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Newt Gingrich: GOP 'Misunderstood the American People'

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Almost a week after President Obama won re-election, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who challenged Romney for the 2012 GOP nomination earlier this year, said that Republicans “fundamentally misunderstood the American people.”

“The Republican doctrine of highly-paid consultants spending hundreds of millions of dollars in 30-second ads doesn’t build a party,” Gingrich told ABC’s Barbara Walters on The View. “There are a whole series of fundamental things really wrong.”

His sentiments reflect some larger in-fighting taking place within the GOP over the message and positions the party has taken over the past four years. Already, Republican leaders have moved towards softer positions on immigration reform as a way to appeal to the growing Hispanic population.

“This issue has been around far too long,” House Speaker John Boehner told ABC’s Diane Sawyer two days after the election. “A comprehensive approach is long overdue, and I’m confident that the president, myself, others can find the common ground to take care of this issue once and for all.”

“The Republican Party hasn’t done a great job, and should be ashamed of itself for not going after all Americans,” said Republican political observer J. Hogan Gidley, who was Rick Santorum’s former communications director during his presidential bid. “We can’t take any one group for granted and need to look for ways to appeal to black and Latino voters.”

So is Gingrich going to lead the way through a 2016 presidential bid?

“That’s my whole point,” Gingrich said, laughing off the idea. “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 ‘Ya know, those are folks I’m willing to trust with my future.’ We lost that.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio