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. pprty

    Republicans need to realize that the world is changing and get out of their bubble. Women carry alot of weight now – quit thinking that men know everything.

    November 7, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  2. mesa mick

    This 19th century tinking obstructionist hasn't been right about anything for 20 years now...Why does the MSM and talking heads much less ask or worse yet still report on his "opinions"...For laughs – Promoting the right wing GOTea agenda to be "fair and balanced" – WHY?

    The answer: Crickets.....

    November 7, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  3. J.J.

    That megalomaniac is making some progress and should mentor Trump, Rove amd Limbaugh on deflating their irellevant, attention getting public outbursts. NAH – that's asking for way too much.

    November 7, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  4. jpzipp

    More inclusive? How the party is made up of angry white men upset at their loss of power and impotence! BTW I am an angry white old man 57. What am I angry at? The Republicans thats who!

    November 7, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  5. Daverelentless

    The righty flacks are already blaming this loss on minorities and women rallying behind Obama. O'Reilly even went so far as to call them "the layabout class". The Conservobots cannot accept the change in attitude toward the old white fools of their Party who actually believe that America wants to go back 50 years. They blew it, big time. When one demonizes their foe, they look insecure and at the least, jealous.

    November 7, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  6. Joi Gibson

    Now that this over, we all seriously need to stop griping and seriously try to be more civil with those who have opposing views. Sometimes those views have merits. I believe it is imperative that the intrangience, on both sides, stop. With special emphasis on the House of Representatives. There can be no more my way or nothing at all. It serves no purpose and it only marginalizes the ones who espouse that type hard edge. I truly believe the American people have had enough of that and want Congress to work together for the good of the nation.

    Congratulations Mr. President!!!!!! I am so thrilled with your re-election!!!

    And even though I vehemently disagreed with Mr. Romney on so many issues, sometimes rudely, I am sure it is a hard pill to swallow losing the election. Luckily for you, you have many, many options available to you for a good life, with no worries. Enjoy it!!!

    November 7, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  7. pam

    Can we finally take the destruction of planned parenthood off the table? Will all those old white guys sitting in congress finally concede that women can decide what is best for their reproductive lives? Seriously, go fix the budget and leave the nation's private sex lives alone.

    November 7, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  8. joshua partridge

    thats not the only thing he's been wrong about. Nice start though

    November 7, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  9. PeterD

    Well America's Journey towards becoming a Complete Socialism Country by 2016 have Just Begun. All on Board !!!!!!!!!!! EU LOL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 7, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  10. gimmesometruth

    America voted wrong. That's the bottom line here. And America will decline, to be frank. There is no way to be a silver lining on this. American is going down now. It's no longer the land of opportunity. It's now that land of the government hand out. That worked and there is no reason to doubt it will work in the future. The best the Republicans can do is to try to slow it down while the blue states go bankrupt. Sad. It looks like a future of kowtowing to the Chinese and social disintegrationm, as unmarried people who think the government should pay for their contraceptives had the election to the demagogues and the atheistic religion-hating liberal media. Truly a said day for America. I never thought it would go that low in my lifetime.

    November 7, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  11. Middle Class Independent Swing State Voters

    I'm an Independent who misses Moderate Republicans. We need rational discussion from both sides and yours has lost it's way. Please, I beg you, reclaim you party before it's too late!!

    November 7, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  12. Bluejay

    you are wrong dude!

    November 7, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  13. WhereIsPalin

    Nice gig. Make a stupid statement. Then brag about how bold and smart you were...........or simply say "I was wrong."

    November 7, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  14. Jay Stanhope

    I think Newt meant to he was "fundementally wrong" because he is "fundementally clueless" about the fundemental problems with the Republican/Conservative agenda.

    November 7, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  15. Tom Flores

    For those who voted for Obama we will see in 2016. When the debt is 20 trillion + and unemployment is over 10% you won't be able to blame the GOP or George Bush. Just look ijn the mirror....

    November 7, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  16. Name shirley

    Out of touch with voters

    November 7, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  17. Just a Guy

    The Republicans are not competitive because they are out of touch with reality. Most thinking people don't want voter ID laws, means tests for benefits, government forced and un-need utltrasounds before an abortion, climate-change denial, evolution denial, fear mongering, islamaphobia. Most thinking people do not want their political leaders making pledges to outside groups, their only pledge should be to the flag and to the constitution, not Grover Nordquist. Most thinking people know that there are no such things as anchor babies, a culture of dependency, welfare queens, and all the other nonsense that the GOP tosses around. Most thinking people realize that the GOP is the true obstructionists in Washington. If the GOP wants to be relevant again, they have no choice but to get out of their giant echo chamber and come back to reality.

    November 7, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  18. Joe the plumber

    His rhetoric is nothing more than a control mechanism, for the meek and uninformed. The world is a very different place than the 1940's, there have been a lot of public movements and accomplishments. To listen to his rants, is to put shackles on. So "NO" to oppression! We stand united as Americans, and divided as greedy, selfish, individuals. (notice I did not say repulicans)

    November 7, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  19. souptwins

    I agree with Jack on pg. 5. Most Americans are fiscally conservative but socially more tolerant than the far right would like. There's a difference between standing for principle and being abusive to your fellow man. I'm an independent who voted for Romney based on economic policies. Obama spent his time in the Ill Leg, US Senate, first term as POTUS laying low so he could get reelected to whatever was next. I believe he's a decent man who's way over his head and made promises with no way to fulfill them. Now it's time for both sides to start acting like adults and come to the table to solve the real problems. It ticks me off he didn't have more open talks before passing Obamacare but it also ticks me off how the GOP responded by stonewalling everything after the med-term elections. I truly believe both sides want a strong US and the best solutions will include some ideas from both sides.

    The GOP has got to get off the pity party, take your marbles and go home approach. Use this defeat to grow a spine and go to the table in the spirit of looking out for those things you hold dear but know there are legitimate concerns from others. We need the tough problems solved not passed to the next generation. The stock market is falling because investors have little hope in Obama's policies. Our society has become one where instant gratification is expected with no regard for a willingness to pay the price for achievement. Reckless individual behavior will continue if people think someone else with take care of the consequences for them. Yes, let's move "forward" but hopefully it will be a meaningful forward with real accountability and inclusion.

    November 7, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  20. NYGirl

    Hope my life boat is ready soon so I can leave what used to be a wonderful place to live.

    November 7, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  21. Kentucky Burbon

    The Republican party needs to change it family photo. Nothings wrong with having ideas and values that are different, the problem is demonizing those that are different and condemning everyone to Hell that doesnt think like you. This is a big step for the GOP. It takes a big man to admit that he was wrong... Mitch McConnell needs to follow suit.

    November 7, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  22. Bill from GA

    Right or wrong, newt will sell a lot of books, and make millions from speaking engagements.

    There is a great demand from the righties for people who will tell them how to 'think'.

    November 7, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    The Repubilcan Party has turned to the dark side, and forever will it rule their destiny.

    November 7, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  24. surfy6

    Gingrich: 'I was wrong'
    Well now, there's a news story!! Now the only re impediment to the future to the US is that clown Boehner is still in...I don't care what party he's (or any of them for that matter) with but that guy is an anchor to the ship of progress, and continues to display a 4 year olds maturity level.

    November 7, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  25. ohgran

    Four years ago the Republican party set out to defeat the President. They gathered their big money donors, Rove, Trump, Koch Brothers, Bennett, RNC, Chamber of Commerce, etc. Living in their own world where they can buy anything they want, they used that same thinking that they can buy the election. They underestimated the power of women, the young, Latinos, and black voters. Republican Governor (Florida), Secretary of State (Ohio) reduced days/hours for early voting in an effort to discourage voters who in the past voted more for Democrats even though the history showed hours and hours of standing in lines was the norm. The American people cannot be bought, intimidated, or bullied. We are the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!

    November 7, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
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