CARROLLWOOD — In town to sign copies of his latest book, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich pointed to the outcome of the presidential election as proof that the Republican Party needs to change.
"It was a very sobering night for those of us who supported Gov. (Mitt) Romney," Gingrich said. "We need to really rethink things from the ground up."
Gingrich and his wife, Callista, signed copies of their books Saturday afternoon at the Barnes and Noble on North Dale Mabry Highway. Callista Gingrich recently released her second children's book, Land of the Pilgrims' Pride, which is ranked eighth on the New York Times bestseller list for children's picture books. Newt Gingrich promoted copies of his book Victory at Yorktown. It's the third in a series of fictional Revolutionary War history books co-written by William R. Forstchen.
After the event, the couple took questions from the media about the re-election of President Barack Obama.
"Obama and his team have a much better sense of where the country is at," Newt Gingrich said. "You have to give Obama and his team credit for understanding very profound things that the Republicans didn't."
Why Romney lost is something he plans to look into, he said. Gingrich recently launched a project aimed at the matter and hopes to have some answers in the coming months.
"It's something that is institutional, not Romney specific," he said.
Ed Langer, 54, of Carrollwood, headed to the book signing Saturday for a chance to meet a fellow history buff. Langer teaches history at Buchanan Middle School in Lake Magdalene.
"It's not often you get to meet someone who is at the top of my profession," he said.
Harold Shaw, 17, was one of the youngest people at the event. The Wharton High student spent the summer interning with the Romney campaign and developed an interest in politics, so an opportunity to meet Newt Gingrich intrigued him, he said.
Shaw purchased Newt Gingrich's book and posed for a photo with the couple, but don't expect it to be printed and framed like some of the other attendees planned to do.
"I'll probably put it on Facebook," he said.
Shelley Rossetter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 661-2442.