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. teej

    Such a relief to see that Americans can't be swayed by manipulation and fear. That we trust our own perceptions.

    November 7, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  2. California Gary

    @critical thinking........virtually everything you have posted in the past few weeks was proven to be wrong last night. And now you are in here today forecasting gloom and doom. Has it occurred to you that maybe you need to adjust your way of thinking? Maybe you need to expand your sources of information. Maybe you just need to start looking at things from a lot of different angles instead of through the tunnel vision you have been exhibiting on this blog. Open your eyes and expand your mind.......join us in the real world. It's not bad out here.

    November 7, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  3. Ken in MD

    "I was wrong," Gingrich said. That's the first thing he's said that I agree with.

    November 7, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  4. JC321

    Obama won by 2% of the popular vote, which is hardly a mandate. And, also hardly supports the argument that the Republicans are 'out of touch' with the American people. We have become a deeply divided country, which is sad. We need to come together & work together to heal our nation. I hope Obama becomes the leader to do just that!!! And we need to stop spitting in each others faces all the time!

    November 7, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  5. Ken Margo

    Republicans need to stop talking out of both sides of their mouths. Example. Pro-life yet is against Healthcare reform, reasonable gun control, cutting programs people need etc.. Mutt Romney campaign was based on not helping people. I don't understand why anyone would vote for him.

    November 7, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  6. sarge



    The 47 %.

    November 7, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  7. Becky

    Yes, he was wrong but really who cares. He really did nothing to help his candidate. The candidates chose to find ways to distinguish themselves and sometimes they went a bit too far. The nominee has to get to the type of hte list and then to fight the negatives that had been put out about them. there was a flurry to be the most republican Republican and to be overly conservative. Mr. Romney allowed his campaign to get caught up with the wrangling for power.

    November 7, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  8. Rick

    No news here. Newt is frequently wrong. I cannot wait to watch Fox News tonight to see if Karl Rove and Dick Morris admit their gross miscalculations as well. I doubt it – would be out of character for those two...

    November 7, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |

    @ critical thinking,..i'm sure if in 2 year's time, the economy is on the way to recovery, and the President has pushed all the right buttons, you'll be the first one to declare " see,..i told you so".

    November 7, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  10. Centrist Voter.

    The Republican Party has to realize that trying to scare people, control them, lie to them, encourage HATE etc will cause their own demise.

    I voted for Obama, not only because I think he puts people over profits, but also because the TEA Party extremists SCARED THE HECK out of me!

    Their actions told me they were willing to hold the entire political system (and the citizenry) hostage to further their agenda which people feel is too similar to Taliban or other highly rigid, narrow thinking, and over-controlling cult-like groups.

    November 7, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  11. Jacqui

    He has been wrong for a long time. Decent Americans did not fall for the hateful, negative, mud-slinging, race-baiting politics that was perpetuated by some in the Republican party.

    November 7, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  12. R.U. Kidding

    The person with the problem is always the last to admit it.

    November 7, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  13. sf

    to JC321

    Obama won by 2% of the popular vote, which is hardly a mandate.


    first of all idiot, you people seriously can't win gracefully...secondly, a win is a win, is a win!


    so you bitter ugly republicans suck on that!!! until you people learn to be cooperative and helpful, you and your party can go flight a kite!

    November 7, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  14. ljjm

    When has Newt been right recently?

    November 7, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  15. charles

    preaching hate

    November 7, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  16. Rich kaplan

    Freak you newt, freak you hairpiece tramp, screw you karl raw, screw you hannity, screw you tool oreilly, screw you bill graham, fox tv and unfunny idiot dennir (m)killer, screw you racist white folk, screw you murdoch, screw you all fox tv anchors, that mulato juan something, screw all of you.

    November 7, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  17. Rich kaplan

    Newt you always wrong. You should shine shoes for a living

    November 7, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  18. trex

    .......The GOP had better change.........OR.......become the next reincarnation of the ........BULL MOOSE PARTY...... .....

    November 7, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  19. Michael

    I think what people r missing is the fact that obama is a black man and the Americans that voted for him really did not care how bad the country is. Hes black its a pride thing.

    November 7, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  20. noteasilyswayed

    If the Republicans continue to spouse extreme right wing and fundamentalist religious views, they will lose all future national elections. This country has had enough with the "trickle-down, white, Anglo,protestant, male" ideology. Time to change or the party will self destruct.

    November 7, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  21. TonyK

    Critical Thinking: you really need to change your moniker–you are anything but. Your insights haven't been at all insightful, your predictions have been totally wrong, your analyses have been more wishful thinking than hard, critical thought. Critical thinking (which I write and teach) involves the ability to distance yourself from your own biases and see thing in a clearer and less biased manner. You are not a person who seems capable of that.

    November 7, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  22. The Unsub

    I wanted michelle bockman to lose, but I will settle for allen "flat top" west hitin the showers anyday!

    November 7, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  23. gahh

    Gingrich was right, he was really really wrong on everything. So was the Super Pacs that gave hundreds of millions of dollars to the Republicans, to buy this race. If it was me, I'd send a bill to the Republican Party, and demand my money back.

    November 7, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  24. Critical Thinking

    @California Gary: Im glad you have been paying so close attention to my comments, it is quite the compliment. I can't return the favor since I don't have a clue of what you have written in the past. But if we are both chatting in 2 years, I wouldn't be a bit surprise if you denied voting for the president 3 times before it's over.

    November 7, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  25. Dave Jaipersaud

    Ha! Ha! – Romney/Ryan & the Republicans lost. What a bunch of losers. Newt and the rest of the cluless GOP were dead wrong. The GOP can try to blame it on Democrats ground game, the weather, too much regulations, taxes too high on the rich, too much climate change, too much immigrants, etc. but the Americans saw through all the lies and nonsense they were selling. I hope the Republican learnt a lesson that the American people are not forgetful and stupid. We can remember clearly what happened when the Republicans were in charge of the White House.

    It was painful watching Fox News try to spin a major Republican loss into a major Republican win. All of their projections that Romney would win were dead wrong. It proves that Fox News has not credibility. Everyone of them. So for those folks who watch Fox News and listen to House and Senate Republicans and their surrogates spew their lies as gospel, this is a wake-up call. They are leading you down a losing path.

    Now we can continue to build and move this country forward.

    November 7, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
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