Gingrich Robocall: Romney Denied Kosher Food to Holocaust Survivors

Candidate says he's in the dark; spokesman confirms the calls

By Greg Wilson
|  Wednesday, Feb 1, 2012  |  Updated 5:43 PM EDT
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Gingrich Promises Long Nomination Fight

Robocall from Gingrich campaign claims Mitt Romney denied kosher food to Holocaust survivors.

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Gingrich Promises Long Nomination Fight

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A pro-Newt Gingrich robocall is accusing Mitt Romney of denying kosher food to Holocaust survivors while he was governor of Massachusetts.

The recorded message, which appears to be aimed at Florida's large Jewish population, apparently references a 2003 bill Romney vetoed which sought $600,000 in extra funding for Bay State nursing homes so they could prepare kosher food onsite, rather than have it brought in.

Here is a transcript of the call:

As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney vetoed a bill paying for kosher food for our seniors in nursing homes. Holocaust survivors, who for the first time, were forced to eat non-kosher, because Romney thought $5 was too much to pay for our grandparents to eat kosher. Where is Mitt Romney's compassion for our seniors? Tuesday you can end Mitt Romney's hypocrisy on religious freedom, with a vote for Newt Gingrich. Paid for by Newt 2012.

Although the robocall mirrors comments Gingrich made to the New York Post for an article that ran last week, Gingrich told CNN he had no knowledge of the robocalls. But his spokesman, R.C. Hammond, confirmed that the calls were made statewide on Tuesday, as primary voters went to the polls.

The issue first came to light when the Post reported on Friday that Romney's veto nixed "$600,000 in additional funds for poor Jewish nursing-home residents to get kosher meals." It was one of hundreds of line-items the then-governor vetoed.

Commentary magazine noted on Monday that the veto was ultimately overridden by the Legislature, and said Gingrich's commets have "little basis in reality."

"It's sad to see Speaker Gingrich lashing out in a desperate attempt to try and save his floundering campaign," Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said.

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