November 7th, 2012
08:08 AM ET
10 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. NoTags

    Newt being wrong, nah it can't happen this must be a mistake.

    November 7, 2012 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  2. Dan, TX

    When your message is "we're delusional, come join us!" you can't expect to win elections.

    November 7, 2012 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  3. Charles

    I would to think that Republicans would get the message, but our Speaker of the House has already said that there would be no compromise. Still living in the 50's; but the majority of Americans will not tolerate it any longer. Get wise or get out.

    November 7, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    "I was wrong"

    Nope. "You all are wrong."

    November 7, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  5. Buckeye

    Just add it to the list of so many other things Newt has been wrong about.
    The GOP brand is tarnished; just like the path to the Presidency is all about the electoral college math, the GOP will have to come to grips that the next generations are progressive and browner...the small tent of old rich white male regressive thinking will continue to cost the GOP elections on a national scale. Texas and Arizona are going to get more purple before getting a nice blueish tint in the not too distant future. GOP can either adapt or go away.

    November 7, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  6. Jules

    Geez, Newt, the GOP should try to pick some normal candidates for a change – people who can run on their belief system and not have to be a far right wing whack job to get the nomination by lying to one group of people and then turn around and change positions to lie to another group of people. You think that might work? You think maybe the GOP should wrest control of their party from the far right wing whackadoodles? If the GOP does not work with this president they are going to pay the price in the midterm elections and lose the House, as well. The best way for the GOP to succeed is to help work toward the success of America and all Americans and show they can and will work across party lines.

    November 7, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  7. scoto

    Headline news? Gingrich being RIGHT would be headline news

    November 7, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  8. got brains in NY

    When has Newt ever been right??

    November 7, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  9. Jeremy@Dallas,TX

    You have alwyas been wrong on everything majority is for. GOP is our modern disaster. COME TO THE CENTER GOP!!!!!!!!!!! SERVE 98% AND NOT JUST 2%. BE THE PARTY OF ALL RACES AND RELIGIONS.

    November 7, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |

    " Newt Gingrich: 'I was wrong' "
    The only reason why this is headline news is because Republicans NEVER admit that they were wrong

    November 7, 2012 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  11. Spencer Blair

    Newt, could you say that again, maybe a little louder this time. I thought you said "I was wrong..." but I must have misunderstood.

    November 7, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  12. Marina O

    All the republicans were wrong. You need to be less ignorant and listen to THE people instead of being hateful.

    November 7, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  13. chet

    Newt – you said it before – when the Republicans put in a moderate they loose – they lost.

    November 7, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  14. Andy

    Lol, isn't this the guy that accidentally sent emails saying Obama will win and that instead, GOPs should focus on not letting him get a third term? xD

    November 7, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  15. A Bit Askew

    Newt, we looked at the same thing you did – Robme's lies.. that's why it turned out this way!

    November 7, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  16. The Real Tom Paine

    A rare lucid moment. The last one he had was labelling Ryan's plan for Medicare as right-wing social engineering: maybe his conscience is tunnelling its way out.

    November 7, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  17. marinedad05

    Newt, you are almost, always wrong.

    November 7, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  18. v_mag

    I predict that the Repugnant Party has not yet hit bottom. I'll bet they see this election as a failure because Witt Womney was somehow too liberal. They'll start looking at people like Ted Cruz, the whacked-out nut job who just won the Senate seat in Texas. Maybe they'll find one who says the earth is flat and we should re-introduce slavery. Only when they have pushed things so far that even old white guys (of whom I am one) begin to stay home or change their vote will they rethink what it takes to win a national election.

    The thing is, nut jobs can win locally, or even in a state-wide race if the state is goofy enough (e.g., Texas). But when you put crazies up for the president's job, a bit of sanity seeps through.

    November 7, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  19. The Situation

    Newt being wrong. "I am going to be the Republican Nominee"! I would of never thought he could do no wrong! "Rolling my eyes"

    November 7, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  20. Clarke

    "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." You really think so? The people have spoken, but will the GOP listen. Everyone needs to work together, both parties for the good of our Country and it's people, no matter race, color greed or party line. I feel the GOP drew a line in the sand and the focus was on getting Obama out of the Oval Office. I found that to be very self serving.

    November 7, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  21. Ed FL

    The old white haired porky pig must be looking for a job to pay off his and his wifes HUGE Jewelry debt.Gingrich will suck up to or befreind anybody he thinks he can get a few bucks from. He continues to be the LOSER faction of the GOP.

    November 7, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  22. stephen austin

    what the republican party doesn't understand is that they alienated the most vibrant and youthful voting block to ever come to their party by thwarting grassroots movements across the country during the nomination process. The GOP is officially the party of elderly white people, nouveau riche, neo-cons, delusional working class, and theocratic christian right wingers. The youth which they could've brought into the party will go Libertarian or some other party that stands against the status quo of neo-cons and neo-liberals.

    November 7, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  23. DENNA

    Huh! Do ya think?! The GOP needs to reassess the way the view America, because we have moved on. While Romney was playing to his base, President Obama was playing to the rest of the country, Also, do yourselves a favor and and make Jeb Bush your next chairman. He is a very pragmatic man.

    November 7, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  24. zstick

    Friend or Foe?

    After any election
    it’s back to “Friend or foe?”
    everyone knowing the world
    will not come to an end
    though politicians like to pretend

    The ebb and flow or
    give and take become
    fakes practiced for the game
    new and old politicians chasing
    a cash ball bouncing on a field

    Elections change little
    after players give their all
    to get in and hold on for the take
    kiss the babies, shake hands
    watch your insider money grow

    After the elections
    new players replace a few who cash out
    rookies study old playbooks
    on the political game
    of power and cash.

    November 7, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  25. Randy, San Francisco

    Newt should crawl under a rock and fade away along with Palin, Huckabee, Bachmann, Santorum, and Cain.

    November 7, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
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