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. dowhatifeellike

    The GOP needs to move more to the center. I know far more people who are fiscally center-right and socially center-left than people who would be considered standard Republicans.

    November 7, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  2. Kate

    Look as far as Christians go they are not anymore radical than gay rights groups. Im democrat but Im christian. To lay the blame onto the Christians and evangelicals is intolerance. Tolerance is what the democrats stand behind so lets not contradict our own patriotic beliefs. I voted for Obama because I believe people should never be ranked by social status. A homeless person is just as important to me as the guy running a billion dollar industry. I believe Obama feels that way too.

    November 7, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  3. Anne

    After testing 'Hope and Change', Obama will test now his new 'Forward' idea.

    November 7, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  4. chris capozzola

    The election is over. Our citizens were given an opportunity to vote FREELY for their choice. The choice made, why don't we stop complaining and work with the elected officials to get back on track. I am sure the time spent on these complaints could be put to better use. Is Mr Trump's business so quiet that he has nothing better to do???

    November 7, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. Rick

    If Republicans want to know what they should do in the future, they should watch the last episode of HBO's "Newsroom", specifically McIvoy's commentary at the end. Change your platform and you might win another Presidential election in 20 years or so.

    November 7, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  6. Rinse Prebis

    Just like Newt was wrong when he slammed President Clinton for marital improprieties and was then found to be hiding his own horrors in his closet in the '90s!

    November 7, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  7. rs


    Well, "forward" is better than Romney adoption of the Cobert Reports "Better tomorrow, tomorrow". Did he know Colbert isn't real and is on the Comedy channel?

    November 7, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  8. judy

    republicans need to realize that the country has changed and will continue to change. We can't go back. We need real leaders and real solutions nit flip floppers who don;t care about half of us or men who ignore women. Minorities are now majorities we need to work togeather to move America forward not to hold on to a job in washington. Remember who sent you there! And we can snd you home! Repyblicans already getting in line to oppose tax increases. WE will send you home next election if you don't learn to compromise.

    November 7, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  9. Paul

    Nothing new. newt is always wrong.

    November 7, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  10. NVa Native

    Was wrong, is wrong, and always has been wrong.......................basically a has been.

    November 7, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  11. ja

    the gop need to work with president obama, let this election be a wake up call, america is great because of inclusion, not exclusion, on immigration everybody is imirgrants, except the native americans, on abortion, you save a life then choke the life out it years after birth, on patrotism, it is patriotic to pay more if you earn more, how much riches do one need to leave a legacy

    November 7, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  12. Rick

    Memo to Donald Trump: Your Party and your boy got crushed proving once again how irrelevant you are. No why don't you get that through your thick skull, go back to your lame TV show (does anybody watch that garbage?) and keep your ugly face (and hair) out of politics.

    November 7, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. NameIqbalAwan

    Barak Hussain Obama,s win/victory is just another fruit of USA,s Brain Drain Policy,started many years ago.welldone Barak Hussain obama.Weldom Americans;Heartiesf Congratu lation to each concerned one or the other way.

    November 7, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  14. Oneslydragon

    Mr. "G", remember, the people will see thru the rhetoric if things stay status quo. You may be good at spinning the lies, but the people are no longer just wearing your rose colored glasses.

    November 7, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  15. charlie j

    It is far past time that Republicans engaged in this sort of reflection.
    Like CheeseHead, I decided that no Republican at any level would get my vote, the moment that Mitch McConnell said that the number one priority of the Republicans would be to make sure that Obama was a one-term president. Every argument made by any Republican after that was tainted.
    Politicians serve all the people, whether they voted for them or not. Sure, have your position and advance your cause when possible - but when it's not possible, then compromise. Otherwise, you are an ideologue and have no place in elected office.
    The Founding Fathers that everyone worships were practical people. If you want to truly emulate them, do likewise.

    November 7, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  16. Wilson

    Dow dropping like a rock. So it begins.

    November 7, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  17. Wake up People!

    This won't change the Republican party, they'll just double down on the ignorance. They have panderered to the lowest common denominator for so long, they have inflamed old fears and put new ones in some peoples heads. Anytime you think compromise is a dirty word, there is no hope. Republicans seem to be obsessed with what women do with their own bodies.

    I don't know I don't see it getting better, they may come up with better ways of cheating but changing their mindset, I'm not so sure.

    November 7, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  18. vic , nashville ,tn

    Newt told media last December said he will be the GOP nominee

    November 7, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  19. Mike, Albany

    For Newt, it's just another day of his looking extremely foolish.

    November 7, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  20. Sacmar

    This was the Republican party's election to lose. They have allowed their party to be taken over by extremists. This is the reason Romney lost. He could not separate himself from the Tea Party. I am Dem socially, but consider myself fiscally conservative in some ways. I don't believe in wasteful spending, but feel if our money is being spent, it needs to be spent on us, not going to other countries or wars. We neec more centrists in our government. We need leaders who are going to work together to get this country on track. We don't need extremists on either side who dig in their heels and refuse to reach across party lines.

    November 7, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  21. Bryan

    I think the current conservative model is extremely outdated. Republicans need to stop assuming that everyone who doesn't share their viewpoints are "ultra-liberals who love entitlements". I think most Americans have their opinions on abortion or religion or same-sex marriage but those opinions pale in comparison to "livelihood". Most Americans just want to be able to work, take care of their families and have enough left over to enjoy a decent quality of life. The social issues don't grow the economy or bring in jobs. We don't need to fight wars across the globe. We don't need increased military spending when people aren't working. We don't like to see the corporate executives that we work 40 hours a week for making millions off our backs while we get 1 and 2 percent raises that don't keep up with the cost of living. I think Obama won because he did a better job of conveying to the public that he shared those views.

    November 7, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  22. Jack

    I agreed David Frum 3 ago's and I agree with almost everyone today. The Republicans need to quit listening to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Pat Robertson, Donald Trump and for once Mr. Gingrich it is nice to hear you admit that you were wrong.

    I kept quiet as a independent conservative, I talked to my true friends and I knew the trends and how they felt, it was obvious that they were as disgusted with rhetoric of hate, obstructionism that the tea partier's that the party was allowing, along the social intolerance of the religious right bought me to this conclusion; that if the Republicans stayed on this course, that they would lose White House again and that they would lose the Senate.

    Newt, John Christy said it well after Sandy "I don't give a damn about presidential politics" The President showed it, so did Mitt Romeny. Where were you and the rest of the Republican Party, Everywhere else it was a message divisiveness.

    It is a shame that Mitt had to get tangled up in it, but you conservatives stacked the deck against him.

    I hope you learned your lesson.

    November 7, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  23. Deb in MT

    Yes, Newt, you were wrong.

    I am a Democrat, and even I understand that we need a real, honest to goodness, loyal opposition party. We have a lot of good ideas, but we don't have all the answers by a long shot, and we all need to hear other perspectives. I do not want the GOP to go away; I just want the GOP to grow up and rejoin the reality-based world.

    Let's hope they take home the right lessons from this latest shellacking.

    November 7, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  24. FactsRBad

    If the Republican parfty would move away from the ideological social wingnuts and pivot toward the center they would have had my vote. I am an economic conservative but could not support a party & candidate with such extreme social views. The party should court the lvoters who are eft of center on social issues and right of center on economic issues.

    November 7, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  25. TomGI

    Newt is always wrong, always.

    November 7, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
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