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Gingrich: Romney Vetoed Funding for Kosher Meals in 2003

JACKSONVILLE, Fla - There's a reason George Soros says there's "little difference" between having President Obama and Mitt Romney [1] in the White House [2], Newt Gingrich [3] said Monday, to a small but adoring crowd less than 24 hours before the state primary.

The candidate argued that, as with President Obama, Romney imposed unfair treatment towards religious groups in the implementation of his health care policies as governor. Gingrich has long argued that the Massachusetts health care plan is too similar to the Affordable Care Act for Romney to make a convincing case for his candidacy in the general election.

"Governor Romney imposed activities on the Catholic hospitals against their opposition religious institution, refused them to allow right of conscience in Romneycare. Just as, by the way, he eliminated serving Kosher food for elderly Jewish residents under Medicare," Gingrich said to an audience of about 50 people.Similarly, he said, "The Obama Administration is engaged in a war against religion. Their decision last week that they would impose on every Catholic institution, every Jewish institution, every Protestant institution, the Obamacare standard of what you have to buy as insurance. It is a direct violation of freedom of religion and an example of the increasingly dictatorial attitude of this administration."

The New York Post reported Friday that, as Massachusetts Gov. in 2003, Mitt Romney [1] vetoed $600,000 in additional funds for nursing home residents to get Kosher meals, which would have cost $5 per day because it would "unnecessarily" lead to an "increased rate for nursing facilities.""I was outraged," Jeffrey Goldshine, the retired CEO of a company that operated a kosher facility in Massachusetts, told the Post.

Romney's campaign fired back later on Monday, "It's sad to see Speaker Gingrich lashing out in a desperate attempt to try and save his floundering campaign. 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," said Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul. "His record is one of failed and unreliable leadership and simply one Americans can't risk."

Romney insiders also maintain that the former Massachusetts Gov. is staunchly pro-Israel, pointing to his promise to make his first trip as President to Israel in order to "repair the damage done to that relationship by President Obama." As well as proposing a "strong plan" to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, including increasing military assistance and coordination with Israel.

Gingrich said the similarities between Obama and Romney's policies is an indication why investor George Soros said he'd be okay with either one being in the White House.

In an interview with Reuters, Soros said, "Well, look, either you'll have an extremist conservative, be it Gingrich or Santorum, in which case I think it will make a big difference which of the two comes in. If it's between Obama and Romney, there isn't all that much difference except for the crowd that they bring with them."

Although Soros is an Obama ally and is in favor of higher taxes, he said it has been the White House's taxation policies that led "my hedge fund community to abandon Obama in favor of any Republican."

"I am a traitor to my class," Soros said when pressed about why he differed with his colleagues on his attitude towards taxation.

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