(CNN) - As Newt Gingrich continues to signal his intention to run for president in 2012, his ex-wife says she finds it inconceivable the former Republican House Speaker has any chance of winning the White House.
"There's no way," Marianne Gingrich tells Esquire Magazine in a profile of the ex-Republican leader posted on the magazine's website Tuesday. "He could have been president. But when you try and change your history too much, and try and recolor it because you don't like the way it was or you want it to be different to prove something new ... you lose touch with who you really are. You lose your way."
But Marianne, who was married to Gingrich from 1981-1999, says her former husband might just have the right mentality to launch a White House bid, even if victory is far-fetched.
"He believes that what he says in public and how he lives don't have to be connected," she tells the magazine. "If you believe that, then yeah, you can run for president."
Marianne also says her former husband is a self-conscious man who "grew up poor and always wanted to be somebody, to make a difference, to prove himself."
"He has to be historic to justify his life," she tells the magazine.
But in the same profile, Gingrich paints a different picture of his childhood saying it resembled what "Norman Rockwell captures in his pictures."
The lengthy Esquire profile comes amid Gingrich's stepped up activity in Iowa – the key early-voting presidential state.
On Friday, Gingrich will make his sixth visit to the state in recent months to attend the Iowa State Fair, a traditional stomping ground for presidential aspirants.
Gingrich plans to open the day at the Iowa Republican Party booth and sign copies of his book, "To Save America," an appearance sure to help the state party touch a number of potential voters as they seek to re-capture the governor's mansion and a handful of House seats.
And according to a GOP source in the state, Gingrich also has a meeting planned at the fair with several GOP donors. After a morning dose of glad-handing and livestock-watching, he is slated to headline two fundraisers: One for Sen. Charles Grassley, who is seeking a sixth term in Washington, and another for the People United for Republican Sisters' Election (PURSE) political action committee, a group formed to assist female GOP candidates.
- CNN's Peter Hamby contributed to this report