Gingrich to assist Romney with welfare charge
August 7th, 2012
09:47 PM ET
2 years ago

Gingrich to assist Romney with welfare charge

Elk Grove Village, Illinois (CNN) – They were fierce rivals during the Republican primary campaign, but now Newt Gingrich is preparing to wade into the debate over changes to welfare on behalf of Mitt Romney.

Gingrich – who suggested to senior Romney advisers they take on the welfare issue - has been asked to participate in a conference call on behalf of the Romney campaign, expected to take place Wednesday, according to a Gingrich source. He will also do a number of television interviews and will write an op-ed in a conservative publication to buttress Romney's position.

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For weeks, Romney has been utilizing a campaign narrative about President Barack Obama that resembles the claims Gingrich made when he was running for president.

Recently, Romney has described Obama as a president of government dependency, having seized upon the president's "didn't build that" partial quote about small businesses. And on Tuesday, Romney's campaign released a new television ad hitting Obama for changes to welfare, saying under the president's plan, "you wouldn't have to work and wouldn't have to train for a job. They just send you your welfare check."

Later in the day, at a campaign event at Acme Industries in the Chicago suburbs, Romney said he would "end a culture of dependency and restore a culture of good hard work."

"There is nothing better than a good job to help lift a family, to allow people to be able to provide for themselves and to end the spread of a culture of dependency. We must include more work in welfare," he added.

Gingrich waged similar attacks throughout his campaign, which came to an end on May 1. He often referred to Obama as the "food stamp president," backing the claim by stating that more Americans were on food stamps now than at any other time in history as a result of the high unemployment rate.

The Obama administration announced in July it was making changes to allow states greater flexibility in administering their welfare-to-work program, which Republicans argued amounted to a "gutting" of work requirements for welfare recipients. The work requirements were a central element of the bipartisan welfare reform law signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996.

Gingrich, who as speaker of the House helped get the landmark legislation passed in Congress, suggested the Romney campaign use the welfare changes to attack the president in part because it could also drive a deeper wedge between Obama and Clinton.

The Romney ad released Tuesday highlighted Clinton's achievement, and claims Obama's directive would "gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements."

The Romney campaign's coordination with Gingrich - and co-opting his primary campaign message - suggests the Romney campaign will continue hitting Obama on these issues, despite the president's campaign and outside groups questioning the veracity of the claims.

The independent fact checking group Politifact rated the Romney welfare ad "Pants on Fire" Tuesday, calling the claim that the government will just "send a welfare check" a "drastic distortion" of the government's proposed changes.

Speaking on a conference call Tuesday organized by Obama's campaign, Clinton's former chief of staff John Podesta said Romney's campaign was using his former boss' welfare legislation in a misleading way.

"I'm always happy when people embrace the new Democratic policies of Bill Clinton, I just wish they'd tell the truth when they do that," Podesta said.

He added that he had spoken to Clinton Tuesday about the Romney ad and that the former president "completely agrees with my analysis of this."

The campaign theme wasn't the only way Romney was echoing Gingrich on the trail Tuesday. In responding to Obama's charge that he's the "opposite of Robin Hood," Romney even borrowed part of an attack line Gingrich lobbed at him during a presidential debate in New Hampshire. Remember "pious baloney?"

The lunch meat resurfaced as a campaign metaphor Tuesday, when Romney called the president's attacks on him "Obamaloney."

Later in the day, Romney used it again, saying: ""So when the president of the United States says if you have a business you didn't build it someone else did that I say baloney."

CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Logic N LA

    The hypocracy of this campaign is astounding! Romney LOVES everybody now. and, it appears all his critics love him.
    At least in 2008, hillary and Barack were civil enough that they could rely on one another.

    August 7, 2012 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  2. Marty, FL

    Another "Pants on Fire" lie from Romney. Disappointing.

    The fact is Romney supported the same kind of reform Pres. Obama just implemented to allow states to enact their own welfare-work programs.

    Where is the reporting please and accountability of Romney's hypocrisy?

    August 7, 2012 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  3. springthecat

    Will they tackle the welfare issue before or after they jail the Supreme Court?

    August 7, 2012 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  4. A conservatave with brains

    Gingrich's personal life is a train wreck. He's had affairs and actually divorced one wife because she wouldn't join him in three-way sex with a woman who was to become his next wife. His professional life is no better. He was bounced out of the job of Speaker of the House for ethics violations, and if it had not been for expensive lawyers, he would have gone to jail. If I was Romney, I'd steer clear of this guy. Those conservatives that are teetering on whether or not to vote for Romney may very well be scared off by Gingrich.

    August 7, 2012 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  5. ptny

    I haven't read it yet. In your wildest dreams would I listen to Newt's opinion before reading it myself? NEVER!

    August 7, 2012 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  6. ksmary

    Republicans are for state's control over federal dollars they get unless that is recommended by a Democrat. The Republicans want to give block grants for Medicaid to the states for their control. How is that different from giving states the right to set the 'welfare to work' plans for their states? I guess giving states more local control only applies if a Republican does it.

    August 7, 2012 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  7. Pete

    Gingrich,remember him,the guy that said if he were president he'd have kids doing janitors work so they'd know what work is like.Gingrich,like Romney is the reason women want contraceptive devises available at all times..The longer this campaign goes on the more alienated the hypocrital republicans will be and who knows where this party will be in the future.Teabaggers saying one thing but crying about another,their illiteracy,ignorency shows and doesn't make it all better,just a party that is being made too extreme for most intelligent voters that's all.More and more republicans are disenfranchised with the extremism and lack of so called respect,patriotism shown for this president and this country,so they're leaving in droves not wanting to be associated with such treasonistic agendas made public by these new age candidates that are hell bent on destroying this country at any cost to make a statement.Republicans know their party isn't what it used to be and should try and fix it but are too caught up in the political hoopla that will eventually kill a once proud party to do anything about it,its too far gone,it might go extinct if it doesn't get an injection of new intelligent,patriotic blood,the choice is yours,its that simple,fix it and exist or run it like now and it'll go extinct....

    August 7, 2012 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  8. Hillcrester

    Amazing how scared Romney is. Bring on Gingrich–independent voters hate him. Who's next? Bachmann pimping for Romney on foreign affairs?

    August 7, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  9. ObamaCares

    Sounds like dog a dog whistle. Dumb newt has tried that dumb strategy. Dumber Millard is getting desperate.

    August 7, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  10. 1crusader

    These welfare attacks against the president have been rated house on fire lies by independent fact-checkers, and have a bigoted tone.Romney's Ohio military voters flap is also one big lie.This man is very dishonest, untrustworthy; and has conducted himself in a way that is beneath the dignity of the presidency.He has a problem with honesty.His whole campaign and political life is a sham.

    August 7, 2012 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  11. lloyd spearman

    Hear me out first it was George W. Bush and republican that put more people on welfare then ever before so for anybody to point fingers at President Obama and label this president as a foodstamp president no lets not get it twisted truth is George W. Bush is the true foodstamp president if we go back to Bush era taxes / policies we will truly see who put people on foodstamps democrats don't not let this happen fight back please don't let this happen fight back put the truth out there!!!!!!!!! Now who is or was the real foodstamp George W. Bush and the republican are job killers = foodstamp the nerve of Mr Gangrich :-)

    August 7, 2012 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  12. drake mallard

    GOP working with Corp America have made us a Food Stamp Nation

    We know all too well that the rich will be in line again demanding bailouts.”

    RICH = BAILOUT POOR=WELFARE

    Such a stereotypical claim by Newton. So I guess if Newt becomes multi-adulterer

    August 7, 2012 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  13. mmad5camp

    This is just sweet, you get the biggest government welfare queen to suggest that the President is now giving out welfare. I wonder how much Newt charged for this speech?

    August 7, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  14. Recipe for Race-Baiting: Two Loads Of Crap and An Eye of Newt

    Just when I thought Romney couldn't stoop any lower, he has decided to sink to the depths of his good old pal race-baiting Newt. You Republicans should be so proud of your candidate now. Good job Romney, way to sling mud with the slimiest of all candidates. It was your good friend Newt who declared that he was going to get black people to stop asking for food stamps and start asking for jobs. Be careful while you're slinging this crap, though, because a lot of your base voters are using these food stamps to survive. We wouldn't want to upset our military Veteran voters who are barely surviving on food stamps and VA benefits, would we? We wouldn't want to upset our friends in Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, Kentucky, and South Carolina who regularly use food stamps and regularly vote Republican, would we?

    Please keep using the "pants on fire" campaign tactics of your losing opponent Newt Gingrich. They worked so well for Newt that you may as well trot out the same lying bunch of horse crap and lose just like Newt did.

    August 7, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  15. DAVID

    newt just does not get it! you have been told again to go home go fishing and keep quite! i of cource as a democrat i hope he is seen alot and heard alot with and about mittens because it makes me smile even more than i am now!

    August 7, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  16. T'sah From Virginia

    ►Gingrich to assist Romney with [THE] welfare [LIE] charge◄
    Because he FORGIVES Romney for lying about him – it was just a mirage
    Do the Republicans really believe that the American people will forget what went on during the nasty primary?
    When everything that was said about everyone was the Truth and NOW they want us to believe it’s the contrary

    It’s not going to happen and it will all backfire – WAKE UP AMERICA!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    August 7, 2012 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  17. Dan

    I think there should be a law that eliminates any ad that is rated Pants on Fire. With the Supreme Court releasing super pacs and all these political ads in Ohio, I can only assume that all ads are false and miss leading. There needs to be some truth in advertising, even polititions should have some morals.

    August 7, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  18. WeR4Freedom

    Obama is made up of baloney! Tired of his failed promises that he "forgot he said" when running to be our president! Obama = Foney Baloney!

    August 7, 2012 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  19. ozonator

    Those charges must stem from Mitt-witt's love of welfare to ExxonMobil, Koch brothers, Looter Limbaugh, and the NRA

    August 7, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  20. Mack

    Hey Mitt maybe you and the other "job creators" can hire them....oh yeah you only hire overseas

    August 7, 2012 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  21. SafeJourney

    The welfare reform is for the states to have more say in getting people on welfare back to work., Even Romney requested it when he was governor. Another lie for romney. Thats right romney, get up on stage with one of the most corrupt and moraly bankrupt people , Newt,

    August 7, 2012 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  22. 1twinsfan

    Careful, there Mittens. A lot of code talking going on here. And that good, hard work you speak of is done when people can get jobs. Why don't you press Congress to get its' behind in gear and pass some of the President's proposals? Oh yeah, because they're now on vacation and you're spineless Mitt Romney.

    August 7, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  23. dkp

    O boy...adding Gingrich to Romney's campaaign is the best thing to happen to the dems! Just look at the current electro votes or read the current issue of Newsweek!

    August 7, 2012 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  24. Melo-D

    Oh boy! That will give Willard a big boost. Who knows more about welfare than the guy with a miillion dollar Tiffanies account. Go home Newt! No one wants to hear your garbage.

    August 7, 2012 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  25. g

    Romney's campaign has just slid down into the gutter and seeped into the sewage with this blatant race-baiting tactic to divert attention from Romney's offshore accounts, alleged tax evasion, and his refusal to release his tax returns. Romney is desperately trying to change the national conversation away from the allegations of him not pay federal income taxes for ten years by feuling bigotry and hatred with the anecdote of the "Welfare Queen" that has gendered and racial connotations.

    So when Romney claims that welfare recipients are receiving tax-free cash income while the gainfully employed are receiving paychecks minus taxes, Americans should think of all the corporate subsidies, corporate bailouts, and overseas tax havens that people like Mitt Romney enjoy.

    August 8, 2012 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
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