Romney doubles down on welfare charge
August 8th, 2012
02:47 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney doubles down on welfare charge

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - Mitt Romney hammered President Barack Obama Wednesday over his administration's changes to welfare, despite calls from Democrats that the Republican White House hopeful is distorting the president's position on the issue.

For the second day in a row, Romney continued to highlight - in ads, web videos and speeches - how when President Bill Clinton signed the bipartisan welfare reform bill into law in 1996, then-Illinois State Senator Obama opposed it.

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"Back at that time, then Senator Obama was opposed to putting work together with welfare," Romney said Wednesday during a campaign speech in Des Moines. "Just a few days ago, he put that original intent in place. With a very careful executive action he removed the requirement of work from welfare. It is wrong to make any change that would make America more of a nation of government dependency."

Romney neglected to mention that Obama had changed his position since then. When he ran for president in 2008, Obama said he supported the landmark legislation that required work training for Americans receiving government assistance.

"It worked better than I think a lot of people anticipated," Obama said at Pastor Rick Warren's Saddleback forum four years ago. "And one of the things that I am absolutely convinced of is that we have to have work as a centerpiece of any social policy. Not only because, ultimately people who work are going to get more income. But the intrinsic dignity of work, the sense of purpose."

In July, the Obama administration issued a directive allowing states to receive waivers that would let them alter their work requirements for welfare recipients. While the purpose of the directive was to give states more flexibility in enforcing the welfare-to-work program, Republicans have argued the directive was a veiled attempt to remove the requirement for work.

Romney's campaign especially hammered Obama over the issue in a new ad released Tuesday, which claims the new policy would "gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements."

"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 continues. "And welfare to work goes back to being plain old welfare."

But Obama's campaign, the White House, former President Clinton, and an independent fact-checking organization have called the ad's claims false. The administration points to a provision in the adjusted policy that requires states to increase the number of recipients going into the workforce by 20% in exchange for the waiver.

"Governor Romney released an ad today alleging that the Obama administration had weakened the work requirements of the 1996 Welfare Reform Act. That is not true," Clinton wrote in a statement Tuesday night, adding that the Obama administration had taken steps to ensure work requirements for welfare recipients were maintained.

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Mitt Romney
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Please Keep Lying, Your Religion Is Showing

    If Mitt Romney just keeps on piling up lie after lie, people are going to start to wonder just how a man who claims to be a faithful servant of God can lie so easily and so often. People will begin to wonder and start to question why a supposed Christian would so easily and so often break God's sacred commandments. Mitt Romney wants in the White House so bad that he's willing to say anything.

    In 2005, Romney signed a letter requesting waivers from federal welfare work requirements. Today he is attacking Obama for implementing the policy he requested. Romney gave free cars to welfare recipients and paid their insurance and bought them AAA memberships on the Massachusetts taxpayers' money. Republican states want federalism that Obama grants to them, and Mitt Romney comes unhinged. Is it irony that Utah is involved in this?

    Even if you are a Republican, you have to admit that Mitt Romney's lies are getting more frequent, more blatant, more revealing, and more desperate, and you have to wonder: Why does this guy lie so easily?

    It's something that Mormons advocate and is indoctrinated into them from the time the are very young. It's called Lying for the Lord. Google it. It a tenet of the Mormon faith that Mormons think gives them to the right to tell you a bald-faced lie, so long as it's a lie that somehow furthers the Mormon cause.

    Creepy and disgusting.

    August 8, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  2. Bill

    Nice try, Mittens. No wedge issue here, no matter how much you and Karl Rove want there to be one. Next.

    August 8, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  3. Debra from Georgia

    This man is the biggest liar I know. How can anyone run against such a lying machine.

    August 8, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  4. Luke,AZ

    Gov. Romney is not presidential material. Your father showed 12 years of tax returns. You are hiding from the American people important information concerning your finances. What are you afraid of?

    August 8, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    'Pants on fire' is not a big enough lie for Mittens? Now he doubles down to get a 'double pants on fire lie?' Even Rasmussen has acknowledged that Mittens has dropped 4 points in their right wing tracking poll in three days. Mittens should resign for the sake of what is left of the birther bagger party.

    August 8, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  6. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of OBAMA FAILURE

    Obama loves welfare. It made him the man he is today. As a community organizer I'm sure he got a lot of people on welfare. As President, he's made it his goal to put us ALL on welfare.

    August 8, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. Lilli

    This independent is tired of Mitt Romney's lies!!!! The man has no shame!!

    August 8, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  8. Darryl

    I feel sorry for Romney, he runs around the country like a High School guy mad about stupid stuff. He always changes his mind about everything. And he lies. The Republican Party is really going to have to accept the picked the wrong man to lead their cause. The ads really don't matter. The speeches do matter and Pres. Obama is the best at it. There is nobody in the opposition that can come close to match this President as far as that.

    August 8, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  9. Woman In California

    Willard sure is having a hard time beating "the worst president in history" and on that logic, you would wonder why he's not ahead. Since he's never been ABLE to do anything without bullying, cheating and lying he's behind and is growing increasingly paranoid with every statement he makes. For a "community organizer", the president sure has this "businessman" on the ropes, and every minute he spends trying to create distraction (VP pick, welfare) the president is closer to another four years. Thanks republicans for picking the worst candidate money can buy.

    August 8, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  10. Name Nov 6

    This, believe is no longer a campaign about choice or policies but one about principles. I believe that if Romney wins running the kind of campaign that he is running then America will have lost that one thing that sets them apart from the rest of the world. That core belief that those seeking higher office must prove themselves to be worthy. That trust goes both ways and if you ask people to trust you so they can take a chance on you; that you can trust them. There are so many things wrong with Mitt's campaign aand the biggest problem is secracy and that says a lot about. A man's character...

    August 8, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  11. David

    This claim was already dubbed a pants on fire lie by independent analysts, doubling down on a lie, really? Release your taxes.

    August 8, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. jefflz

    Romney prefers to give handouts and subsidies to the very wealthy rather than help folks who are struggling to make ends meet, or who are too sick to work. This summarizes his whole "let them eat cake" philosophy. By the way, Mitt isn't this why you are afraid to show your returns? You don't want people to see how much of a federal tax subsidy you have been getting for years on end. You are a hypocrite beyond belief.

    August 8, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "And "doubling down" makes alexithymic Mitt "double stupid""

    Indeed...this is why Deputy Doublethink will lose the election. I'm gonna stick with my prediction that it is in the bag for Obama by mid- to late- September. Of course, that will mean that Deputy Doublethink has to come up with the mother of all "October Suprises"...which I bet backfires horribly. He could feasibly be holding the ole tax returns until then, release them and prove everyone wrong and that he did pay "lots of taxes" (even though he carefully avoids saying "lots of income taxes"), but I doubt that's true and seriously doubt it would save him at that point.

    August 8, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    Nothing says "post-racial America" like "hey, we all know that most of the 'welfare' money is getting sucked up by lazy good-for-nothing minorities and illegals...and I mean, come on, obviously a black POTUS is going to abuse the presidency to give more handouts to his 'peeps' to 'buy' their votes."

    August 8, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "Hussein Obama doubles down on Reids out right lies."

    Mittens proves Reid right ever second he delays releasing his tax returns. Reid placed him and the GOP in a nice little catch-22...either release the taxes and show everyone that he's the epitome of a rich, privileged, elitist turd who avoids paying any taxes on his millions while the middle-class suffers OR continue to withhold the taxes and pretty much prove the same thing. Reid threw a haymaker and Mittens is tapdancing in clown shoes right into it.

    August 8, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  16. ltnet356

    I know playing video games are hard work. Wreck the ecomony, blame someone elso, lie that's all Oblamo has.

    August 8, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  17. Deb in MT

    Is it at all possible for Romney to open his mouth without lying? I've endured many campaigns in my 60+ years, but I do not remember–EVER–seeing such a consumate liar as Mitt Romney. Does Romney understand the difference between telling the truth and lying, or is it that he will just do & say anything to get what he wants?

    Oh, and he should release at least 12 years of his tax returns, the sooner the better. It's curious that he showed Senator McCain over 20 years of returns (before the Sneator decided that Sarah Palin was a better choice for VP than Mitt)–so McCain must know what they contain, yet he hasn't come to Romney's defence. Curiouser & curiouser.

    August 8, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  18. CrisMN

    Those that use Mr. Obama middle name as a moniker must be so badly brainwashed by FOX news that his/her neurons have shrunk to nothingness... as such their comments are just biased echoes of the FOX spins!

    August 8, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |

    *sniff, sniff*

    What's that I smell from the Romney camp? Ah! Desperation.

    August 8, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
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