Newt Gingrich: Rove's plan to save GOP is "terrible"

(CBS News) Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has been speaking out recently, claiming the automatic budget cuts set to take effect on March 1 might actually benefit what he calls a bloated federal government.

Gingrich also blasted top GOP strategists in an op-ed published by conservative magazine Human Events Wednesday and spoke to "CBS This Morning" about why GOP strategist Karl Rove is "plain wrong" on the path he is mapping out for the Republican Party.

Gingrich called Rove's plan to utilize so-called super PACs to protect the party from unpredictable candidates and broaden GOP appeal "very specifically ... a terrible idea."

"We don't want to become a party in which a handful of political bosses gather up money from billionaires in order to destroy the candidates they don't like," Gingrich said, explaining his opposition to Rove's strategy. "I think this is a very dangerous model ... last year we lost nine political races that we could have won. There's some very deep rethinking we need to do as a party, but it isn't gathering up more money by Washington consultants."

Gingrich insisted that campaign-finance reform is needed to "allow candidates to raise the money directly so the candidates can spend the money, and the rise of all these super PACs is very dangerous to the long-term health of our society."

Newt Gingrich: "We were wrong"

Turning his attention to the Republican shortcomings in the 2012 campaign, Gingrich stressed what he calls another "very core problem of the Republican Party."

"A lot of our consultants are frankly just kidding themselves about how big the gap is. The Obama campaign today is about eight years or 10 years ahead of the Republican Party in very fundamental effort to understand the country. This is a country which is in many ways younger, more Latino, more Asian-American, more African-American than Republican strategists are capable of dealing with.

"As a result," Gingirch added, "... We're going to be non-competitive at the presidential level. We're doing great with governors. We have 30 governors with 315 electoral votes, but we're not doing well at the presidential level."

The former speaker hopes that change will come from his heavy-handed critique, saying, "I hope first of all that the major donors will think long and hard before they turn lots of money over to consultants," and that the GOP will realize "the entire party has to be capable of reaching out to America ... and in providing better solutions than the Democrats provide. You can't just be an opposition party. You have to be a party that has a better alternative."

Watch Newt Gingrich's full interview with Gayle King and Charlie Rose in the player above

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