(The Blaze/AP) Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich says he is being factually accurate when he calls the Palestinians an "invented" people and says they are the creation of anti-Israel propaganda.
Gingrich's chief rival for the presidential nomination, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, says the former House speaker had made a mistake in the description and has made it more difficult for Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate toward peace.
"That was a mistake, on the speaker's part," Romney said during Saturday's debate of the interview with The Jewish Channel.
"The United States should not jump ahead of Bibi Netanyahu and say something that makes it more difficult for him to do his job," he added. Romney said the United States should allow both sides to talk without signaling a preference.
Gingrich responded to the criticism by saying he is speaking as a historian but adds that it's time for a candidate to stand up to misinformation.
“Somebody ought to have the courage to tell the truth. These people are terrorists,” he said. “It’s fundamentally time for somebody to have the guts to stand up and say, ‘Enough lying about the Middle East.’”
Rough Youtube video of the GOP candidates discussion on Israel Saturday night: