CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich arrived here early this week for the Republican National Committee's winter meeting prepared to dole out advice to a party struggling to find its way after a tough electoral loss three months ago.
His first piece of guidance: Stop sending a poor sap to go mano a mano with the leader of the free world.
"Any time you get one person taking on the president of the United States, the one person is going to lose," Gingrich told reporters at the conference before his talk. "The presidency is too big a system, they have too big a pulpit. I couldn't by myself take on Clinton. But when we got every House Republican to understand Medicare as an issue, we could win the issue in 1996. It's a little bit of Gulliver and Lilliput. When you have enough Lilliputians, you start winning."
In the most recent iteration, one can assume that President Barack Obama is Gulliver the giant and House Speaker John Boehner the lone, tiny Lilliputian—one who has been the face of the party during intense negotiations with the president.
But Gingrich said that only through unity and a focused vision can Republicans win a battle with the president. He suggested sharpening the party's message to key issues, while holding House hearings focused on government waste, "specific scandals" and "better ideas that have been blocked by government."
Gingrich added: "They have not yet developed a single message over time, and they haven't used all of their assets. It's very doable."
On Thursday he will address a private meeting with the RNC for a discussion on how Republicans can recraft their message for the public and take on Obama as one.