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Newt Gingrich says he's 'made mistakes' but marriage is 'strong'

May 15, 2011|By Katherine Skiba | Washington Bureau
(William B. Plowman, NBC…)

Newt Gingrich says he doesn’t expect to be vice president, and, he says, he's made personal mistakes.

The Republican presidential hopeful, appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, threw back to moderator David Gregory a question about the No. 2 spot.

“Can you imagine any presidential nominee who would pick me to be the vice presidential candidate?” Gingrich, the former House speaker, asked.

“As Reagan said in ’76 when he was hoping Ford would not ask him, nobody could automatically say no to the president of the United States," he said. "But this strikes me as so implausible. … [Wife] Callista and I will not spend long hours worrying about that question.”

Gingrich also was asked about his three marriages and his infidelities.

“I have made mistakes in my life,” he said. “I had to go to God for forgiveness and seek reconciliation.”

He asked Americans to look at who he was today, calling his marriage “strong” and describing his relationship with his two daughters and their husbands as “close.”

Gregory played a portion of a Christian Broadcasting Network interview in which Gingrich said: “There is no question that at times in my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about my country, that I worked far too hard and that things happened in my life that were not appropriate.”

Was that a serious act of contrition, that you were so patriotic and passionate that you cheated on your wife? Gregory asked.

Calling the quote 15 seconds from a 20-minute interview, Gingrich said, “I’ll repeat what I said a minute ago. I clearly have done things that were wrong. I’ve clearly had to seek God’s forgiveness.”

kskiba@tribune.com

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