Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mitt Romney Tried to Take Kosher Food Away From Holocaust Survivors in Massachusetts

The Florida Primary sure is getting ugly. Here's a robocall that Newt Gingrich is running (h/t memeo):

The Newt Gingrich campaign has a robocall out in Florida claiming that Mitt Romney once took kosher food away from Holocaust survivors.

The allegation made in the call, obtained by anti-robocall activist Shaun Dakin, is undoubtedly targeted at Florida's large Jewish and elderly populations.

The text 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.

The call is referencing Romney's veto of a 2003 bill. It came at a time that some nursing homes were considering eliminating their kosher kitchens during a period of budget cuts. Their plan was to instead bus in kosher food from other locations. The bill Romney vetoed would have given an additional $600,000 in funding to nursing homes, therefore making it possible for them to continue cooking kosher food on site.

Romney's campaign is countering that he was "practicing fiscal restraint during a time of fiscal crisis, " but I have this rule that only people who haven't aggressively worked to pass socialized medicine in their state as governor ever get to credibly claim that they were practicing fiscal restraint. If Romney wanted to practice fiscal restraint as governor, maybe he could have gone easy on the Holocaust survivors and just not passed a radical expansion of the entitlement state.

It's interesting, many Republican voters have made it clear that Ron Paul's position on Israel (which is actually to respect their sovereignty and allow them to defend themselves if necessary without having to beg Washington's permission first) is a non-negotiable for them because he would prefer to cut off Washington aid to them (as well as even more Washington aid to their enemies). But if Israel is your priority as a Republican primary voter, how do you feel about a candidate who wanted to "cut off aid" to elderly Jews living in our own country-- some of them Holocaust survivors-- by allowing kosher meal programs to go under.

Now is this a cheap shot by the Gingrich camp? Maybe. But if Ron Paul's views on Israel matter to so many Republican voters as they do, then I don't see why this isn't fair game too.




Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
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