Gingrich on Romney’s ‘gifts’ comments: ‘It’s nuts’

Dylan Stableford
The Ticket

Like several other prominent Republicans, Newt Gingrich slammed Mitt Romney's assertion in a conference call with donors last week that he lost the 2012 presidential election because of "gifts" President Barack Obama gave to blacks, Hispanics and younger voters during his first term in the White House.

"It's nuts," Gingrich told guest host Martha Raddatz on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday. "First of all, it's insulting. This would be like Wal-Mart having a bad week and going, 'The customers have really been unruly.' I mean, the job of a political leader in part is to understand the people. If we can't offer a better future that is believable to more people, we're not going to win."

[Related: Bobby Jindal calls Romney's 'gifts' comments 'absolutely wrong']

Last week, the former House Speaker admitted he was "dumbfounded" by Obama's victory--and Romney's poor performance at the polls.

"The president won an extraordinary victory," Gingrich said on NBC's "Today" show. "And the fact is we owe him the respect of trying to understand what they did and how they did it. 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."

But the disbelief soon turned to disillusion over Romney's divisive comments.

"I'm very disappointed with Governor Romney's analysis, which I believe is insulting and profoundly wrong," Gingrich said in an interview with KLRU-TV in Austin. "First of all, we didn't lose Asian-Americans because they got any gifts. He did worse with Asian-Americans than he did with Latinos. This is the hardest-working and most successful ethnic group in America--they ain't into gifts.

"Second, it's an insult to all Americans," he continued. "It reduces us to economic entities. You have no passion, no idealism, no dreams, no philosophy. If it had been that simple, my question would be, 'Why didn't you outbid him?' He had enough billionaire supporters, if buying the electorate was the key, he could have got all his super PAC friends together and said, don't buy ads, give gifts. Be like the northwest Indians who have gift-giving ceremonies. We could have gone town-by-town and said, 'Come here, let me give you gifts. Here are Republican gifts.' An elephant coming in with gifts on it."