ABC News is fighting back against a claim made by Newt Gingrich at last night’s debate.
In the course of answering John King’s question about ABC’s interview with Gingrich’s second wife Marianne, and her claims that he asked her for an “open marriage,” Gingrich said, “The story is false. Every personal friend I have who knew us in that period says the story was false. We offered several of them to ABC to prove it was false. They weren’t interested because they would like to attack any Republican.”
ABC Senior Vice President Jeffrey Schneider says of Gingrich’s remarks: “That’s just not true. His daughters (right) were interviewed for our ‘Nightline’ story last night and we sought interviews with Gingrich or surrogates very aggressively starting Tuesday morning. We would have been happy to interview anyone they put forward.”
On Tuesday, ABC News contacted the Gingrich campaign for comment. Reporter Brian Ross talked with the New York Times which reported that the campaign told him: “we’re going to provide somebody who will answer point by point everything she says,” but had not done so as of Thursday morning.
Last night, even as the question was being asked at the CNN debate, Ross was on Bill O’Reilly’s show on Fox News. In his introduction, O’Reilly pointed out Ross’s fairness in investigating all candidates, not just Republicans. “Mr. Ross as you may know broke the Jeremiah Wright story during the last presidential campaign and he is also reporting on Mitt Romney’s off shore investments now.”
Here’s Ross’s appearance on O’Reilly and after the jump, Ross’s report on “Nightline”