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. MG

    To Obamacide: The Death of a Country- Unreal Obamacide huh, who do you think got this country where it is before Obama in 2008. The GOP's, your party let this country spiral out of control. The deficit is lower now that when Obama took office. You need to pull your head out of the sand. The country had been on the up swing. We are a society,not a place for the rich to rape the common man.

    November 7, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  2. hypatia

    Wrong again

    November 7, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  3. Mark Gerardy

    Newt the Grinch admitted he was wrong?!?!
    Yes, wrong about everything.

    November 7, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  4. Leonard Edelen

    The American people have spoken. President Obama was reelected for another four years. It's time to let go of all the myths, theories, and crazy suggestions, like Obamacide! Let go of the hurt and pain of losing and trying to move forward, otherwise you will find yourself like the Republican party...Out of Touh!

    November 7, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  5. Sane in Maine

    Old Fat Face Gingrich is ALWAYS WRONG! He doesn't get it and never will. He's a total jerk but he sees a different guy when he looks in the mirror. He sould read some of these comments and stick a pin in his immense ego – a pin long enough to puncture Trump while he's at it because they are the two most egotistical people in American public life. They both look like blowhard bafoon and that's exactly what they are. They have no humility, no shame and contribute nothing of any value or consequense to the public policy debate.

    November 7, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  6. mbona

    I din't like Gingrich BUT he is the only Republican so far to admit he was wrong. What did Rove say? Trump? That idiot is ranting and raving more insane than ever. We should have him locked up next to Ahmadinejad. Boehner? He quickly countered and said the Republicans won b/c they kept the House...I guess it doesnt count that the Senate grew by 2 senators on the Democratic side.

    November 7, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  7. lance corporal

    the GOP is wrong

    wrong for the USA

    November 7, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  8. ReasonableXX

    Bottom line is that Republicans are truly out of touch with much of America.

    I think the election results last night either blindsided many conservatives or they were just in denial about some basic statistical facts.

    The media has a stake in trying to keep the perception that the race is closer than it is to keep people tuned in. However, independent, non-partisan statistical analysis (math and science which many in the GOP like to disregard) has shown throughout the race that Obama has had a clear statistical advantage particularly in battleground states. While there were some flucations throughout, Obama never gave up his clear statistical lead (even after the first debate).

    This is just a reality that Republicans can either accept and learn from or continue to ignore in the future and repeat these mistakes again.

    Moral of the story is that the facts, the science, and the math don't lie.

    Republicans refused to accept this and the media conveniently "overlooked" it to garner ratings.

    November 7, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  9. John

    I'm a registered republican from Mass. of all places. I voted for Mitt as Governor here and I voted for McCain in 2004. I refrained from voting for the presidency this year. I voted for the ballot measures and other state offices yesterday but I could not vote for him or Obama.

    Having lived here in Mass. while Mitt was Govenor was more than I needed to know. I could not in good conscience vote for him as a president. There is a reason he got very few votes in Massachusetts. The guy will always say anything and do nothing, or the opposite of what he said. He did nothing during his two years in office and I say two years because the other two years it was clear he was only focused on running for the Presidency and not running the state.

    Mitt has no one to blame but himself for losing my vote. Let's hope my fellow republicans can find a real candidate in 2016.

    November 7, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  10. Dennis1020

    The only time this blowhard has ever been right is when he said he was wrong. Can we all join in chorus now and say good-bye to Gingrich, Giuliani, Palin, Trump and the rest of the right wing circus clowns? They unsuccessfully tried to drag this country down, but did successfully drag the Republican Party down.

    November 7, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  11. ART

    Newt I hate to break it to you but you've always been wrong and I'am sure your ex wives could attest to that.

    November 7, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  12. AmericanPeasant

    Don't feel too bad Newt, you're always wrong.

    November 7, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  13. FactCheck

    Obamacide: The Death of a Country

    I think you mean "Republiside: The Death of the Party of Bigots".

    November 7, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  14. DumbasRocks [R]s

    Who could be surprised that Gingrich is WRONG??!! The man has been wrong 97% of the time his entire life. He tried to cripple Clinton in the 1990s because of Lewinsky....Clinton let Gingrich tear his arm off, then Clinton proceeded to beat Gingrich over the head with it repeatedly. In the end Gingrich left the gov't in disgrace long before Clinton left. You gotta luv it when your adversary is dumber than a squirrel.

    November 7, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  15. FactCheck

    So Mitt Romney is going to end up with FEWER popular votes than John McCain? Well, so much for that vaunted Mittmentum.

    November 7, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  16. rs

    Obamacide: The Death of a Country-

    The election is over- you can stop lying now.

    November 7, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  17. FactCheck

    So if the "fiscal cliff" comes to pass, the folks who will suffer are the defense contractors, HMOs, and the wealthy who loose the Bush tax cuts.

    I wonder what Boehner thinks now of rejecting that "grand bargain" the the President had offered.

    November 7, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  18. cm

    Everything that comes out of a GOP mouth is wrong, this is not something new.

    November 7, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  19. Darlis

    well what could he do but admit it? I think Karl Rove is somewhere still crunching the numbers for Faux News.. I don't think it's so much that Newt said they'd win by a wide margin, but the arrogant sneer with whcih he says everything. I almost feel sorry for Mitt since his own party will turn on him like a pack of wild dogs in the coming days .

    November 7, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  20. DumbasRocks [R]s

    Sorry tom, that previous post of mine was meant for the coward who posts as "Obamacide: The Death of a Country"

    November 7, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  21. Rich

    When can we visit Newt's moon colony?

    November 7, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  22. RichardDrew

    Obamacide: The Death of a Country: To that anonymous poster. Please leave America. I see a far more resilient Country and knowing that there are people like you that think I got mine now you get yours mentalty are so Un American.

    November 7, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  23. caralee2010

    to Paganini –
    One thing the GOP never understood was that they did not "have" the Christian Right this election. When you look at "Mitt's crowd" – you are right. It should be many more hued. BUT, part of the reason it was not was because the conservative evangelical Christians were severely split. Mitt Romney never made a case to them. They were split between political loyalty and spiritual reality. Their spiritual reality was voting for a man whose faith has historically been defined as a theological cult. Many – very many – of the older believers I know just were not able to overcome that. And, they kept their wallets in their pockets too.

    November 7, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  24. richag

    Yes, Republicans are wrong on everything in today's Politics. Today,it is not the Old,Angry white Males who elect the President,it is "ALL people" especially the poor,middle class,people of color and the minority(which is the new majority).
    As long as Republicans keep alienating the new majority they will loose elections in this New America.As long as republicans keep asking for the Birth Cerificates of people of Color who were concieved and born in Amenrica by White Mothers,they will loose elections. I urge the Republican Party to purge itself of all these Angry,Old,tired,white Males who tend to look down on everyone even their own women. God Bless the President.

    November 7, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  25. Obamacide: The Death of a Country

    Rudy NYC
    The only victim of your so called "Obamacide" is the TEA-rex Party. Its' self extinction is under way.
    Do you mean the party that got the votes of half of voting Americans? And the party that retains control of the House (otherwise known as the peoples House) and got re-elected again? Sure doesn't sound or look like extinction to me.

    It appears 4 years of pain and suffering was not enough for the country so they demanded more. And far more we shall all get as all of Obama's first 4 years will come home to roost as his old racist preacher was so fond of saying. Obama cannot now escape and pawn it off on anybody else. He will inherit the mess and disaster than the president elected in 2008 has left him. A country with a very weak economy, massive unemployment and teetering on a fiscal cliff and bankrupcy. Iran going nuclear and Obama will either have to attack or let Israel get nuked. Yes kiddies, hold on for a very rough ride. Remember, you not only asked for it, you demanded it.

    November 7, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
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