Gingrich: Marital issues make me seem "more normal"

Republican presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks during a South Carolina Republican presidential primary night rally, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012, in Columbia, S.C.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Newt Gingrich said Tuesday that his past marital issues make him more relatable to most Americans and said it makes him seem "more normal" than a person who "wanders around seeming perfect."

In Tampa, Florida, Tuesday morning, interviewer David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network told the GOP presidential candidate that the evangelicals he speaks to "bring up the word forgiveness" when "some of [Gingrich's] marital issues of the past" come up. Gingrich has been married three times and admitted infidelity; his second wife suggested last week that Gingrich sought an "open marriage" arrangement involving her and Gingrich's current wife, a claim the former House speaker denies.

Asked what the "sentiment of forgiveness from evangelicals" tells him, Gingrich responded that it's important that evangelicals recognize that he has "not hidden from the facts of my life - that I have confessed my weaknesses, and that I have had to go to God for forgiveness and for reconciliation."

"And I think most people can identify either with themselves or with friends or with loved ones that life has moments that are very sad that you wish weren't occurring," he said. "And that you look back on them and you seek forgiveness for not having been everything you could be."

"So I think in that sense it may make me more normal than somebody who wanders around seeming perfect and maybe not understanding the human condition and the challenges of life for normal people," concluded Gingrich.