Gingrich denies knowledge of 'kosher' robocall
January 31st, 2012
03:06 PM ET
10 years ago

Gingrich denies knowledge of 'kosher' robocall

(CNN) - Newt Gingrich denied any knowledge of a robocall put out by his campaign Tuesday claiming rival Mitt Romney refused to fund kosher food for Holocaust survivors during his time as Massachusetts governor.

Gingrich's campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond confirmed the calls were going out statewide in Florida Tuesday. The call's claim that Romney vetoed a bill providing kosher meals to nursing home residents during his time as governor first arose Monday, when Gingrich cited a report from the New York Post.

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The robocall begins by saying: "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."

Gingrich's robocall then urges voters to cast votes for Gingrich, saying, "Tuesday you can end Mitt Romney's hypocrisy on religious freedom, with a vote for Newt Gingrich."

At a campaign stop in Plant City, Florida, Gingrich denied any knowledge of the robocall, despite his campaign claiming responsibility for it.

When asked if the call was "over the top," Gingrich said, "I have no idea what you're talking about."

When pressed, Gingrich said he wouldn't comment about the call since it was "something I don't know about."

Gingrich first made the claim about Romney's kosher food veto Monday, telling an audience in Jacksonville he read about the veto over the weekend.

The New York Post reported Friday on a veto Romney cast in 2003 that rejected "$600,000 in additional funds for poor Jewish nursing-home residents to get kosher meals."

The veto was one of hundreds of line-item vetoes Romney made as governor during a time of fiscal crisis in Massachusetts.

Responding to Gingrich's claims, Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul said the former speaker's campaign was growing increasingly desperate.

"It's sad to see Speaker Gingrich lashing out in a desperate attempt to try and save his floundering campaign," Saul said. "Speaker Gingrich will say anything to distract voters from the fact that he suffered an unprecedented ethics reprimand, was forced to pay a $300,000 penalty, and resigned in disgrace at the hands of his own party. His record is one of failed and unreliable leadership and simply one Americans can't risk."

CNN's Jim Acosta, Shawna Shepherd, Peter Hamby and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Also see:

Gingrich camp pulled in $5 million in January

Video: Mitt Romney sings

Gingrich sued for using 'Eye of the Tiger' in campaign

Florida primary 'the most negative campaign ever,' says media group

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Lee

    Newt spreading fear to the Florida Jewish Community today? I guess it is a bit too transparent to be done on any other day than the primary, with hopes he actually convinces some people of it before the truth squads debunk it.

    January 31, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  2. Jamie from Riverside

    I seem to remeber this fat piece of you-know-what pledging just a few weeks ago to not go negative.
    So he not only broke that pledge but today he's lying by professing not to know anything about the crazy calls that his own campaign has owned up to.

    January 31, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. longtooth

    The Romney camp response was not an answer. It was scripted doublespeak.

    January 31, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  4. Mike

    WOOOOO HOOOOOO Republican on Republican crime! These guys are showing hate for each other, I believe they will burn down the GOP before one or the other conceeds this race! In 2016 I hope the far right is still running this party!

    January 31, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  5. Myth Romney is soo Plastic and FAKE he makes Callista Gingrinch looks REAL

    Myth Romney DONT like JEWS!!!!

    Mormons DONT like JEWS too, so what's the big deal?

    Myth MorNEY is just living out his mormon faith!!!!!

    January 31, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. Ferret out the B.S.

    Did the Naziis serve kosher?

    January 31, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  7. Taran

    Newt, give it up. With all the baggage you have there is no way you could beat Obama in the general election. I'm not that fond of Romney, but even he would be a better president for this country than the one we have now.

    January 31, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  8. rush limballs

    lots of ammunition for when mitt faces Obama,so what if it is not true , Truth has never stopped Neocons , after all the ends justify the means

    January 31, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  9. Matt

    Someone get this clown out of the race. Newt you have lost all credibility...time to step aside.

    January 31, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  10. Scott in Atlanta

    It's fascinating to watch these two "allow the baby to be cut in half..."

    January 31, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  11. Eye of Newt

    Its super to see Newt completely melt down under the pressure of yet another political failure. Whatever shred of character he may have had is now completely gone.

    This kind of campaign is disgusting. Didn't Newt say he was going to run a clean campaign? I've got stuff on my shoe cleaner than Gingrich.

    January 31, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  12. John

    Newt Gingrich is a fat piece of garbage who tried to win over anti-Semites by talking about Saul Alinksy every chance he gets. Gingrich KNOWS that Americans don't know who Alinsky WAS, but they DO know a Jewish-sounding name when they hear one this obvious. (Alinsky was Jewish). If Gingrich wanted to speak out against Alinsky-style activism, he would have described Alinsky's methods, not just used his name like a weapon. Down with Gingrich. Back to your cave, Newt.

    January 31, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. Just make it up

    Ok, so Newt wants to shut down all government aid, and thinks people should work for what they get... and now he is upset that Romney vetoed aid? A little consistancy would help the Gingrich campaign, but he is desperate, and just swinging at anything. How much aid did Newt offer to his first wife when she had cancer? Why did he have to be taken to court to pay alimoney and child support... I know, he will say that is the past... don't bring up things from the past, it doesn't matter.... oh yeah... Mitt being governor of Mass is in the past... move onto real issues Newt,

    January 31, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. Vinney47SLC

    Didn't Newt criticize Romney pretty heavily about not knowing about his (Romney's) add about Gingrich calling Spanish "the language of the Ghetto"? And now he doesn't know his own add... continuous hypocrisy is all I see from Newt. From vowing to stay positive at the beginning but being downright nasty and vile now, to lying about having "witnesses lined up" to refute his xwife's claims while constantly bagging on others for "not telling the truth", to crucifying Clinton for his indiscretion while having his second extramarital affair with his second intern. Don't let Newt and Calista – proven adulterers – inhabit the white house with all their hypocrisy.

    January 31, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  15. Dan J

    Once again, Gingrich proves that he doesn't believe the same rules should apply to him. He can dish it out, but he sure can't take it. What does he think Obama will do in the general election, play nice?

    January 31, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  16. unsub

    open your eyes folks! Noot VOWED not to go negative! Now he is. not presidential quality

    January 31, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  17. AC

    They're both two out of touch idiots, that president OBAMA will have no problem beating this November. OBAMA 2012!

    January 31, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  18. Jules

    Slimeballs one and all.

    January 31, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  19. Cedar Rapids

    Another republican claiming to not know of something with their name on it, what a shocker.

    January 31, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  20. Grand Oil Party

    I wish I could be a fly on the wall the day Newt finds out he won't be POTUS. I bet he'll cry like a big baby.

    January 31, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  21. GI Joe

    He's too fat and ugly to be president. (didn't he tell his first wife she wasn't pretty enough to be a president's wife?)

    January 31, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  22. Voice of Reason

    Gingrich and Romney are two sleazy peas in a pod. They cant sling the mud fast enough. And to pretend that you have no idea your campaign is making robo-calls about (of all the stupid things) Kosher food??!

    This has gone beyond ridiculous. It's way past distasteful. We're into the sleazy season now. No-holds-barred, lie-through-your-teeth, scorched-earth SLEAZE. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the GOP of the future. Now scuse me, I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

    January 31, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  23. PM Ohio

    I thought that these people were against welfare anyway...I guess THEY get to pick and choose which ones are worthy? So poor inner-city kids aren't as worthy as old Jewish people for handouts?

    January 31, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  24. PM Ohio

    He's a liar, and a bad one, at that...

    Since Newt has never been "The Man", he hasn't had to make those tough choices someone like the POTUS or a Governor must make...He's always on the sideline criticizing the people who have (or had) to make the tough choices. How about Newt's choice to bounce 22 checks as Speaker of the House?

    January 31, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  25. Larry L

    Once again we can thank the conservatives on the Supreme Court for this situation. Old Newt can claim ignorance and they can say whatever they choose.

    January 31, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
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