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. 5612jean

    America has spoken. It appears the Republican divisiveness will no longer be tolerated by the majority. Perhaps Republicans will learn a lesson and never again try to use dishonest tactics to block a certain segment of the population from voting. Evil only prevails when good people do nothing.

    November 7, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  2. Billy in NYC

    I agree the next generation GOP candidates should be more inclusive and less crazy-talk like "ligitimate rape" and "GOD's intended". This election showed that the Tea Party folks are too extreme that drives American people away. Can Beohner control them in the house? We will see. Hillary Clinton for 2016 !

    November 7, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  3. See what happens

    come on Liberals, even the POTUS was gracious. You can stop with the Robme's! Obama has a whole lot of promises to keep and needs the help of both houses of congress to do it. He doesn't have the mandate he did 4 years ago so cut the teen age behavior and work together! I still see lots of problems for President Obama, the first one being his lies on Libya and 4 dead Americans. The second is rebuilding NY and NJ. Just to name a couple.

    November 7, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  4. Name Daniel Braisted

    Thank you Mr Speaker.

    I believe that the majority wants to be self reliant, yet they don't know how? Where were they supposed to learn how? Consider focusing your Talk Radio buddies into a group that would coach their listeners how to be self reliant.
    Have them email outlines that would teach honor, Rule of 72, Dollar Cost Averaging, how to sell, how compound interest works, how to build a business, how to read faster, people skills, etc Then spend 1/3 of radio time teaching the outline

    November 7, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  5. sara

    To Gingrich, America has rejected the Hate and intolerance of YOU and the party. Since we know you guys cannot move Forward.....please just go...We're not buying it anymore. We have principals and morals we were taught and we want those to stand in our country. Sorry, you don't have any and I wouldn't want my grandchildren to hear from you and your likes. Bah, Bah, you are irrelevant from now on and I am so Sick of CNN going to the bottom of the barrel in giving these people a platform to spew hate and division in our country.

    November 7, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  6. Martha in CF

    Of course you were wrong you big blowbag....You and your other cronies are what is wrong for our country. All that comes out of your mouth is venom and hate. Go back to your room and pout..........

    November 7, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  7. kevin

    What ...Newt wrong again? Just go wasn't Mitt, it was the platform!

    November 7, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  8. Diana

    I fear the Republican concern about inclusiveness isn't about rethinking their basic platform which is so out of sync with the average American's priorities. Rather it is a way to co-opt the Dem coalition by changing only their message – not their philosophy.

    November 7, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  9. Kr55

    Gingrich is wrong a lot. He's a classic "throw crap against a wall and hope something sticks" type of guy. He likes to call that being an idea guy... I just think he's too full of stuff to throw against the wall.

    November 7, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  10. solrac

    Hmmmm, yeah, I wonder what went "wrong", Gingrich. Do you think catering to the rich had anything to do with it? Or maybe those racist dog whistles you keep on blowing? Maybe those lies that you spew every time you're on stage. Or maybe it was an issue of taking the Republican party so far right that "fascist" would highly appropriate. Or maybe it was the belittlement of the American voter in thinking that we would be fooled by sound bites and politicians could just repeat the same 4 lined sentence over and over again. Yes, I wonder how it all went wrong.

    November 7, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  11. Wake up People!

    No Newt, actually you were right when you said Willard is the wrong person to run against President Obama. But the GOP does really need to step into the 21st century. The POTUS has been reelected, work with him and stop trying to bring him down. Tell your bigoted buddies to get over it, minorities are here to stay.

    Anyone complaining about gloating, is being disingenuous. If Willard had won, this page would be overflowing with the nastiest comments about President Obama. And everyone knows it. The Ticker would be all Willard, all the time.

    November 7, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  12. Puddin

    Randy, I agree. Newt has been wrong for years. The Repubs may have won had they not been so mean-spirited. However, I don't see that changing. Mitch McConnell was also wrong. I hope he, Boehner, Cantor and all the rest of those who sat on their behinds and wouldn't compromise and move this country along got the message. The folks in KY seem to be reasonable people, and I can't figure out why they would put up with the likes of such immaturity as Mitch McConnell's. It sure makes them look bad because they do. I think many went for Obama just to show these jerks who's boss ; the American people know how to vote.

    November 7, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  13. Hotdog

    Hopefully, Republicans Newt will have learned that his time in politics is over. Yesterday is gone. Who cares what you have to say or think any more. The demographics in this country is changing and it's all for the better. The crowd at Obama's victory speech actually reflects how America looks. We are not a monolithic society. The divisiveness that is perpetrated by people like Limbaugh, Trump and others in the Republican party is not good for our country.

    November 7, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  14. Anonymous

    The Republican party doesn't understand that the majority of Americans do not want Religion legislated, you can teach morality but you can't force it on people. I am an independent moderate that can agree all day about being a fiscal conservative, I don't agree with your social agenda. I am hearing on local radio today how the Republican voter turnout was way down, you went extreme right with your candidate and lost a lot of young moderates. When you are ready to join the rest of us more in the middle you might be able to win the White House again. I said it during the primaries Ron Paul was your chance to win, he had the young vote and if you would have backed him as a party you would have won big yesterday. With the economy in the shape it is it should have been easy to beat Obama, but you picked the wrong Candidate. Here is a suggestion for 2016, push the fiscal conservative views and not the religious convictions. Everyone can understand not spending more than you make, but they don't want you forcing your religion on them. Push the fair tax, people just want it to be fair!

    November 7, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  15. claremccully

    Newt – here is what is wrong. The Obstructionist Party spends way too much time speaking to the shrinking all-white-male population. Those days are OVER in the USA. Secondly, you want gov't OUT of our wallets, but IN a woman's reproductive system. It is not 1950 any longer. Thirdly, your "big tent" is a sham – you do NOT care about the 47% of this country who are quite diverse in their ethnic backgrounds, and you DO care about the 1% and corporations are people. This is a losing strategy. Now, you lost, so learn to work WITH the Democrats and get this country BACK to working and thriving. STOP trying to win small petty points to "win" re-election. It is going to fail, and fail, and fail.

    November 7, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  16. Kaye


    Maybe it's time to realize that the GOP can divide, but thankfully, not conquer. Your old white guy playbook won't work. It's time for you to go home; your clock is at 00:14:59. Tick tock.

    November 7, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  17. sam2777

    I think the 47 percent statements, medicare vouchers, threatening to appoint justices to overturn roe v wade and having a tea party candidate at the top of a ticket were big losers. The divisive birther nonsense also made the party look very weak. Congress not compromsing with the President also infuriated alot of Republicans. People want to see compromise and the country moving forward. People can complain all they want to about the older congressional Republicans, but at least they knew how to compromise and get things moving. The new freshman are missing the big picture.

    November 7, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  18. Brook

    Hate rejected.......Wake Up Rep. You tried to knock out the black and brown people and it did not work.

    November 7, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  19. Newt

    About so many things Newt, so many things......

    November 7, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  20. Nathan

    Since when was this man an analyst? He is a schill who will ALWAYS predict a big win for his side. He isn't going to learn anything from this, he isn't going to change anything from this, he'll be back in two years predicting big wins for Republicans in the mid-tem and two years after that assuring us all that the Republican presidential candidate will win big. You toed the party line and you always will. End of story.

    November 7, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  21. St James Place

    Newt your man Willard would be president today if

    1. He release 10 years of tax returns.
    2. Admitted that he had un-taxed money in those Cayman Island accounts.
    3. Showed the middle class that he actually gave a hoot.
    4. Didn't decide to support robbing the American worker of Social Security and Medicare benefits.
    5. Didn't want to take woman right to choose back to the 1950's

    November 7, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  22. DCinAllen

    What about the fact that no one outside of the Republican party seriously wanted MITT??? This wasn't a case of the party getting fully behind their candidates. it happened in 08 with McCain, and it happened again with Mitt. The problem is that to most Republicans who were seeking galvinazation into a strong force, they had no one that they were passionate about.

    It's like having the last pick in dodge ball, and the only kid left is a scrawny asthmatic who bleeds easy. That was the Republican party. At any rate, I don't think President Obama would have lost anyway. The only people who were really unhappy with him were Repubican, unlike President Bush. NOBODY liked him. And as a result, then Senator Obama got his opening.

    November 7, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  23. ConsiderThis, FL

    Newt was not only WRONG, he and his party are IRRELEVENT! The republican party were the only people trying to surpress the vote of the American people, and this should be a crime punisable by imprisonment – it is a violation of our right to vote as Americans. Why aren't these people prosecuted for violating our civil right to vote?

    November 7, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  24. lambdais3

    Isn't it curious that the man, who as House Speaker destroyed bipartisan institutions in the House, the Father of gridlock, would be telling his party to be more cooperative and bipartisan?

    November 7, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  25. Gotta Be Kiddin

    Where are John Sununu, Bay Buchanan, Rob Portman – you know – all those folks who constantly lied to the American people and told them that Mitt Romney was winning. He was never winning!

    November 7, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
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