Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Newt Gingrich's remarks about the Palestinians being an "invented" nation were not helpful.
Clinton was asked at a forum Wednesday on trade innovation whether she thought Gingrich's comments, made last week during a Republican presidential debate, were helpful.
"No, no," she said. "And I think he recognized that from what I read. I think he realized that was one of those innovative moments that happens in politics."
Gingrich, in fact, has since said that he stands by the remarks, but news media have quoted campaign officials as saying that he does not intend on making his claim an issue going forward.
Other candidates for the GOP presidential nod have attacked the remarks as incendiary.
Polls show Gingrich, a former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, as the front-runner in the Republican race.