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. Anonymous

    "I was wrong," Gingrich. Maybe the scale s falling off your eyes at last. But its too late now. The ship has long left.

    November 7, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  2. Jason

    At least Gingrich was not as bad as Dick Morris. Dick Morris said Romney would win 330 electoral votes. I can't wait to see this fool on Fox News this week.

    November 7, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  3. Punxsutawney Phil has emerged unexpectedly....

    ... and predicts another four long hard years of Obama winter. Enjoy.

    November 7, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  4. Liberatus

    Both sides, including me, want what we want. But it is time for all of us, including me, to realize we have to compromise to get things done....we need to remember it's "checks and balances", not "blockade and barricade".

    Both sides have to be willing to give equally....Please–get it done for everyone's sake.

    November 7, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  5. Paloma R.H.

    Ironically, it was Mitt Romney who, until the end, accused the president of hatred and divisiveness. Yet, all along and throughout the campaign, he was guilty of the accusations he leveled against President Barack Obama. I remember watching the first debate and saying to myself that the President was just too polite – allowing Romney to step out of his being and believing that he was indeed "winning" because Obama did not respond in-kind. I must have been the only person in America who never, for one second, believed the first debate would define the campaign or change the outcome of yesterday's election results. I never doubted Obama's strategy would work – it did! I viewed the President's performance during that first debate as taking the high road! Throughout his campaign and he and his surrogates maintained a professional and dignified demeanor. Conversely, when you look back at the extremely negative rhetoric that came out of the Republican Campaign including Romney himself, it was crystal clear to me that eventually, they would crash – and they did! I was appalled at Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Ana Navarro and other Romney’s surrogates for their outrageous accusations and nasty comments against the President. I could go on with more details but I’ll hold back – for now. The Romney campaign took a low road throughout the process and it simply backfired. Last night's outcome was a root-awakening for the GOP – hopefully!

    November 7, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  6. Oliver

    Call me selfish, but I have no interest in letting the GOP know what they need to do right. I want a total landslide in 2016 in the Democrats' favor. So tell them to stick with the same ole same ole.

    November 7, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  7. ARMYCSM

    I TOLD YOU SO!!! What did I say? Mitt Romney was not the great hyped hope. A man that lies like he does deserves to lose.
    A word to the house. Play ball this time or you will be on the next bus back home. We, the American people is tire of your lazy, vindictive, do nothing gaming. It didn't work and it will not work. SO GET TO WORK!!!

    November 7, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  8. California Gary

    Has anyone seen Carl Rove? He must have gone into hiding today........he spent an awful lot of money that he solicited from rich folks.........and I'm sure he guaranteed them some results on their investment. What they got for their millions was just a lesson in how democracy actually works........here's a hint: it's not for sale. A very costly lesson for some.

    November 7, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    When are outlets going to stop giving these loud-mouths plateforms to spout their vial? He is a has-been and should quickly depart from the political world (NOT GOING TO HAPPEN).

    November 7, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  10. Critical Thinking

    Elections have consequences. We had our election and now comes the consequences, so no whining from all of you who voted for Obama. My guess is in 2 years I won't be able to find one person who says they voted for him in 2012.

    November 7, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  11. Kentucky Burbon

    Obamacide: The Death of a Country:
    Please understand that America has a Storied History, born out of wedlock over 200 years ago, America has been through a lot of trials and triumphs, and yesterday was a Triumph. What you fail to understand about America is very fundamentel, look at the people at Romney's gathering and then take a look at those that were at the President's. You will see your problem.... by the way, Dont bet against America! You sould like one of the other countries that you mentioned and every one of them that bet against US lost!

    November 7, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  12. Kevin Boyd

    The whole Republican Party is wrong. Right is might ... The repulican party is filled with hate and bigotry that is why they fail all the time. If those old white men don't straight themselves up from their old wicked ways it's only going to get worse for them,

    November 7, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  13. Flatz

    Obamacide comment – I still do not understand why so many people fear going back to the tax rate we had with Clinton. A surplus and more people working. Why would you want to go back to the mess we were in with Bush? 8 years of Bush finally proves the point that trickle down economics does not work. Just creates an environment for the job creators to move their money to the Cayman Islands or create jobs in China. Try supporting the president instead of fighting him and see how much better we can be of a nation.

    November 7, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  14. headlessthompsongunner

    "I was wrong". Maybe he should be telling that to his ex-wives.

    November 7, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  15. John

    The GOP needs to drop the social issues and concentrate on fiscal conservatism, which is something they could sell to many independents.

    November 7, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  16. Roberto

    Newt, he is President Barack Obama. You are useless.

    November 7, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  17. ObamaJoe

    tax the rich at 75% ?????????Obamacide?????????

    Come on dude,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,read some American history,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,the tax was higher,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    It seems you have no idea how founding fathers found this country.

    November 7, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  18. ObamaJoe

    This country is reinstalling the right system,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    November 7, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  19. Nathan

    One way the republican party can move forward is by getting rid of people like Gingrich.

    November 7, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  20. qqqqqjim

    Has Gingrich ever been right about anything? This shouldn't surprise anyone. And I don't know why all these pundits and pollsters ignored the prediction markets. In-trade, the largest, had Obama favored from day one of the campaign and even called every state correctly!!!

    November 7, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  21. allens

    i would like a tough choice of candidates just 1 time before i die. is that really asking to much in a country as great as ours?

    November 7, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  22. Obamacide Me!

    Chill out, Obamacide. Turn off the Glen Beck, take a nice hot bath, and (if you're in Colorado) spark a nice J. As wildly entertaining as your doom and gloom scenario is, you have zero facts to back it up, just conjecture and numbers plucked from thin air.

    A few positive notes, you seem very articulate for a right wing poster. Great job on the spell check! Double great job on using punctuation properly! You also managed to refrain from using all caps - like, ever! Great job, seriously. You'll be fine in 2016, I say! You seem like a go getter!

    November 7, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  23. The Unsub

    The reality of losing stings bad. I ask where are myviewis and four and the door? I haven't heard from you all day! I LOVE IT!

    November 7, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  24. Royce

    The people of this nation spoke. This is the time to come together and not continue to point fingers. . It's over. Stop the hate.

    November 7, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  25. cali girl

    Critical Thinking
    Elections have consequences. We had our election and now comes the consequences, so no whining from all of you who voted for Obama. My guess is in 2 years I won't be able to find one person who says they voted for him in 2012.

    But that is the problem, you all said no one would vote for Obama again from 2008.
    Wrong, Wrong Wrong.
    303 electoral votes should let you know that.

    November 7, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
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