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. Jayance

    What the republicians needs to do:

    1. Understand that the country has changed
    2. Embrace all change and all races.
    3. Understand the meaning of majority-minority.
    4. Define who Donald Trump represents.
    5. Define who John Sununu represents
    6. Define who Dick Morris represents
    7. Define who Rush Limbuagh represents
    8. Nominate candidate who mean what they say in the primary and the general election
    9. Allow women to determine their faith.
    10. Love, because love covers multitude of sins

    November 7, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  2. Nadia

    Nearly 2 billion dollars thrown into an election and the American still suffers. Romney was in this for his own personal agenda.

    November 7, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  3. ctbeckyw

    "I think the country was looking at a different set of things than we were looking at,"... Yes, Newt. We were looking for a candidate who actually gave a dam about us, the middle/lower class. Mittens, nor any other GOP, were certainly NOT it.

    November 7, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  4. atomic

    We need a vital and strong opposition, i.e. The Republican Party. They must learn from this election. Learn to cooperate for the greater good. Compromise is a good thing – it's what the electorate want. Be inclusive – you cannot win when you are "trying to take our country back." The country belongs to all citizens – native americans, white, black, latino asians to mention just a few. Don't mix politics with religion and/or science. Respect women. Do that, and people will come back to the G.O.P.

    November 7, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  5. Expat American

    I hope that the Republican Party does not change – in fact I hope it veers even further to the Fascist Right. This can only lead to more progressive victories in the future.

    This catch-22 is interesting. The Conservative Brownshirt Fascists are never going to leave their Party and Republicans are never going to start caring about women, minorities, Gays, education, non-Christians, the middle class and the poor., etc....

    Quite an conundrum indeed.

    But at the very least, The GOP can start by caring for the poor whites in the 47% who support them!

    November 7, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  6. Grumpymedic

    Newt's ALWAYS wrong. Nothng new here.

    November 7, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  7. Joe

    In other news, Gingrich expressed surprise that the sun came up in the East today despite his recent assertions that it would not. Of course, CNN was there to give Gingrich the attention he craves and quote his every utterance....

    November 7, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  8. TomGI

    We don't have to listen to you any more. Please go away Newt.

    November 7, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  9. Cheesehead

    When the Republican leadership announced that their #1 priority was making sure that Obama fails, they lost my vote right there. And they tried hard to fulfill that, didn't they. Think where we could be if they had taken a different approach and tried to work with the President. Do you think we'd be in worse shape, or better? If the answer isn't that we'd do better by working together, then these "leaders" should not have been elected or re-elected. Demand better!

    November 7, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  10. Sean

    Good morning America, congratulations. You've done the world proud. We wern't certain for a while. Thought fear and panic had taken over unabated. Now let's see you double down and get back to being the go getters you used to be. Remember a house divided cannot stand.

    November 7, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  11. Oneslydragon

    Question for Mr. Gingrich, will you moderate and work with the otherside, might just make the difference next time around since this election was clearly stating start working together. Takes two to tango, but there is the impression 'party of NO'.

    November 7, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  12. Jose Jemanes

    Chuckie has absolutely nothing to say! His being "wrong" is not news!

    November 7, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  13. sputnick1

    Well imagine that Neut wrong. How could that be

    November 7, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  14. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    He and the rest of the GOP need to re-assess their assumptions and what they want goverment to do. I don't see them as a party of inclusion for most people.

    November 7, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  15. tredspane

    I voted for President Obama, and I was SOOO excited last night when he was re-elected for another term. Then I woke up this morning and realized that nothing had changed: the President, the House, the Senate. In the past four years I have lost my job three times, and there's still no clear end to this economic downturn and no clear plan for the future. I now know that I made a mistake yesterday; we just voted for four more years of the status quo.

    November 7, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  16. rconatser1

    Gingrich has never been right about anything. Ever. He forced a veto-proof tax code revision down Clinton's throat in 1994 giving the first 62 cents of every dollar saved to the top 1% on income workers. Did it create jobs? Did it help the American economy? Not one bit. It only proves the GOP idea of feeding the rich more money does nothing but line their pockets. Precisely the reason we need regulations.

    November 7, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  17. Jason

    The GOP stance on labor and being a condom for the rich was my primary disdain. Obama defeated the Terrorist(OBL) and TEArorist( much more dangerous than OBL because this is the enemy within) in a single election. Hats off

    November 7, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  18. orejersey

    It's hard to say, but, I think Newt knows what he is talking about. I am a Republican (a RINO to some) who voted almost straight Democratic. I have been pushed to the very edge of the party by the narrow view the Republicans have of what it takes to be Republican. I am not an evangelical, I do not believe big business can solve our economic woes, I believe that we have to grow this country from the middle out. I do believe we have to balance environmental concerns with productive capacity, I do believe we need energy independence and domestic production. We can have all of these things if we can have compromise. No party has all of the best ideas and, believe it or not, we must have a marriage of capitalism and socialism to survive and prosper.

    November 7, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  19. Strategic Bob

    Newt, you were, and are, wrong about more things than you can even count.

    November 7, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  20. Margaret

    I would never have voted for Newt, but I have to agree that they are out of touch. Just look at how often ballot props are fiscally conservative, and the people vote differently on social issues. That does not mean people approve of gay marriage or using marijuana, or having abortions, but do not want to dictate those beliefs to their neighbors. The Republicans spent way too much trying to get on the ultra right extremists. and the middle of the road Republicans and Democrats feel they are not being heard. There are a lot of us, concentrate on what is important, Jobs is the biggest, when Americans work, America works. When the money is flowing everyone wins.

    If the Republicans want to impress the country they have 4 years to do it, and that means instead of blocking and shooting down everything Democratic to come up with Viable ideas. Don't just be the party of No. No more of these idiot pledges.

    November 7, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  21. nightsun2k7

    "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."

    Isn't that what they said 4 years ago?

    November 7, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  22. California Gary

    So where are you critical thinking and truth hurts? There is a rather large crow to be eaten this morning. It looks like critical thinking will need to adjust their "thinking" and truth hurts has now learned the much does it hurt? I predicted an electoral college victory for Obama, with his count exceeding wasn't that hard to see it coming. The GOP thought they could rally a bunch of old rich men and buy their way into the White House. Not going to happen need to start including more folks and build a coalition in order to have political viability in the future.

    November 7, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  23. rs

    The odd thing is like it is has if the GOP actually believed what it was peddling. They engaged in a very bizarre camapign of attempting to dsicredit the President- lies about programs, lies about facts, lies about who he was (Birthers), and more. Then they began to question the polls, news organizations and more.

    It turns out the pollsters were correct (back in August even!). Romeny went down in my opinion for his 47% commentary, his terrible trip abroad, and his Jeep lies. In the end- the GOP believed their own lies, and it lead them into more radical (and frankly strange) political positions that the majority of Americans would not accept.

    Perhaps they will learn NOT to trust what they hear from Rush or FOX.

    November 7, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  24. davetharave

    Republican comments during this campaign signalled that their priorities are stuck in the stone ages. They need to rethink their entire agenda if they want to enjoy any future success. Personally, I don't think they can do it.

    November 7, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  25. Thanks tea party ...

    ... you're the best!

    Sincerely, Democratic Party

    November 7, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
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