Republican U.S. presidential candidate Newt Gingrich inserted himself into the long-running controversy about whether religious groups should be allowed to hold services in New York City public schools, and accused Mayor Michael Bloomberg of being “anti-religious.”
Gingrich made his comments on Friday in a speech to a coalition of religious leaders in Las Vegas ahead of Nevada’s Republican presidential caucuses on Saturday, as he tried to boost support among the state’s social conservatives.
His speech, held at Nevada’s largest non-denominational church and also webcast, was heavy on rhetoric against what the former U.S. House of Representatives speaker called “secular intellectuals.”
The Nevada caucuses mark the fifth contest in the state-by-state competition for the Republican presidential nomination to face President Barack Obama, a Democrat, in the Nov. 6 election. Polls show Gingrich far behind front-runner Mitt Romney in Nevada.