Gingrich: Hispanic support needed to make GOP ‘competitive’ in 2016

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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said President Obama’s reelection Tuesday night will prompt Republicans to be more inclusive of Hispanics if they hope to be competitive in 2016.

Gingrich said some GOP leaders — including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — have already been on the forefront of bringing Hispanic voters into the GOP fold.


Speaking on CNN, Gingrich said Republicans should ask if they wanted to "in a disciplined way, create a schedule and a program to include people who are not traditionally Republican in order to grow a party that by 2016 is competitive?”

Early exit polls showed Obama winning the Hispanic vote by 40 points this year, with 69 percent support to 29 for GOP candidate Mitt Romney. That figure bested Obama's 2008 percentage, when he won 67 percent to then-GOP nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) at 31 percent among the fast-growing demographic group in the country.

Gingrich said that Republicans would need to offer more than token gestures to attract Hispanic voters.

“I think you can build a program that is very appealing and very inclusive,” Gingrich said. “And just for our audience let me say, the difference between outreach and inclusion is outreach is when five white guys have a meeting and call you. Inclusion is when you are in the meeting.”

Gingrich said Republican analysts will also have to take a look at their metrics in determining political trends, after many on the right predicted a Romney win Tuesday night.

“I was wrong,” Gingrich said. “I think you will find that — whether it is Michael Barone or Karl Rove or the whole lot of us — we all thought we understood the political pattern and the fact that with this level of unemployment, with this level of gasoline prices, what would happen.”

But while the president won reelection with more than 300 Electoral College votes, Republicans also retained control of the House. With negotiations set for the lame-duck session to avert impending tax increases and spending cuts, Gingrich said both parties received mandates Tuesday night.

“Barack Obama’s majority goes as far as the White House,” he said. “And under our constitutional system to get it to work, it is going to have to be an immense amount of mutual work by both parties.”