Former house speaker Newt Gingrich ascribes Mitt Romney’s loss to a GOP campaign strategy focused on swing states at the expense of the country at large, a misguided approach to the mainstream media, and the candidate’s “47 percent view of America.”
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 Report, The 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.”
Gingrich is also critical of Romney for his now infamous remark about the “47 percent.” “If you have a 47 percent view of America, you couldn’t be president,” he said. “You shouldn’t be president.”
The problems facing the GOP are far bigger than Mitt Romney, though. “This is a Republican institutional problem,” Gingrich said, and he is dedicated to solving it. Gingrich says he is determined not to let the GOP’s systematic failure repeat itself. He’s now hiring a full-time staff to sift through the wreckage – the failed strategies, the inaccurate polls, the reams of data—and find the most important lessons this election has to teach us.
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.”