Newt Gingrich dismisses impact of his extramarital affairs on possible presidential candidacy

Steven Nelson Associate Editor
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Former speaker of the house Newt Gingrich is widely believed to be considering a campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. One aspect of his past may prove an insurmountable obstacle.

Gingrich was asked Tuesday night during an event at the University of Pennsylvania about his past incidents of marital infidelity.

“You’ve also been married three times and admitted to having an affair with your current wife while you were still married to your second,” a student said to Gingrich, “As a successful politician who’s considering running for president, who would set the bar for moral conduct and be the voice of the American people, how do you reconcile this hypocritical interpretation of the religious values that you so vigorously defend?”

Gingrich dismissed the affairs as historical, saying that voters are concerned more with America’s future.

“I’ve had a life which, on occasion, has had problems,” Gingrich said in response to the question, “I believe in a forgiving God, and the American people will have to decide whether that’s their primary concern.”

Gingrich continued, “If the primary concern of the American people is my past, my candidacy would be irrelevant,” but that, “the primary concern of the American people is the future.”

“They have to decide who will effectively get us to a future in which we are economically prosperous, militarily safe, and maximize freedom for the American people.”

“That’s the debate I’ll be happy to have with your candidate, or any other candidate, if I decide to run” Gingrich concluded to cheers.