New Republican front-runner Newt Gingrich met privately with about 70 leading conservatives on Wednesday in suburban Washington, Politico reported.
The presidential candidate engaged in a wide-ranging discussion with the group; among the issues talked about were his past marriages and infidelities. The meeting was an opportunity for Gingrich to try to allay serious concerns about his past and his weakness as a standard-bearer for the cultural issues that conservatives deem important in candidates for office. Gingrich noted that he now has a healthy marriage and is close to his two daughters, one of whom was at the session, according to the news organization.
During the two-hour gathering, the former House speaker was also asked whom he would rely on for advice, about his sometimes moderate views on environmental issues, and about the Medicare prescription-drug bill he supported in 2003, which many conservatives opposed.
Among the people attending were Richard Viguerie, Al Regnery, Mike Farris, Penny Nance, and Jim Martin. Viguerie, the direct-mail pioneer, helped organized the meeting.