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Posted at 05:24 PM ET, 03/09/2011

Newt Gingrich: 'Passion for the country' led to personal indiscretions (video)

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich gave an interview to the Christian Broadcasting Network to speak about his past indiscretions, the coming presidential race and what he calls the threat to "Judeo-Christian society."

"There's no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate," said Gingrich during an interview with CBN's David Brody. "What I can tell you is that when I did things that were wrong, I wasn't trapped in situation ethics, I was doing things that were wrong, and yet, I was doing them," he continued, going on to say that he had sought "God's forgiveness. Not God's understanding, but God's forgiveness."

Gingrich speaks about his past indiscretions

Gingrich goes on to emphasize his age and the experience he has gained since that time. "Callista and I have a great marriage," said Gingrich. "Forget about all this political stuff. As a person, I've had the opportunity to have a wonderful life, to find myself now, truly enjoying the depths of my life in ways that I never dreamed it was possible to have a life that was that nice."

Gingrich's appeal to the Evangelical community comes a week after the announcement that he is "exploring" a potential presidential 2012 bid -- a bid that could prove difficult (if not impossible) without the strong support of Evangelical Christians who may find it difficult to move past Gingrich's past.

Gingrich on the qualities of a great president

Asked about the qualities of a great president, Newt gave his assessment saying, "You want to be able to look into them and understand, do they share my values?" - an echo of past criticisms leveled against President Obama. Gingrich also said the president would need to be "ideally, a unifier of the nation," echoing former president George W. Bush's vow in 2000 that he would be a "uniter not a divider."

Gingrich on the attack against "Judeo-Christian civilization"

Gingrich also weighed in on the threat that "secular, atheist, elitism" and "radical Islamists" posed to "Judeo-Christian civilization:"

Newt Gingrich: "In a sense, our Judeo-Christian civilization is under attack from two fronts. On one front, you have a secular, atheist, elitism. And on the other front, you have radical Islamists. And both groups would like to eliminate our civilization if they could. For different reasons, but with equal passion."

Gingrich's comments come two days before Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, is scheduled to hold a hearing on radical Islam -- an event that has drawn strong reactions from both sides of the aisle.

By  |  05:24 PM ET, 03/09/2011

 
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