Newt Gingrich's Personal Life Questioned in Debate

GOP Candidate refuses to back down from questions about his ex-wife, Marianne.
5:17 | 01/19/12

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Transcript for Newt Gingrich's Personal Life Questioned in Debate
Mr. speaker Gingrich surged into contention here in South Carolina. A direct fresh character attack on the speaker mr. speaker I wanna start with that this evening as you know your ex wife. David interviewed ABC news that another interview the Washington Post in this story has now gone viral on the Internet in it she says that you came to her. In 1999 at a time when you're having an affair she says you asked her sure. To enter into an open marriage would you like to take some time to respond to that no. But I will. I think to distract students. Vicious -- a -- nature. Of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country harder to attract decent people to run for public office. And I am -- The -- would Begin a presidential debate. On a topic. Every person in here. -- personal pain. Every person in here has heard someone close to them go through painful things. To take an ex wife. And make it two days before the primary. A significant question her presidential campaign. Is -- close stood respectable. As anything I can imagine. My my two daughters. My two daughters who wrote the head of ABC. And made the point. There was wrong that they should pull -- and I am frankly astounded. That CNN would take trash like that. And use it to open the presidential debates. As you noted mr. speaker this story did not come from our network is also -- it is the subject of conversation on the campaign I'm not I'm just when I take your point. John it was repeated -- network. New shows to start the debate with a don't try to blame somebody else. You -- your staff chose to start -- today. The story is false every personal friend I have no less -- -- -- is a story was false. We offered several of them -- be -- approval was false they want disinterested. Because they would like to attach any Republican they're attacking the governor there attacking me I'm sure the president get around -- -- senator senator Santorum and congressman Paul. I am tired of the elite media protecting Barack Obama by. As I noted the beginning we have four podiums on this stage tonight not five and when he exited the race this morning. Governor Perry quickly and forcefully -- speaker Gingrich and in that remark he said that no mr. Gingrich is not a perfect man senator Santorum he said none of us saw. And he said he believes in his Christian faith that guides him to the value of redemption. Speaker Gingrich doesn't believe this is an issue Governor Perry says this is not an issue at a slow start with you -- go down do you believe evidence. I've answered this question repeatedly throughout the course of this campaign. I am a Christian too. And I thank god for forgiveness. But. You know these these are issues. Of our lives and what we did in our lives are issues of character for people to consider but the bottom line is. Those are those are things for everyone in this audience look at and they don't look at me look at what I've done and my prop -- private life and personal life unfortunately. And what I say is that. This country is a very forgiving country this -- this country understands. That we are all fallen. And I'm very hopeful that we will be judged by that standard and not by my hire one. And the ultimate day. -- -- -- John let's get out of the real issues so I gotta say. I'm paying too often all of us stronger receiving -- of attacks from the media is very disturbing. Because sometimes are not based on facts and we suffer the consequences. You know sometimes -- reminds me of this. Idea of getting corporations out of running campaigns but what about the corporations. That run the media I mean. You guys -- sorting facts and fiction the people have to sort this out but I think setting standards are very important and I'm very proud of my wife of 54 years is with me tonight.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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