Gingrich: The GOP misunderstood the electorate in 2012

Via Eliana Johnson at NRO, this clip from The View of Newt Gingrich explaining the Republican losses this month has an oddly confessional quality about it.  Perhaps that’s amplified by the affirmative interjections from the hosts of the show, but it might also be that Gingrich offers his critiques on a show as hostile to Gingrich’s politics as The View, too.  But for Gingrich, that’s a large part of his point — that Republicans, including Mitt Romney, didn’t go to where the voters lived and entertained themselves, and so became out of touch with the direction of the nation:

Eliana also reports on remarks made to a friendlier audience, the “Restoration Weekend” staged by David Horowitz this weekend in West Palm Beach:

Giving a nod to legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, Gingrich said, “When we won in ’94, we followed Wooden’s theory of a full-court press.” He contrasted that strategy to the Republican Party’s targeted focus on swing states and counties this time around, and argued for a more expansive approach. “We need to take the Left on everywhere they exist,” he said. Gingrich’s remarks came Saturday afternoon in an address to the crowd assembled at David Horowitz’s “Restoration Weekend” in West Palm Beach.

Gingrich is critical of Governor Romney’s failure to engage with the media personalities who shape and influence popular culture. He noted disapprovingly that Romney turned down invitations to appear on The Colbert ReportThe View and Nickelodeon’s Kids Pick the President, while President Obama was a guest on all three. The former house speaker appeared on The View with his wife, Callista, last week, but was doggedly critical of the mainstream media as a candidate, slamming CNN’s John King for peddling “trash,” blasting the “elite media,” and lamenting their “gotcha questions.” …

And Gingrich, at 69, said he is willing to learn. He declared of his own predictions for the year’s election, “I was dead wrong.” Indeed, Gingrich predicted we’d see Romney elected with over 300 electoral votes and that Republicans would take the Senate. “All through my career, I believed this was a center right country,” he said. “Now, I believe at best, it’s a centrist country with a dominant Left.”

Gingrich announced that he was building a staff to sift through all of the data from this election to determine what the GOP and conservatives can learn from the loss, and to pitch their message more effectively.  This mission suits Gingrich almost perfectly, especially with his own aspirations for the presidency all but discharged now.  Not everyone’s convinced that Gingrich’s aspirations have been fully discharged, though, as one of the hosts makes clear as the clip ends: “So when you run in 2016 …”

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David Strom 6:01 PM on March 29, 2023