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. Critical Thinking

    @Cali Girl : you are missing the point. Yes I know over 59 million people voted for Obama yesterday but in 2 years, when the country is in a economic depression that will rival the 1930's you will be hard pressed to find someone who will admit to voting for him.

    November 7, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  2. PeterPan

    Doesn't this show how totally out of touch Republicans are from the reality!!!! There is a vast difference between "clear victory" and narrow margin. Every Republican pundit is scratching his/her head trying to figure out – What just happened. And there lies the fact that they are more out of touch with reality than the Dems. Rush, Hannity, Levin – all have been proved wrong. They do not know where their own party lies!

    November 7, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  3. My Thoughts

    Until the Republican party comes to grips that the US has evolved, then and only then will they be a party that is taken seriously. The day of the angry/rich white man is long gone. It is time to govern all people. Not just a small minority that holds the purse strings. Start to be an all inclusive party and mean it and you just may have a chance in the future. Just look at the difference between the people that were in attendance at Mitt's election gala and the Presidents. We are a country made up of many nationalities and hues. Once the Republican party realizes this, then and only then will they have a valid chance at the presidency.

    November 7, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. Bob B

    What I ead earlier was correct. It wasn't Mitt, it's the platform. Too much Legitimate rape, god's will, birth control blah blah. Republicans nowadays sound almost like the Taliban. I read too many facebook posts this morning about how we're all doomed, and we need to stock up on amunition. This type of thinking is rational? If and when the rpublicans return to some type of normalicy. I might actually consider voting for them. Until then, they keep on drinking the purple kool-aid and chanting "Workin for Jesus".

    November 7, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  5. kobayashe

    CONGRATULATIONS OBAMA/BIDEN !!!! I know u have a future plan for America n I clearly recall in your first victory speech how u mentioned the "tough job ahead which cannot be done in FOUR YEARS",..I believe as most Americans do that the next FOUR YEARS will be THE IMPLEMENTATION of your plans for the economy,health,education and most important unity & peace in the world..Obama u r an inspiration to all of us,..Republicans shud now think of joining hands with the democrats n desist from sabotaging policies meant for the goodwill of the American people. both democrats & republicans shud Join hands and show the rest of the world why USA is an the AMERICAN people let's just say you are smart,intelligent n more enlightened,coz after all the lies n propaganda you still held ur hopes high and continued believing in Obama,.This to me shows how a honest and sincere President u got there...America will rise from its current difficulties n hope Romney n team join hands n reciprocate Obamas offer of working together then the rest of the world will not see America but rather it will be seen,heard n felt as THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA...WIsh you all the best USA.

    November 7, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  6. TX Guy

    Let us see who is next in 2016, Mrs. Obama or Mrs. Clinton.

    November 7, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  7. walleye46

    At least Newt is smart enough to admit he was wrong. Do we need to continue hearing from the likes of Hannity or Linbaugh? They are no longer relevant, and should move out of the lime liight.

    November 7, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. sonicmojo

    "I don't care too much for money, money cant buy me an election." Mitt sings the Beatles. I would have preferred to vote for Ron Paul.

    November 7, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  9. cali girl

    critical, I doubt there will be any issue for the President.
    The GOP has been sitting on their hands refusing to work with him. their approval rating is in the gutter.
    Last night is a wake up call to Boener, McConnel, Cantor and Ryan to get to the table and make things work for the American People.

    November 7, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  10. Togo

    No Newt, you weren't wrong. You and your buddies were creating numbers out of thin air to try and game the system. You're not inept... you're just a liar.

    November 7, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    -Obamacide: The Death of a Country

    Rudy NYC
    The only victim of your so called "Obamacide" is the TEA-rex Party. Its' self extinction is under way.
    Do you mean the party that got the votes of half of voting Americans? And the party that retains control of the House (otherwise known as the peoples House) and got re-elected again? Sure doesn't sound or look like extinction to me.

    It appears 4 years of pain and suffering was not enough for the country so they demanded more. And far more we shall all get as all of Obama's first 4 years will come home to roost as his old racist preacher was so fond of saying. Obama cannot now escape and pawn it off on anybody else. He will inherit the mess and disaster than the president elected in 2008 has left him. A country with a very weak economy, massive unemployment and teetering on a fiscal cliff and bankrupcy. Iran going nuclear and Obama will either have to attack or let Israel get nuked. Yes kiddies, hold on for a very rough ride. Remember, you not only asked for it, you demanded it.
    Well, if the Tea party had not forced the GOP to commit Republicide by forcing this country to have its credit rating downgraded, by not even wanting to consider the proposals Boehner and the President had worked out in their meetings, teh country would be in a much better place. None of the high-profile Senate candidates that had Tea Party backing won, with the exception of Cruz in TX. Everything that has transpired in the last 2 years, from deliberately creating the debt-ceiling crisis to not wanting to support anything the President wanted to get done is traced back to your lot. The Tea Party's credibility is shot. the only reason the House is still in their hands is because of redistricting, not because of any general agreement with their ideals. They have been exposed for the social and fiscal Neanderthals they are, and they have sent the GOP swirling down the sewers to join the Whigs and the Know-Nothings. When the GOP is reduced to irrelevancy, you can thank the Tea Party.

    November 7, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  12. rs

    Critical Thinking-
    I think you are coinfusing Obama's second term with Richard Nixon's.

    November 7, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  13. Carolyn

    Everyone is singing praises for Obama. Meanwhile, everyone's taxes are going to cripple them, along with a recession in the short distance. What wasn't done in 4 years will NOT be done in the next 4. Obama is a smooth talker. All you bleeding heart liberals are going to bleed plenty! Obama is a weak president and a socialist!

    November 7, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  14. Robert59

    Gingrich needs to look in the mirror. The GOP is not a party of inclusion but of exclusion. Blacks, Hispanics, women, union members, government workers, gays, pro choice: none of them feel welcomed by the GOP. It's no surprise Romney lost; what is surprising is he didn't lose by more. Other than the mantra of cut taxes, smaller govt (which they never follow), and cut spending (which they don't do) they offer no solutions to real problems. Obamacare at least addresses what to do with a real problem, how to insure the tens of millions who don't have medical insurance. The cost of treating those uninsured is what's breaking the bank for many hospitals and driving up health care costs.

    November 7, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  15. Wilson

    Methinks 3 million out of 117 million, does not a supermajority make. The libs seem to be a little to overconfident about there being a "mandate." This was no landslide victory, and the house is still majority red. I would follow your crowing and perhaps believe I might be wrong in my thinking, if the difference in votes was greater and if the republicans had sigificanly lost control of the house. So, I would not get to overconfident if I were you

    November 7, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  16. Klancy Schmertz

    Newt is an out-of-touch old white man.
    The US white population now down to 72% will be down to 70% by 2016, even 2014.
    The first thing one must do to 'include' is to accept. Unconditionally.
    The right wingers who have hijacked the Republican Party are unable to accept anyone or any views or perspectives other than their own. No repect for others.
    Until that generational trait dies out, or rampant corruption moves back from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party is likely to remain dominant for the next one or two generations to come.

    November 7, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  17. obsthetimes

    anybody who appears on obrien's program needs to get their head examined

    November 7, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  18. Frank

    Why does anyone care what this guy thinks? The only thing he knows anything about is how to leave your wife if she gets cancer. What would possibly make a reporter think "Hey, I could ask Gingrich what he thinks!" ??!?

    November 7, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  19. RunnerMD

    2 years ago the Democratic party was in "huge" trouble after the Republicans picked up the House in the mid-terms. Now the Republican party is doomed. This is just one big pendulum that is going to keep swinging back and forth for as long as the US is in existence.

    November 7, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  20. Arch Stanton

    One problem with conservatives is FOX News. It's not news, it's just propaganda that's geared to tell them what they want to hear. That may be fun, but it's not useful... and if they want to compete in the real world, they're going to need to do it by real-world parameters. Republicans got so disappointed because they were believing polls that had been skewed to create a story they wanted to believe... but the rest of the world is under no obligation to play along with that story. And FOX News is steering them wrong, again and again and again. They spent the campaign attacking Obama for things that weren't even remotely true... it was just junk FOX made up, and the conservatives believed it because they wanted to. The rest of the world didn't, though, and the fact that the conservatives did just made them look silly and un-serious.

    I know FOX is fun for them, and it's even addictive, but, like most drugs, it ends up poisoning the system of the user.

    November 7, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  21. veggiedude

    @Critical Thinking – Mitt Romney went around the country saying he could create 12 million jobs. Why? Because most economists have predicted at least half that number will be made – no matter who got elected. The truth is, Obama has laid the foundation to make that happen. If you could live up to your name, you would see this.

    November 7, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  22. Da Sanatizer

    So , Gingrich was wrong! Is that because he can read numbers and percentages: Obama 50%, romney 48%, 303 vs 207 electoral votes? Good.
    Because another mutual friend of both romney and gingrich tweeted this - Donald Trump: "He lost the popular vote by a lot and won the election. We should have a revolution in this country!" Outch, very outch.

    So CrazyHair can't even read election results? Faux piece Trumpster does not remember that George W. got to the presidency by losing the popular vote, reaching a lousy 271 electoral votes? (If he meant to say that Obama got fewer popular votes than in 2008, why doesn't he say so? Is Donald the HairPiece Dump's English that bad??

    Let's really have a little revolution: let's redistribute Dumpster's wealth, let's fire this incompetentus. "ceterum censeo Trumpum delendam esse", those good ol' Romans knew how to get rid of unpopular public officials: exile, a potion, or more drastic measures. Thank you, Trumpus, we like your advice.

    November 7, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  23. rm123

    Most of the postings are confusing cause and effect; the divisions within the electorate are ideological, not racial or gender-driven. Minorities and women didn't vote in large proportion Democratic because the Republican Party isn't "inclusive" – anyone can mark a ballot entry with an "R" next to it any time they desire. It's because they fundamentally disagree with the basic tenants of conservatism. Certainly the Republican Party can move to the left and modify its platform to appeal to those that went for the President – and it would be a completely irrelevant mimic of the Democratic Party. Better to have a choice than a single party system. It's really pretty simple: as long as the economic and social policies of the Democratic Party are supported by the majority of Americans (which last night proved they are) there's not much conservatives can do at the national level; their efforts will of necessity be focused at the local and state tiers. When and if a majority of people of any race or gender decide that conservative policies will better serve the country, then the conservative party will win. Until that time, to paraphrase Valerie Jarret – "The winners get to rule."

    November 7, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  24. mouth123

    What a moronic headline/story. Of course he was wrong and so were 1000's of others who made predictions. Dumb, dumb, dumb story.

    November 7, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  25. Critical Thinking

    @veggiedude : I hope your right but logic suggest other. There is a saying that goes; "if you always do what you always do, you always get what you always got" This country will have a recession in 2013.

    November 7, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
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