ABC's Walters Contrasts Obama Marriage with Gingrich Marital Problems

During her interview with President and Mrs. Obama which aired on Friday's 20/20, ABC's Barbara Walters made a point of contrasting GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's history of marital problems with the successful marriage of the First Family. 

(Video below)

Walters introduced the topic as she observed:

I'm looking at you. You're holding hands. That's very sweet. How many years married?

Walters noted that the Obama marriage "has always been a political asset," but, when noting that other politicians have had problems in that arena, she only mentioned Republican candidate Gingrich. Walters:

The Obamas' marriage has always been a political asset. Not so for every politician, like Republican candidate Newt Gingrich, who has had to address questions of whether infidelity is fair game during a presidential campaign. This topic has come up recently  in the Republican debates.

She went on to ask President Obama if the topic should be "part of the public debate."

Below are both video and a transcript of the relevant exchange from the Friday, December 23, 20/20 on ABC:


BARBARA WALTERS: I'm looking at you. You're holding hands. That's very sweet. How many years married?

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Twenty next year.

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA: Right, well done.

WALTERS: And still hold hands.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Absolutely.

MICHELLE OBAMA: Yeah, yeah, he's very affectionate.

WALTERS: The Obamas' marriage has always been a political asset. Not so for every politician, like Republican candidate Newt Gingrich, who has had to address questions of whether infidelity is fair game during a presidential campaign. This topic has come up recently  in the Republican debates. Do you think that someone's marriage, or marriages, should be part of the public debate?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: You know, I'm not big on people's personal lives being poked and prodded, and that that ends up being the primary issue. We've got such big issues to deal with right now. And there's such substantial differences between, certainly, my position and any of the Republican candidates. That's wat we should focus on.