Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was "dumbfounded" by last week's election, he told NBC's "Today" on Monday. 

“The president won an extraordinary victory, and the fact is we owe him the respect of trying to understand what they did and how they did it,” he said. “But if you had said to me three weeks ago that Mitt Romney would get fewer votes than John McCain [in 2008] -- and it looks like he will be 2 million fewer -- I would have been dumbfounded.”

In a Politico op-ed published Monday, Gingrich wrote that Republicans were wrong about turnout, message, and the makeup of the electorate and "must learn the facts of the 2012 election." 

Gingrich also argued that Republican leadership in Congress can't reject a good faith plan from President Obama to cut the deficit and avoid the looming fiscal cliff. “You can’t turn down a president who’s just won reelection if he’s sincere," he said.