12/07/2011 12:00 pm ET

Callista Gingrich Weighs In On Husband's Presidential Campaign, Potential First Lady Role

Calista Gingrich, the oft-scrutinized third wife of GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, is a businesswoman, children's book author and campaign wife.

She is also Newt's "ultimate running mate," and has embarked on a recent media tour in an attempt to forge her image as more than just a controversial figure who lies at the heart of stories about Tiffany's bills and luxury cruises around the Greek isles.

In a recent interview, she spoke about her favorite former first ladies and gave some insight into one of the programs she'd focus on if her husband were to be elected president. From Reuters:

"With Mrs. Reagan, she was always protective of her husband, looking out in his best interest always," she said. Laura Bush was "a very loving mother and wife," while Jacqueline Kennedy had "incredible style and grace, she also focused on the arts and music and that's something I admire very much."

She added: "I would be very involved in communicating the importance of music education as a vital part of a complete education." If the pattern holds, she would also be involved in most aspects of a Gingrich presidency.

A musical aficionado -- she plays the French horn -- Callista Gingrich's Catholic faith and patriotism also play big parts in her life, she recently told CBN News:

"I have always been a very spiritual person, and I must say that when greater challenges are put before us we become even more spiritual," she said. "I start each day with a prayer, and I pray throughout the day, and I pray at the end of the day because I am grateful for the many blessings that God has bestowed upon us and the many opportunities He has given us."

Gingrich also says her small-town upbringing -- she actually grew up in a Wisconsin town only a few miles from Marcus Bachmann, another campaign spouse -- has engrained in her an undying love for America.

"I grew up in a very patriotic small town in the Midwest that didn't apologize for being American," Gingrich said. "And I would like to, going forward, see our young people feel proud to be an American, to appreciate the courage and the sacrifice that have gone before us and to live that kind of life, to not be apologetic, to know that this country is special and to understand why."

She says that a Gingrich presidency could foster this type of sentiment.

"I believe Newt has been preparing to do this his entire life," Callista told CBN. "He has a proven record of national leadership and a thorough understanding of American history and a genuine love of America."

Below, CBN's segment on some of the 2012 campaign wives.

More on Gingrich's women: