Video of the Day: Gingrich, or Somebody, Plays the Kosher Card

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A last-minute robocall attacks Mitt Romney over funding cuts for kosher meals for elderly Massachusetts residents.

Forget an October surprise: here's a nasty little primary day surprise for the Romney campaign. As voters go to the polls in Florida, which has one of the largest Jewish populations in the country, some of them are getting a robocall. You can listen above, or here's the text, via our colleagues at The Atlantic Wire:

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.

Here's the background: the New York Post reported Friday that as governor of Massachusetts, Romney rejected a proposal to fund kosher meals for poor Jewish residents of nursing homes. A spokesman said the veto was essential for fixing the state budget, but it's gone over predictably badly since being dredged up.

The call, snagged here by the Huffington Post, says it's paid for by Newt 2012, but it's hard to tell for sure. Gingrich campaign staffers are refused to comment to The Atlantic or anyone else about it, and -- unlike TV ads -- robocalls don't require the familiar, "I'm so-and-so, and I approve this message" disclaimer. With Romney showing a double-digit lead in polls, the call is unlikely to change the outcome, but it's another footnote to an acrimonious nomination campaign.

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David A. Graham

David Graham is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Politics Channel. He previously reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National.

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