Orlando, Florida — When Mitt Romney was governor, he vetoed a bill to increase funding for nursing homes that were considering saving money by closing their kosher kitchens and bringing in food from off-site for residents who keep kosher. Yesterday, Newt Gingrich said that Mitt Romney “eliminated serving kosher food for elderly Jewish residents under Medicare”; at Commentary, Alana Goodman examined the claim in detail and found it more than a little dubious:
Romney’s decision was not, as Gingrich claims, a choice to “eliminate kosher food for elderly Jewish residents under Medicare.” First of all, it was a choice made by the nursing homes themselves, not the Massachusetts government. Second, it was never actually going to prevent kosher residents from accessing kosher food. And third, Romney’s decision wouldn’t have cut anything – he simply vetoed additional funds, keeping funding at the status quo during a budget crisis year. Which means Gingrich’s comments have little basis in reality.
Today, we learn that the Gingrich campaign is robocalling Florida voters with a recording that says:
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.
Again, no one was ever “forced to eat non-kosher,” and invoking the Holocaust for a dishonest political attack is more than a little distasteful.