Republican U.S. presidential candidate Newt Gingrich points before the start of the presidential debate in Mesa, Arizona, February 22, 2012.
Former House speaker Newt Gingrich won Georgia's Republican primary on Tuesday. REUTERS/Laura Segall

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In the midst of a book tour, former speaker of the House and 2012 presidential hopeful, Newt Gingrich, sat down with the "Today" show host Matt Lauer to discuss his thoughts on the resignation of David Petraeus, the recent election, and the impending "fiscal cliff."

Gingrich was most animated when Lauer grilled him about the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. In the weeks leading up to the poll, Gingrich had told Fox News that he expected an easy victory for Mitt Romney.

My personal guess is you'll see a Romney landslide, 53 percent-plus ... in the popular vote, 300 electoral votes-plus," he predicted.

In front of Lauer though, Gingrich admitted he would have been “dumbfounded” three weeks ago if you told him Romney, the Republican candidate for president, would receive fewer votes than Arizona Republican senator John McCain, who ran unsuccessfully in 2000.

Gingrich also praised the Obama for winning an extraordinary victory, and urged Republicans going forward to show him respect, by analyzing what Obama learned about the American people, to win their vote.

"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.'"

Gingrich struck a similar chord in a Politico Op-Ed that hit the web on Monday. In it, he concedes that the Republican party misjudged many characteristics of this year's election, though he doesn't feel there should be panic about the future of the GOP.

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 said in the Op-Ed.

Like Obama, Gingrich also spoke highly of former C.I.A. head David Petraeus, who stepped down last week after disclosing an extramarital affair. Gingrich said he still feels Petraeus is a great American patriot. In dealing with the impending "fiscal cliff," President Barack Obama, Gingrich told Lauer, should be able to hammer out an agreement with congressional Republicans if he comes to the bargaining table “sincere and willing to negotiate.”