianne,” Gingrich said in an interview Thursday on NBC’s "Today" show in response to reports that his second ex-wife, Marianne Gingrich, would conduct an interview with ABC News.

The Drudge Report first reported on Wednesday that Marianne Gingrich intended to share "explosive revelations" about her marriage to the former House Speaker. 

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Gingrich said that his daughters had sent a letter to ABC News criticizing the decision to air the interview "as wrong" and referred any media questions about the matter to them.

"My two daughters Kathy and Jackie have sent a letter to the president of ABC News, saying from a family perspective they think this is totally wrong," he said. "They think ABC should not air anything like this and that intruding into family things that are more, that are more than a decade old are simply wrong."

Gingrich said that his daughters would address the matter on his behalf. "I'll have my daughters speak for it. I"m sure they'd be glad to come on and chat with you about it. I'm not going to comment beyond that," he added.

Gingrich said that those who know him best could speak to his character. “I think that my daughters are very credible on my character. The people who have known me a long time are credible on my character,” he said.

Gingrich’s daughters Jackie Cushman and Kathy Lubbers sent the open letter to ABC News on Wednesday to address rumors that the network would air the interview with Marianne Gingrich. "The failure of a marriage is a terrible and emotional experience for everyone involved,” they said in the letter, which was released by the campaign. 

“Anyone who has had that experience understands it is a personal tragedy filled with regrets, and sometimes differing memories of events. We will not say anything negative about our father’s ex-wife. He has said before, privately and publicly, that he regrets any pain he may have caused in the past to people he loves,” they added.

Gingrich, who is running in second place in South Carolina ahead of that state’s Saturday primary, said that he would remain “focused on the bigger issues that concern the American people, which are current challenges we have largely because of the failure of the Obama presidency.”

“We have real stories this morning about the failure of the Obama administration,” he said, blasting the “liberal media” for focusing instead on his personal life.

“We have a lot we can talk about today about real problems,” he said.

The interview could be damaging to Gingrich just as two new polls from CNN-ORC and Marist show him surging in the Palmetto State and cutting into front-runner Romney’s lead.

ABC has not commented on the interview or if it plans to air it. The Associated Press, however, reported that the network would broadcast the interview on Thursday night on "Nightline" and release a transcript ahead of Thursday’s GOP debate in South Carolina.