MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa - A 31-year old Iowan woman on Tuesday approached Newt Gingrich after a campaign event here and pleaded with him not to be "arrogant and narcissistic."
"Do you feel like you need to be a little more humble to make it?" Jenny Turner, a 31-year old wedding videographer, asked the former House Speaker from Georgia as a crush of onlookers, reporters and security personnel surrounded Gingrich in the cafe of a HyVee grocery store.
Gingrich was caught somewhat off guard by the blunt and compassionate nature of the question. Turner identified herself as a supporter of his.
"She's got your bumper sticker all over the car," her husband, Ryan Turner, 26, told Gingrich.
But despite her support for him, Jenny Turner pleaded with Gingrich to take a less "presumptuous" tone, one that she said came across in spades when Gingrich confidently predicted earlier this month in an interview that he would be the Republican nominee for president.
"I just want you to be humble," she said. "But I think you're great! I just get nervous."
Newt told her he is "assertive" but acknowledged: "Sometimes when you're a little too assertive, it's not too smart."
He finished the conversation with Jenny Turner by saying, "Thank you for your honesty."
Jenny Turner told reporters afterward that her comments were motivated by a concern for government spending that she feels is wasteful.
"Politicians that are humble take the taxpayer dollar more seriously," she said, adding that "narcissistic and arrogant" politicians might misuse taxpayer funds.
Her larger question about Gingrich? "Can he win the hearts of the American people?"
Her husband, Ryan, is supporting Mitt Romney, and argued that the former Massachusetts governor is "the safer bet" to beat President Obama in a general election.
"I'm voting for him with my heart, but Mitt Romney's in the back of my head," Jenny Turner said.
She initially confronted Gingrich about his arrogance during a question and answer session in the cafe, in front of a large crowd of at least 200 people.
"I've been a big fan but that felt a little presumptuous," she said of Gingrich's prediction of victory in the ABC interview.
Gingrich immediately responded: "It was a mistake."
That exchange prompted an older woman in the crowd to snap, "He is going to be the nominee."
Gingrich said he was still suffering a form of relapse into his days on TV as a pundit.
"Part of what I'm still getting over -- I used to be an analyst on Fox. And every once in a while a reporter will ask an analytical question and I'll forget I'm not an analyst. I'm a candidate," Gingrich said.
"The truth is this will be decided by the American people. This will not be decided by any one person. And that's what I should have said, and I wasn't very clever," he admitted.
Mrs. Turner was appreciative for Gingrich's admission of error: "Well I appreciate you saying that," she said.
"I will make mistakes. I have made mistakes. And when I make mistakes I'll say to you, 'That was a boo boo, ok?'" Gingrich added.
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