WASHINGTON — Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) was having an extramarital affair while he led the charge against President Clinton over the Monica S. Lewinsky scandal, he acknowledged in an interview with a conservative Christian group.
"The honest answer is yes," Gingrich, a potential 2008 Republican presidential candidate, said in an interview with Focus on the Family founder James C. Dobson, according to a transcript provided to the Associated Press. The interview is to air today. "There are times that I have fallen short of my own standards. There's certainly times when I've fallen short of God's standards."
Gingrich said in the interview that he should not be viewed as a hypocrite for pursuing Clinton.
"The president of the United States got in trouble for committing a felony in front of a sitting federal judge," he said of Clinton's 1998 House impeachment. "I drew a line in my mind that said, 'Even though I run the risk of being deeply embarrassed ... I have no choice except to move forward and say that you cannot accept ... perjury in your highest officials.' "
Gingrich has placed in the top three in a number of Republican presidential polls.