November 7th, 2012
08:08 AM ET
2 years ago

Gingrich: 'I was wrong'

(CNN) – Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who predicted Mitt Romney would win the presidential election in a clear victory, conceded Wednesday morning that his expectations were off.

"I was wrong," Gingrich said on CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien."

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The former presidential candidate, who at one time ran as a fierce opponent against Romney in the GOP primary, said the president had a "very effective campaign." He also argued Republican leaders and GOP political observers were not in tune with what the population at large was seeking in a president.

"I think the country was looking at a different set of things than we were looking at," he said. "Republicans are going to have to take a very serious look at what happened and why did it happen and why were we not more competitive at the presidential level."

Handicapping the race, Gingrich had previously said Romney would get 53% of the popular vote and 300 or more electoral votes.

"This is a very serious moment," he argued. "Those of us who are Republican activists and some of the supposedly best analysts on our side in the conservative movement were just wrong. We have to think about what does that teach us."

He argued the GOP could work on becoming more inclusive–a challenge, he said, that House Republicans especially face. "The question is do they want to, in a disciplined way, create a schedule and a program and include people who are not traditionally Republican?"

"The difference between outreach and inclusion is outreach is when five white guys have a meeting and call you," he continued. "Inclusion is when you're in the meeting."

But Gingrich cautioned "Barack Obama's majority is as far as the White House" and said Republicans and Democrats still had to put forth an "immense amount of mutual effort" to work together.

As for the future of the party, the former speaker said 2016 will likely be a time for a "next generation" of Republicans, pointing to several GOP governors, whom he said do a "better job of solving problems."


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Republicans
soundoff (306 Responses)
  1. kim

    The American people have spoken, both by majority and by our electoral college voting system. For all the people that for the last 6+ months have spoken about how patriotic you are, how you are proud to be an American, and how much you love your country. Now is the time to be that true American. Get behind this President, let Congress know you are tired of the BS, that you expect them to go to work and do the job that we are paying them to do!
    The members of the house have wasted the last 4 years with a one line item agenda, make Obama a one term President. It didn't work, the people have told you so. Don't screw American for another 2 years, and I say 2 years, because if you continue to be obstructionist and refuse to work for the American people, we will vote you right back out. Do your Job!

    November 7, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  2. AnneSD

    Do you want to know what is wrong, Newt? Long time Republicans like me and most of my family are disgusted that the party has spent the past couple of decades working to divide the country, rather than unite it. If my neighbors and I compete against one another, we all waste energy on the competition. If we cooperate, our energy is expended on actually solving problems and making a better life. My neighbors are NOT my enemies, nor can I have any respect for politicians that insists I should treat them as such.

    November 7, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  3. Pam from Iowa

    ""I think the country was looking at a different set of things than we were looking at," he said.
    Gee! Do ya think?????
    The country has been trying to tell the GOP for 4 years that they are not in tune with Americans.
    Maybe it is time the GOP listens to the citizens of this country instead of always trying to push their own agenda.
    They need to remember why they were elected – to serve its citizens, and not their own personal and party interests!

    November 7, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. Obamacide: The Death of a Country

    We as a country voted to commit what can only be called Obamacide today. This will go down as the turning point from which this country will never recover. I say tax the rich at 75% just like France and accelerate the death spiral because we will not be able to climb back without first hitting bottom. The sooner we reap the destruction we have voted for, the sooner we will learn from our mistakes

    Our country now continues the Obama death spiral to another recession, higher unemployment and a debt load that will crush the country and future generations. Companies and wealth will flee this country because they are not welcome here. With them go the jobs, and all the tax money they generate. Democrats will succeed in killing the golden capitalist goose that lays the golden eggs. You have helped them do it. I hope you all enjoy the poverty it will bring.

    Obamacare will take effect in full force, with its 20 new taxes, and thousands of IRS agents to enforce it. All of the good pats were front loaded, now come all of the costs and onerous aspects. 20 million Americans are projected to lose their existing healthcare. I wonder how many of those people voted for Obama?

    All of the young people voting for Obama because he was a cool, hip black guy that knows and hangs with a lot of celebrities will reap the rewards in a few years when their are no jobs, even worse than now. They, and their children, will reap the reward of having to pay for over $20 trillion in debt. No jobs, fewer working people and a stagnant economy produce very little in the way of taxes to support a massive government and all the government giveaways. You will all have to learn to live without many of them. There will be no way to pay for them. Surprise, nothing is free.

    I hope I am wrong but recent history and all of the numbers do not tell me that I am. We have decided as a country to turn left down the road to Greece and there is now no way to turn back without massive pain and suffering for everybody. I just hope they don't continue the destruction until it bankrupts the country and crashes the entire global economy in a great depression even worse than the 1930s.

    Bottom line is that we had a choice and we choose what we all know cannot be sustained and will only end in disaster. Obamacide.

    November 7, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  5. Woman In California

    Last night this all happened and because of US.

    RACISM: Rejected.
    BIGOTRY: Rejected.
    VOTER SUPPRESSION: Rejected.
    EMPLOYEE INTIMIDATION: Rejected.
    BIG MONEY: Rejected.
    LIES: Rejected.
    NEWT GINGRICH(s): Rejected.

    God Bless America.

    November 7, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. Woman In California

    Correction: Last night this all happened because of US.

    November 7, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  7. James PDX

    The very basis of the Republican party is vastly outdated. To regain their standing and competitiveness, they will have to undergo some very fundamental changes. This will mean distancing themselves from the extremists in their midst. No more Bachmanns, Santorums, Akins, etc... or their rapid decline will turn into a freefall as their base dies of old age.

    November 7, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  8. tom

    "Obamacide: The Death of a Country"

    At least Newt was man enough to admit being wrong. What about you? Are you man enough?

    November 7, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  9. Paul Falduto

    When Gingrich dies, "I was wrong" should be carved on his tombstone.

    November 7, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. James PDX

    Funny, I no longer see all of those posters who guaranteed that Romney would win and all Obama supporters would be crying today. I wonder where they are?

    November 7, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  11. Elphaba

    The Republican Party has an excellent opportunity here. They must realise that the U.S. does not run on the whims of the rich white men who dominate their party. They must move more to the center to attract the ethnic groups who had no interest in their anit-(insert ethnic group here) policies. They must realise that women are a driving force in American politics. They must realise that America may have a lagre Christian majority, but they, the party who clings so mightily to the concept of following the Constitution, must remember the First Ammendment REQUIRING seperation of church and state. In this atmosphere of high unemployment and economic uncertainty, the voters STILL voted for the candidate who wasn't able to deliver all the hope and change he promised four years ago rather than vote for the antiquated platform of the Republican party. It's time for the Republican party to wake up and stop complaining that Romney lost because he isn't conservative enough.

    November 7, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  12. honestuck

    Its time for Fat Cats like Newt to fade away. These guys are the enemies of the Republican party. Mitt Romney put it perfectly last night when he asked both parties to put the people of this country before partisan bickering, and Newt comes to promote the fight between the Republican majority house and the Democrats/President. This guy will never be elected to anything again. No one cares what he has to say. CNN please get rid of this Fossil.

    November 7, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  13. Paganini

    To all the evangelical Christians out there, when you took a look at the two crowds gathered last night, which crowd do you think is more representative of what heaven will look like. Sorry, but if you think the heaven in which you will spend all of eternity in looks like Romney’s crowd, I’m pretty sure your mistaken. Romneys’ crowd last night looked like the negative of an NAACP meeting. The GOP is dead if they don’t change that.

    November 7, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  14. SJF

    I'm a committed Obama supporter and have never had much use for Gingrich, but I applaud and even admire him a bit for asking the question that all repubs should be asking, sincerely and with soul-searching honesty - What does this teach us? And the answers had better not involve spending ever more money on rightwing campaigns or making more strenuous efforts to limit Americans' access to the voting booth in future elections. We can hope, can't we? [Unfortunately, the early signs from Boehner and McConnell are NOT PROMISING in this regard.]

    November 7, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  15. CTed

    The world is changing, there are only so many old white men left Newt.

    People want common sense. You can't represent the 1% and keep expecting to do well. Reliion is weakening and that's all that is holding the repbulcians together.

    The deomcrats are MORE fiscally resposnsible than the republicans. They tried to solve this defict when the debt cieling debtate was happening. They offered more spending cuts than republicans asked for plus letting the bush tax cuits expire for those making more than 250K – a reasonalbe solution.....

    Rejected.

    Republicans are out of touch on Gay marriage, legal marijuana, abortion, etc etc. When these social issues are no longer wedge issues in anohter 10 years, the republicans we will nothing.

    November 7, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  16. Gary

    Gingrich is the victim of the extreme right myopia. Don't like the polls, create your own slanted polls and believe them. The major polls had shown Obama leading all along. Small margin to be sure but constantly leading. Don't like the report from the congressional research office that proves that over the last 65 years that trickle down does nothing but make the rich richer, kill the report. This everyone is wrong and only we know the truth is a big part of what is killing the republican party. Here's the truth. By both the popular vote and the electoral vote the american people supported the president and his vision of the future. Both at the top and down ticket also. The only place of republican strength is in the gerrymandered home districts taylored to keep them in power.

    November 7, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  17. GeneK

    In case anyone hasn't been keeping track, the economy has been moving up for the past three years and there are fewer US armed forces being shot at today than there were 4 years ago.

    November 7, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    "Obamacide: The Death of a Country"

    The only victim of your so called "Obamacide" is the TEA-rex Party. Its' self extinction is under way.

    November 7, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  19. Paul

    "This is Karl at Crossroads GPS technical support speaking. How may I help you?"

    "Yeah, the stupid thing told me to make a hard right turn, and now I'm falling off a cliff. What am I supposed to do now, genius?"

    November 7, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  20. Lyan

    All the Republicans need to do is quit pushing a failed drug policy, interfering between women and their doctors,
    concerning themselves with who sleeps or is married to whom, and refusing to compromise on these and other issues for the good of the nation.

    November 7, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  21. nate

    Newt is wrong on so many things – and has been for 2 decades – why is this the only thing he is willing to admit to?

    November 7, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  22. Pauletteb

    And the serial adulterer tries once again to pretend he's relevant!

    November 7, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  23. RAWoD

    @ Obamacide - Why don't you pack up your pathetic paranoia and move elsewhere? You are no longer important to We the People. Of grow a pair and join us (if you can).

    November 7, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  24. Mete Krop

    You know Mr. Gingrich, you are the source of all the failures of the current GOP. You know how divisive and recist you were when you were in congress back then. Sham on you.

    November 7, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  25. vp

    hmmm let's see, I'm wrong every time you ask me questions, so ask me another one!!

    November 7, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
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