Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Sunday that a debt of up to $500,000 to Tiffany's had been paid off.

"Did you owe a half million dollars to a jewelry company at one point?" CBS' Bob Schieffer asked Gingrich.

"It's a standard no-interest account," Gingrich explained. "We paid no interest on it. There was no problem with it. It's a normal way of doing business."

"I mean, it's very odd to me that someone would run up a half million dollars... bill at a jewelry store," Schieffer noted.

"Go talk to Tiffany's. All I'm telling you is we are very frugal. We in fact live within our budget. We owe nothing," Gingrich insisted.

"What did you buy?" Schieffer wondered.

"It's a personal -- it's my private life," Gingrich objected. "If the U.S. government was as debt free as I am, everybody in America would be celebrating. I think I have proven I can manage money."

"As a private citizen who has done well, I think I'm allowed to pick and choose what I prefer doing."

Watch this video from CBS' Face the Nation, broadcast May 22, 2011.

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