Gingrich: GOP needs to be "inclusive"

Newt and Callista Gingrich waves to the audience at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida, on August 30, 2012 on the final day of the Republican National Convention (RNC).
AFP/ Stan Honda

In the aftermath of Mitt Romney's presidential loss last week, Newt Gingrich is joining the cadre of Republicans calling for the Republican Party to more actively reach out to a more diverse electorate, arguing on Monday that the party needs to become more "inclusive."

"I think we need to be inclusive, and I emphasize the difference between inclusive and outreach," Gingrich said Monday morning in an appearance on ABC's "The View." "Outreach is when five white guys have a meeting and call you. Inclusive is when you're in the meeting. And I think we have to understand to be inclusive."

Gingrich, who was joined by his wife Callista on the show, argued that Republicans had "misunderstood the American people" in 2012, and that the GOP can't just wait until 2016 to try to broaden its reach.

"The Republican doctrine of highly paid consultants spending hundreds of millions of dollars on 30-second ads doesn't build a party," he said. "The Republican Party better not wait until 2016. The Republican Party better rethink in 2013 how we're going to deal with the country's issues and do it in a way that the average American looks up and says, you know, those are folks I'm willing to trust with my future. We lost that."

He added that "there were a whole series of fundamental things that were really wrong" with how the GOP framed the 2012 election, including the fact that the Obama campaign so successfully appealed to non-white voters.

"Obama, for example, very intelligently [started] to advertise on Univision and Telemundo months and months before the election, setting a framework," Gingrich said. But, he pointed out, the president didn't just win the Latino vote: Romney lost the Asian-American vote by an even bigger margin.

"We need to stop, take a deep breath, and learn," Gingrich said on a separate appearance on NBC's "Today." "The president won an extraordinary victory. And the fact is we owe him the respect of trying to understand what they did and how they did it."

He added: "But if you had said to me three weeks ago, 'Mitt Romney would get fewer votes than John McCain and it looks like he'll be 2 million fewer,' I would have been dumbfounded."