"My answer to you is, I'm not commenting on stuff like that," said the former House Speaker when the issue was raised by network host Greta Van Susteren. "I'm perfectly happy to talk about what we need to do for America and what we need to do help Americans. But I frankly don't want to play the gotcha games in Washington and I'm just not going to participate."
After being pressed on his reluctance to address the issue, Gingrich said, "Part of running for president is that everything you ever did, every person you ever knew, name it -- sooner or later somebody somewhere is going to run across it. You know, and it will show up. I just decided, if it doesn't relate to a better future for America, if it doesn't relate to helping the American people, if it doesn't relate to solving our problems, from here on out, my answer is going to be I'm not commenting on it and then people can decide if you want to play Trivial Pursuit -- that's fine. But I'm going to play trivial pursuit. I'm going to try to help this country get back on track."
The AP relays background on the controversy:
Callista Gingrich filed ethics disclosures in 2006 and 2007 that indicated she or her husband owed anywhere from $250,000 to $500,000 to Tiffany & Co. House ethics rules require disclosures of debt more than $10,000 and allow aides to report the figures in broad ranges.
The ethics form also indicated she or her husband owed between $15,000 and $50,000 to American Express.
A spokesman to Gingrich, a former House speaker who left office in 1999, did not immediately respond to a message seeking details about the debt, which was first reported by Politico.
Callista Gingrich was a clerk with the House Agriculture Committee until 2007. The most recent report on file says the couple had between $1 million and $2.5 million in assets during 2006.
Below, video of Gingrich's appearance on Fox News on Tuesday night.
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more