Poor strategy and questionable consulting choices cost Republicans at least nine Senate seats in the last election, says former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Gingrich told “CBS This Morning” Wednesday the losses came because GOP strategists failed to respond to the changing demographic landscape.
He said President Barack Obama's campaign was “eight, maybe 10 years ahead” of the Republican Party when it came to understanding how the American electorate was changing.
“You can't just be an opposition party,” said Gingrich. “You have to be a party that has a better alternative."
Democrats, Gingrich said, have accepted and adapted to voters who are “in many ways younger, more Latino, more African-American, than Republican strategists are capable of dealing with."
In an op-ed piece published in the weekly conservative newspaper Human Events, Gingrich also criticized former presidential adviser Karl Rove's new super PAC, Conservative Victory Project, saying it is “repugnant” for Rove to use the PAC against Republican candidates he doesn't think are fit for a general election race.
“I am unalterably opposed to a bunch of billionaires financing a boss to pick candidates in 50 states,” Gingrich wrote. “This is the opposite of the Republican tradition of freedom and grassroots, small-town conservatism. No one person is smart enough, nor do they have the moral right, to buy nominations across the country.”
Rove's efforts are also being criticized by other conservatives and tea party activists, who say he should not determine who runs for office. Rove, however, counters that other groups have put millions of dollars behind tea party candidates, including Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Florida's Marco Rubio, the Washington Times reports.
Rove said his PAC was launched to prevent further Republican losses in the wake of the November election, when candidates like Todd Akin of Missouri and Richard Mourdock of Indiana damaged the party's reputation.
Gingrich says Rove's explanation of his PAC effort doesn't make any sense because it doesn't address GOP losses in other states last year.
“Republicans lost winnable Senate races in Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida,” Gingrich wrote in his op-ed for Human Events. “Of the losing races, the Rove model has no candidate-based explanation for failure. Our problems are deeper and more complex than candidates.”
Spending millions to weed out candidates won't help the party, he concluded.
“Handing millions to Washington-based consultants to destroy the candidates they dislike and nominate the candidates they do like is an invitation to cronyism, favoritism and corruption,” he said.
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