Huffpost Politics

Newt Gingrich 'Dumbfounded' By Obama's 'Extraordinary Victory' Over Mitt Romney

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In the aftermath of Barack Obama's victory over Mitt Romney in the presidential election, Newt Gingrich said it's time for the Republican party "to stop, take a deep breath and learn."

Gingrich reflected on the outcome of the contest during an appearance on NBC's "Today" on Monday.

The former House Speaker, who made a failed bid for the GOP presidential nomination earlier this year, said, "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."

In a Politico op-ed published online on Monday, Gingrich wrote, "For the conservative movement and the Republican Party to succeed in the future (and while they are not identical the two are inextricably bound together) we will have to learn the lessons of 2012." He explained, "An intellectually honest and courageous Republican Party has nothing to fear from the current situation."

Asked on "Today" about what he wrote, Gingrich said, "The great thing about elections is they belong to the American people." He added, "I was wrong last week, as was virtually every major Republican analyst. And so, you have to stop and say to yourself, if I was that far off, what do I need to learn to better understand America?"

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