Newt Gingrich is not generally known as the warm and fuzzy type, but he got choked up in Iowa on Friday as he discussed his mother’s battle with mental illness.
“She had bipolar disease and depression and she gradually acquired some physical ailments and that introduced me to the whole issue of long term quality care,” he recalled at a forum with GOP pollster Frank Luntz.
He continued, explaining that “my whole emphasis on brain science comes in directly from dealing with —” before pausing, teary-eyed. “See how you got me emotional?” he said.
“I do policy much easier than I do personal,” he added.
He became visibly emotional a second time after being asked what he would say to her if she were still alive.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.