Obama rebuts Romney ad with new ad
August 10th, 2012
06:00 AM ET
2 years ago

Obama rebuts Romney ad with new ad

(CNN) – President Barack Obama's re-election campaign countered Mitt Romney's controversial television ad about welfare with the release of its own commercial on Friday.

The new Obama ad, "Blatant," points to news media reports that debunk Romney's welfare-based attacks, labeling them inaccurate or "blatantly false."

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On Tuesday, the presumptive GOP nominee's campaign launched a TV ad that said the president had dramatically altered the federal welfare-to-work program by dropping the work requirement.

"Under Obama's plan, you wouldn't have to work and wouldn't have to train for a job. They just send you your welfare check," the narrator says in the ad. "And welfare to work goes back to being plain old welfare."

An independent fact-checking organization, PolitiFact, rated the claim as "Pants on Fire." And the Obama campaign, the White House and former President Bill Clinton all pounced on the Romney commercial, saying the claims were false and misleading.

The ad attacks a recent Obama administration directive that allows individual states-which have received a waiver from the Health and Human Services Department-to experiment with changes to the work requirements in their welfare programs. The intent, according to the directive, is to "challenge states to engage in a new round of innovation that seeks to find more effective mechanisms for helping families succeed in employment."

The program affected by the directive – the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) – was created by the bipartisan welfare reform law signed by Clinton in 1996. That measure was considered a win for conservatives, who long pushed for a provision that required work training for Americans receiving government assistance.

The Obama campaign particularly points to a provision in the new directive that governors must "move at least 20% more people from welfare to work" in exchange for more flexibility granted by the waiver.

Despite taking heat for the attacks, however, Romney continued on the offensive Wednesday.

"When it comes to the spirit of America, I want to restore the spirit of independence," Romney told a crowd at a campaign stop in Des Moines, Iowa. "I do not want to install a spirit of dependence on government. And that's the direction we're going."

The new Obama ad released Friday also highlights Clinton's response to the welfare charges. Tuesday night, the former president blasted out a statement, calling the allegations "not true."

"The Romney ad is especially disappointing because, as governor of Massachusetts, he requested changes in the welfare reform laws that could have eliminated time limits altogether," Clinton wrote, making reference to a 2005 letter signed by Romney and 28 other Republican governors to then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, calling for greater state flexibility in managing their welfare programs.

Obama's campaign said the 30-second spot will run in the battleground states of Colorado, Iowa, Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, and Virginia.

Responding to the ad Friday, Romney's campaign continued to argue that the Obama administration directive "dismantles" welfare reform.

“The facts are clear: President Obama's executive action dismantles welfare-to-work and undermines the very premise of bipartisan welfare reform. As president, Mitt Romney will immediately rescind the Obama executive action and ensure that work requirements are a part of welfare. On this issue, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama couldn’t be further apart," Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said in a statement.

– CNN's Paul Steinhauser, Kevin Liptak and Shawna Shepherd contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Ads • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. n

    Look America, Romney isn't wearing any clothes . . . again! :)

    August 10, 2012 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  2. aCriticalEye

    This election cycle is going to be particularly rough on the GOp/tea Nuts. The party of No is going to be the party of no-more. WHERE ARE THE TAX FORMS, Mr Mit Rollin-In-Money? Personally, besides paying a smaller percentage than almost everybody in this country, I believe Mittens didn't pay the Mormon Church the 10% he is directed to. Once the church finds out.....Mittens will be booted.

    the latest survey..... OBAMA by 7 (Priceless......)

    August 10, 2012 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  3. Marie MD

    The flip flopping campaign ads take a sentence or half truths or downrigh lies and go with it.
    All the Democrats really have to do is show this bully bishop back in 2004 and while he was governor and what he said and did and his thoughts then flip it (pun intended) against what he is saying and doing now. No ethics or conviction or morals. The guy doesn't know his right from his left hand and is a first class liar!

    August 10, 2012 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  4. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I guess no one really looked at what was going with the "Welfare to Work" rules. You'd figure that Romney would have people really research that. I guess that there are only ideologues working there.

    August 10, 2012 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  5. King

    I am tired of mitten taking lies as a viable means of attacking this president, but as soon as this president suoerpact stretches the the truth, the whole repubs minions and the media decend upon obama like locus. this man felt as if the heartless mitten taking his wife job, led to his wife death. this is his opinion, and he will propably go to his death beleiving this, fox entertainment news should grasp that because every thing they say out of their mouth is opinion.

    August 10, 2012 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  6. wgf

    "The intent, according to the directive, is to "challenge states to engage in a new round of innovation that seeks to find more effective mechanisms for helping families succeed in employment.""

    Hey, I thought the Republicans were all about states rights and local control. Oh, that's right, unless it's put forward by someone who is not a Republican. Then, whatever it is, must be a liberal attempt to impose socialism on our country and deprive us of our freedom. But don't worry GOP - you'll always have the freedom to be idiots.

    August 10, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  7. Here we go again

    Nothing more to add. I think the article says it all.
    Obama/Biden 2012

    August 10, 2012 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  8. Marcia Greenwood, IN

    You wonder why the President has come out so strongly negative-he watched Romney decimate and devour primary opponents with lies just like this lie about welfare-He needed to do it as Romney is willing to tell any lie,flip flop,etch a sketch to win so he can lower his taxes and his multimillionaire taxes while raising yours.

    August 10, 2012 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  9. Jules

    Glad the Obama people got that ad out. Romney will continue to lie and he should be called a liar every time.

    August 10, 2012 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  10. PaMom

    Obama can call his dismantling of the welface act anything he want. It is just buying votes from those who do not want to work or the so call educated who have no clue how economics work. Liberals do not see what is happening in socialized Europe, do no know history of socialized nations and are blind to where the WH amateur is taking this country. Taxing the rich more will not accomplish anything positive. I would not complain about removing the Bush tax cuts or more taxes if it applied to everyone. This administration detracts the public from the real problems with lies and gutter tactics.

    August 10, 2012 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  11. Jerubbaal

    Latest Fox poll, Obama 49 – Romney 40.

    August 10, 2012 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  12. jesse james. take them to street and shoot them like the dogs they are

    All rommney hood ads are lies. Release the tax returns ,but i think your sauce is cooked either way.

    August 10, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  13. rla

    The problem is that Obama and the dims are committed to socialistic ideals..... From immigration to SS the thought is how to give the dim voters more of my money and say to "THANK OBAMA" they are building a personality cult - So are we lemmings to go the this failed way or are thereenough Americans left to say NO

    August 10, 2012 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  14. zivo24

    As an Obama supporter, I'll be the first to admit that I'm disappointed in the tone and content of some of his ads.

    But, with that said, it's very disingenous for Romney to get his panties in a bunch over them considering he started running misleading attack ads to begin with. He completely took Obama's words out of context in the "You didn't build that" ads to the point that he was distorting what Obama said. Now he is completely mischaracterizing an Obama directive on welfare which is actually in response to what many govennors, including many republicans, have asked for.

    I wish we could get some real campaign reform and remove all the super pacs and 527s so that candidates could focus on telling us what their plans and goals are instead of attacking each other...but we voters are just as responsible for the negative politicking as any poitician is. Until we stop feeding on the negativtiy, they'll keep dishing it out to us.

    August 10, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  15. SMSUSAF

    This ad was true, and the News knows it.

    August 10, 2012 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  16. chill

    Romney is either incredibly dense or ethically challenged if he thinks the executive order ends the work requirement. The states must guarantee a 20% IMPROVEMENT in moving welfare recipients to jobs in exchange for flexibility on how they do it. What happened to states being the laboratories for government innovation? But he's using the GOP playbook of repeating a lie so many times enough gullible people will believe it. Maybe that's a clue that Bachmann will be the VP, eh?

    August 10, 2012 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  17. John

    The facts ARE clear, I can read very well thank you. The directive offers more flexibility to the States if they can achieve the same ends by different means. The GOP deniers are either stupid, deranged, or congenital liars.

    August 10, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  18. T'sah From Virginia

    In reality, this is all the President should do – rebut the lies coming from Romney and all of the president's ads will be positive!! There is enough out there on Romney where we don't have to LIE about anything – Come on "ad people" – don't take things out of context and tell the WHOLE STORY and not bits and pieces.... We can win the ad war just on that!!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!!

    August 10, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  19. JayneQP

    Well, if he didn't give PBO so much ammunition, for Pete's sake. What did Mr. Romney think was going to happen? Did he think that all of his skeletons would be ignored in an effort of the opposition to appear PC? No Sir, when you stain your laundry, it gets hung out to dry for all to see, don't blame the laundry hanger.

    August 10, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  20. American

    Good for President Obama to reveal Romney's lies about welfare reform he hypocritically supported himself as governor.

    President Obama 2012...truth matters

    August 10, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  21. VVVVVV

    It's not blatantly false because how the state changes their rules will be left up to the Obama administration in the future. Since they don't call out it false for Romney leading to off-shoring based on an assumption, they shouldn't call it false for Romney making an assumption.

    August 10, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  22. reginaldb6

    Romney is the father of lies every other word is a lie, he is secretive, and scarey lets not put him in the White House. If you thought Nixon was a secretive lier who brought us Watergate, Just think what a president Romney would keep from us and lie to us about because he is worst than Nixon.

    August 10, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  23. Ancient Texan

    The welfare reform bill (law) was written in such a manner that no future administration could do what Obama just did; take the WORK mandate out of it by Executive order. He wants the majority of Americans on welfare and/or disability in order to lock up the "dependent" vote and stay in power. There will be a lawsuit over this royal decree.

    August 10, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  24. ST

    Romney is finished. When your hear from Fair and Balanced Network that he is lagging far behind in their own polling, then you know the man has no more say. He was testing Americans way of thinking, and he has got the answer. They are more SMARTER than he thought they are.

    August 10, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  25. samvel

    Mr. Romney, I used to like you as a candidate. But your lies and spin is getting beyond control. You would say anything to get elected. I am paying 28% tax rate. You are paying less than 15? That's a Joke.

    August 10, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
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