The Real Threat to Marriage: Top 10 GOP Adulterers

Ten Commandments

The traditional media may be interested almost exclusively in the sex lives of Democratic politicians, but on the hypocrisy index, it is hard to score higher than Republicans pontificating about saving the institution of marriage while so many of their leaders are serial and long-time adulterers:

1. President George H.W. Bush allegedly had an LTR with British-born Jennifer Fitzgerald that lasted at least two decades, all while married to Bar, who said, “He didn’t even notice when I stopped coloring my hair.”

2. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, famously married to Maria Shriver since 1986, is allegedly a purveyor of prostitutes, the father of at least one child out of wedlock and a serial groper of women in workplace situations.

3. Sen. John McCain, 2008 Republican presidential frontrunner, and admitted adulterer and alleged philanderer. [Update July 2008: McCain’s Extramarital Affair with Cindy Ended His Friendship with Reagans in the 1970s]

4. Rudolph Giuliani, former mayor of New York City and another GOP 2008 presidential contender, betrayed his second wife, TV presenter Donna Hanover, with his “very good friend” Judith Nathan, whom he has since married. Hanover also publicly accused Rudy of having an affair with a staffer, Cristyne Lategano-Nicholas.

5. Rush Limbaugh, comedian, (a.k.a. “Rusty Sharpe”) dated Marta Fitzgerald while she was married to someone else. Marta later became his third wife. (He and CNN’s Daryn Kagin recently stopped dating.)

6. Bill O’Reilly, propagandist, who is married to Maureen McPhilmy, tried to have phone sex with Andrea Mackris, who sued him for sexual harrassment.

7. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, is probably the most audacious serial adulterer in any political party.

8. Former Rep. Bob Barr’s notoriety as an adulterer was one of many ironies around the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DoMA) which he wrote, and which was passed with the leadership of fellow adulterers Sen. Majority Leader Bob Dole and House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

9. Rep. Henry Hyde, who served as chairman of House Mangers in the adultery-related impeachment of President Clinton, was a home-wrecker himself. Hyde had an affair when he was a young and foolish man of 41 while he and his girlfriend were both very much married. Her husband later said Hyde broke up his family.

10. Gary Bauer, professional moralizing Christian nationalist, experienced a mutiny when he was running for president when actual Christians on the staff of his 2000 presidential campaign quit in protest over Bauer’s “inappropriate” behavior with a 26-year-old deputy campaign manager. Euww.

11. (Updated) Had to add this one sent in by reader S.O. that probably should have bumped poor old Henry Hyde on the list: Neal Horsley, and rightwing religious nut, freely admitted to a kinky sex life, including this outrageous exchange on Fox’s Hannity & Colmes:

AC: “You had sex with animals?”

NH: “Absolutely. I was a fool. When you grow up on a farm in Georgia, your first girlfriend is a mule.”

AC: “I’m not so sure that that is so.”

NH: “You didn’t grow up on a farm in Georgia, did you?”

AC: “Are you suggesting that everybody who grows up on a farm in Georgia has a mule as a girlfriend?”

NH: It has historically been the case. You people are so far removed from the reality… Welcome to domestic life on the farm…”

UPDATE: Thanks for all the emails. Our list attempts to identify the top 10 adulterers so there were several top contenders that didn’t make it:

  • Rep. Bob Livingston, the man who would have been House Speaker after Newt if Larry Flynt hadn’t uncovered some very kinky dirt on Livingtston. He was a top contender but since he never really served as Speaker, was bumped for Bauer.
  • It is true that Nancy Reagan was pregnant when she married Ronnie, but neither of them was married to anyone else at the time. By Republican standards of “abstinence only,” Nancy clearly did not say “no.”
  • We covered the rumors of troubles in the marriage of the president and Laura Bush but the evidence of this is spotty.
  • A definite top 10 contender is the Wall Street Journal’s John Fund, a sanctimonius Clinton-hater, who, as reader TL reminds us, “[Apparently] had a fling with the DAUGHTER of someone he was having an affair with and then arranged for (or at least condoned) the abortion of their child.”
  • Back-bencher Rep. Don Sherwood of Pennsylvania, whose adultery with a younger woman was revealed after he tried to strangle her, didn’t make the cut, but someone please tell us he won’t be re-elected. (And thanks, M.H. and others, for the reminder!)
  • Reader Tim pointed out the track record of Rep. Jim Nussle of Iowa, who used his wife and autistic child as family values props then left them for a high-powered lobbyist after he was elected.

Keep ’em coming!


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  • Stephen Kriz
    June 6, 2006 - 2:56 am | Permalink

    Bingo! Hypocrisy, thy name is Republican.

  • ed
    June 6, 2006 - 5:58 am | Permalink

    Strange is it not that the Ten Commandments contain no proscription of homosexuality? Adultery is forbidden there, as are lying, avarice, theft and murder. Small wonder GOP politicos want to focus public attention on homosexuals.

  • June 6, 2006 - 6:08 am | Permalink

    Would it be fair to suggest that the GOP may be outright practicioners of doublethink when it comes to their beloved “Traditional Values” agenda?

  • June 6, 2006 - 6:18 am | Permalink

    My list usually has “Lashes” Livingston, “Bastard” Burton, and, not forgetting the distaff side, “Climber” Chenoweth.

    You could add Bernie Kerik too.


  • Eugene Glickman
    June 6, 2006 - 6:23 am | Permalink

    I like Ed’s comments. I suggest that we develop a counter-Constitutional Amendment which quotes the biblical words on adultery as its content.

  • Dan
    June 6, 2006 - 6:25 am | Permalink

    Didn’t Bob Livingston resign after a rather embarrassing adulterous scandal broke out on him?

    Also, wasn’t Dick Cheney alleged to have had an affair with a European gal who was actually on the bird hunt when he shot his friend in the face?

  • Alice Nelson
    June 6, 2006 - 6:26 am | Permalink

    Wasn’t Elizabeth Dole the other woman while Bob Dole was still married?

    Nancy Reagan was the other woman too.

    So much for traditional moral values.

  • June 6, 2006 - 6:29 am | Permalink

    If the GOP would compare the rate for domestic violence, unwed mothers, single parent families, etc. of states which allow same-sex marriage, or union, with those which have blocked (or in the process of doing so) same-sex marriage/union, then they would see that same-sex marriage is not the threat to traditional families. The real threat is intolerance and ignorance.

  • Bill
    June 6, 2006 - 6:33 am | Permalink

    Does Ronnie Reagan fit here somewhere? Maybe the Ambassadress who was Cheney’s retriever could suggest a candidate!

  • James
    June 6, 2006 - 6:35 am | Permalink

    Mikedarwin, there you are talking about reality again. This is a rethug story — reality need not enter into it at all. It’s what they *want* to believe that counts!

  • tom
    June 6, 2006 - 6:43 am | Permalink

    James @ 6:35, yes, truthiness.

  • Shazam
    June 6, 2006 - 6:55 am | Permalink

    On June 2 and 4th Wayne Madison report and affair between GWB and Condi Rice.

    Randi Rhodes talked about the same thing on her radio show.

  • boner
    June 6, 2006 - 6:56 am | Permalink

    Who was jeff gannon (guckett) banging in the white house and did? he keep the blue stained pants?
    Cum on geo or rove tell some morale base lie

  • mike the psych
    June 6, 2006 - 6:57 am | Permalink

    Let’s not go down that road, o.k.?
    If you target the Reps. than they will start targeting Dems and soon the real issues we need to address will be kept off the front pages to make room for some schmuck who had an affair. Don’t forget how they made Clinton front page news for the rest of his presidency.

  • Gray Lensman
    June 6, 2006 - 7:06 am | Permalink

    You must remember than none of this defense of marriage stuff applies to these fine gentlemen.

    I also wonder how many of these upstanding Republican leaders have paid for abortions.

  • June 6, 2006 - 7:11 am | Permalink

    Why is it that the GOP is always so willing, ready and able to cast the first stone especially when it relates to adultery or the sudden aggressive platform to define the institution of marriage in the US Constitution?

    Adultery is wrong in accordance with the teachings of the bible; and adultery involves 2 consenting adults who have made personal choices.

    Is it the GOP’s responsibility to change the US constitution to define the institution of marriage when there are so many other serious issues pending in the US today?

    Just imagine how many childhood victims of clergy sexual misconduct NEVER had the choice to enter into sex abuses by a person employed by a religious institution.

    Question to the GOP: Fight for those who were sexually abused as children and NEVER had a choice.

    Legislation nationwide, similar to California’s 2003 Sex Abuse Law, will return due process and justice to victims of past sex abuse crimes.

    What is more important?

    1. Publicly exposing adulters.
    2. Defining the institution of marriage.
    3. Returning due process and a day in court to childhood survivors of clergy sex abuse crimes.

  • nick c
    June 6, 2006 - 7:11 am | Permalink

    you’ve forgotten helen chenowith of idaho, throw in larry craig for parking at 3 in the morning in front of a women’s house he was persuing (he was just resting, he told police), dan burton, bob livingston (La.) just to round it out.

  • cynicalgirl
    June 6, 2006 - 7:22 am | Permalink

    You forgot to mention Arnold’s gang-banging admission.

  • June 6, 2006 - 7:25 am | Permalink

    Why is the mass media failing to mention that Laura Bush left the White House and stayed at the Washington DC Mayflower Hotel last week? And check out this cover about the Bush marriage breakup from The Globe:

  • Cozmo'
    June 6, 2006 - 7:26 am | Permalink

    How about Ms Condi Rice and Georgie Peorgie… Didn’t she once refer to the president as “my husban….er, the President….?” What kind of Freudian slip is that? Tell me something wasn’t going on between them.

  • Tim
    June 6, 2006 - 7:34 am | Permalink

    Since the Repubs are so intent on prying into the married lives of private people, maybe the Dems should introduce legislation to outlaw divorce without a court trial (like the “good old days” they are incessantly harkening back to). The Ultimate in Family Values. Plus, it would give something for all of the lawyers that were squished by tort reform something to do.

  • Amy
    June 6, 2006 - 7:43 am | Permalink

    Don’t forget the mistress choker, Rep. Don Sherwood (R-PA)…

  • Amy
    June 6, 2006 - 7:46 am | Permalink

    Oh, and there’s Joe Scarborough and Lori Klausutis…

    It’s almost too easy to find hypocritical repukes…

  • Arliss Hogwasher
    June 6, 2006 - 8:14 am | Permalink

    How about George Bush and Condi Rice?
    Recent reports have Laura Bush living at a DC hotel.

  • Monica
    June 6, 2006 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    I am so sick of this GOP holier-than-thou crap. Them and evangelical preachers. Let’s not forget the evangelical preachers who can’t keep it in their pants all the while they sermonize about how you burn in hell for coveting thy neighbor’s wife, let alone bedding her. I can’t understand why the average white Kansas resident can’t see this hypocrisy. But they just keep voting for these hypocrites and going to their churches, sending money to their TV and radio ministries. Damn them all for ruining life for the rest of us.

    June 6, 2006 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    Rick Santorum’s Republican Child Molesters
    Republican Hypocrisy Revealed

  • Abbadabadowit
    June 6, 2006 - 8:25 am | Permalink

    Ken Calvert caught by police in his car with a hooker early morning hours in Corona, Ca where he lives.

  • Abbadabadowit
    June 6, 2006 - 8:26 am | Permalink

    Forgot to say….the hooker was busy with her head down… Mr Calvert was sitting up.

  • mighty maximus
    June 6, 2006 - 8:28 am | Permalink

    Republikkklan Party economics and philosophy of government have destroyed more lives, killed more people and have destroyed more marriages than any issue Republikklans can trump up in an election campaign.

  • Mark Mywords
    June 6, 2006 - 8:34 am | Permalink

    WELL… you are all missing the point– there is a little known law that exempts high-ranking officials of the SS from criminal prosecution for these acts. What happens is, moments before the adulterous act takes place, his Supreme Excrement, King George the Turd, negates their standing marriage, basically nullifies the bond. After the act, he returns the holy deadlock and it is okay. If you guys aren’t going to read the rules THEN YOU SHOULD ALL SHUT UP. This rule, should you want to quote it at some point in time, is the “Plame Was Not A Secret Agent Act of 2002”, retroactivly created in 2006.
    Please try to keep up.

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