WASHINGTON (JTA) — Newt Gingrich denied knowing of his campaign’s robocall to Florida voters that Holocaust survivors "were forced to eat non-kosher" because of Mitt Romney, CNN reported.
The Gingrich campaign did acknowledge being behind the robocall, according to Tuesday’s report.
"As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney vetoed a bill paying for kosher food for our seniors in nursing home," said the call reported by Shaun Daikin, an activist who seeks to stop the phenomenon of the automatic phone calls. "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."
Romney vetoed a bill in 2003 that aimed to cover cuts in state and federal funding that would have closed kosher kitchens in some facilities for the elderly. The nursing homes, meantime, had sought outside suppliers of kosher meals, and in the end the legislature overrode Romney’s veto.
There is no evidence that anyone who wanted a kosher meal went without or that Holocaust survivors would necessarily have been targeted by the measure.
The race between Romney and Gingrich, the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, turned increasingly bitter as the Republican presidential hopefuls vied for Jewish votes in Tuesday’s Florida primary, which Romney won by 15 percentage points.