Gingrich: Up to voters to decide if I'm mature

Newt Gingrich on CBS' "Face the Nation," May 22, 2011. CBS

Newt Gingrich said on Sunday that it was up to the American people to decide whether or not they could forgive him for his past mistakes - and whether or not he was "a mature person now."

In an interview with Bob Schieffer on CBS' "Face the Nation," Gingrich spoke to elements of his past that many believe contradict his values as a social conservative - namely, his marital infidelities with a previous wife, from whom he is now divorced - and said voters would have to ask themselves if he had matured enough in recent years to serve as their leader.

"I think the American people have to decide, recognizing that I did some things that were wrong - I had to go to God and ask for forgiveness, I've had to seek reconciliation: Look at who I am now. Look at my marriage. You have to look at our daughters and son-in-laws and my relationship to our grandchildren.

"They have to decide: Am I now a mature person who has - in fact, will be - an effective leader in getting this country back, with jobs and with lower gasoline prices and with a real American energy plan and with a balanced budget?" he asked.

Gingrich argued that he could be that person.

"No one person can do this," he said. "But with the help of the American people... I do believe it's possible for this country to get that job done. I think I could help lead the American people in getting that job done."

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