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For Lent, Newt to give up dessert, Callista her 'opinion', but not McDonald's

Newt Gingrich said in Scottsdale, Arizona that while he will not attend mass today for Ash Wednesday, he will give up "all desserts" for Lent. His wife Callista joked that she will give up her "opinion."


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Newt Gingrich says he will not attend mass today, Ash Wednesday, because he is not obligated to do so by the Catholic Church.

"It’s not a Holy Day of obligation," Gingrich told reporters outside his Phoenix area hotel Wednesday morning.

The former House Speaker, who converted to Catholicism in 2006, said he has gone and received ashes in the past but will opt out this year.

He is, however, thinking about the Lenten Season.

"I am going to give up desserts ... all desserts," Gingrich said. (It is customary in Lent for the devoted to give up something.)

"I am giving up my opinion," Gingrich’s wife, Callista, said jokingly.

The couple, which loves McDonald’s, said they definitely are not giving that up.

The speaker will be spending today in private meetings and preparing for the presidential debate tonight.

“My debate prep is to think deeply,” he said.

Gingrich also met briefly with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) at a local hotel, taking pictures with the governor and Callista. Some news outlets are reporting Brewer will make an endorsement of a GOP candidate after the debate in Mesa, AZ, tonight.