After Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign launched an attack video against the President for his policy changes regarding welfare Tuesday, Obama’s camp swung right back Wednesday, blasting Romney’s welfare record in an attack spot of their own.
In yesterday’s ad “Right Choice,” Team Romney criticized President Obama for removing welfare-to-work requirements from the program enacted under former U.S. President Bill Clinton and reverting it back to “plain old welfare,” where work isn’t required to receive assistance. The ad also claims that Romney is and has been a supporter of Clinton’s welfare reform.
Obama’s counter-attack ad, “Dubious,” questioned the veracity of these allegations.
“Seen this ad? Mitt Romney claiming that the President would end welfare’s work requirements. NBC called it ‘dubious,’ and they’re right – it’s false,” the narrator laments.
“Dubious” also attacks Romney for trying to ease the work requirement himself a few years ago.
“In fact, Romney asked for even more flexibility when he was (Massachusetts) Governor.”
President Clinton responded to the Romney ad yesterday, issuing a statement that said Romney’s claims that Obama weakened the work requirements “is not true” and said he was especially disappointed in the ad’s misleading content.
“The recently announced waiver policy was originally requested by the Republican governors of Utah and Nevada to achieve more flexibility in designing programs more likely to work in this challenging environment,” he said.
“The Administration has taken important steps to ensure that the work requirement is retained and that waivers will be granted only if a state can demonstrate that more people will be moved into work under its new approach. The welfare time limits, another important feature of the 1996 act, will not be waived.”
Clinton also said Romney wanted to eliminate the time limit.
State Romney spokesperson Kate Meriwether said that no matter how the story is spun, Obama is undoing the work of President Clinton.
“It is a fact that President Obama is unilaterally dismantling the bipartisan welfare reform’s work requirement that has helped millions of Americans. Mitt Romney has a record of fighting to strengthen work requirements. As President, he will ensure that work is part of welfare.”
The 35-second spot notes that the Obama administration gives states additional latitude for making their own welfare provisions if and only if they move more people from welfare to work.
The clip ends with a link to the Obama camp’s new website, the Truth Team, a website that is to act as the campaign’s version of PolitiFact.com or FactCheck.org.