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. California Gary

    If anyone should understand someone changing their position on an issue, it would be Mr. "flip flop" Romney.

    August 8, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  2. Helen

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

    August 8, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. Al-NY,NY

    This guy has no shame....and the gullible sheep will trumpet this garbage as the truth. Wait until Obama shows the guy who worked on welfare reform (and a republican) who says Flip is not telling the truth.

    August 8, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens has lied so much, he could find the truth. President Obama makes the changes Mittens wanted as governor, and Mittens is outraged. You right wingnuts sure picked a tool stuff to run for president.

    August 8, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    It's a sad day in America when the Republican nominee for President has to use one lie after another just to keep his base of voters happy ... which in itself suggests that nothing good can come out of a Mitt Romney presidency.

    Obama/Biden 2012-2016

    August 8, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  6. cali girl

    No thanks Robmey

    August 8, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  7. Governor 47th In Job Creation (Excluding Off-shored to China and India)

    Willard's press secretary Andrea Saul had an absolute doozy today. Joe Soptic who lost his job at GS Steel thanks to Bain vulture Capital and his wife to cancer should have moved to MA to be covered under Romneycare!!! That's their rebuttal. Wow. This a day after Obamalogna. Rank amateurs. From Willard on down.
    So now that Romneycare has gone national thanks to President Obama, Willard will now be on record saying that Romneycare is a good thing again. Or is this an instance where states' rights = bad? Can't keep track of the flip-flops.

    Anyway, Mitt the twit Romney hood can keep carrying on a lie since that is what he does best. He's not fooling the sane voters though. And if he thinks that keeping his taxes hidden is smart, he may want to look at his rising unfavorables. The Romney campaign and it's staff really comes across as a pilot for a new fall comedy, they cannot be this bad. POTUS Obama must have at least one or two secret operatives inside Willard's staff. Get Swiss miss Bachmann on the case STAT!
    Keep him on the ticket post convention GOP, I want to see him surrender right there on stage during the debates, Rick Perry will be able to snicker at Willard's debate meltdowns. Can't wait.

    August 8, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  8. Howard

    Obama's executive order to eliminate Clinton's work/training requirement from the welfare bill, is just another example of how Obama will do anything to hold onto power ... even if its harmful to America. It's time for Americans to choose between Obama and America. It should be an easy choice, since American is MUCH more important than Obama.

    August 8, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  9. wgf

    The fact that Romney is choosing to go after Obama on this is really sad. Lies, lies and more lies. Is this really the best the Republicans have to offer ?

    August 8, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  10. Marty, FL

    Doubling down on Romney's immoral lies (pants on fire) and blatant hypocrisy for state welfare waivers that Romney supported himself.

    It goes to show what dishonest lengths Romney will go. McCain refused to go there, but Romney has no sense of decency or core values–Not presidential material.

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

    Show your tax returns so we can see how much you contributed to the common good of this country...

    August 8, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    once you tell an untruth you have one of two either come out and admit you lied and correct it......OR you keep telling the same lie, allow it to get bigger even though it has been shown to be a lie and just keep hoping people will believe it. I wonder which option Mitt will choose?

    August 8, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  13. Paul Williamson

    Another set of lies from Romney. Perhaps he cannor remember or understand facts, even though he was one of 8 Governers who wrote the letter requesting waivers, or he is a shameless liar. Either way, he is not qualified to be President.

    August 8, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  14. s

    poor ole MIt, so far in the hole can't dig his way out

    August 8, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  15. The Elephant In The Room

    Nice try Gov`nor but we`re going to keep a focus on your SECRETIVE OFFsHORE bank accounts and LOW-to-NO tax rates paid from 2002-to-2012.

    I STILL want to hear you explain how it is proper behavior for you to loot the US Treasury while you were at Bain. You see, I understand that you took money out of employee pension funds and pocketed it. Then, when thes pesion funds didn`t have enough money, the US Government [the US TAXPAYER] had to step in and make up the difference.

    Are you "proud" of YOUR work? In my assessment, you are no different from a con-man, criminal and are lower than anybody on ANY type of `welfare`.

    I`ll be looking for SEROIUS journalists toask you about your pension fund looting in the debates, if not before.

    August 8, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  16. Expat American

    Romney gets caught in his own lie and then tries to pound a square peg into a round hole to get himself out.
    Romney’s campaign is equivalent to what comes out of the business end of his million dollar diva horse.

    August 8, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |

    Mitt the twit is clearly not the solution. He's the problem. That's why he hides his tax returns.

    August 8, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  18. Obama outsourced jobs with taxpayer money

    Hussein Obama doubles down on Reids out right lies.

    August 8, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  19. kayla

    desperate times, calls for desperate measures. a drowning man clutches at a straw, shall i go on?

    August 8, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  20. rashad


    The fact that Romney is choosing to go after Obama on this is really sad. Lies, lies and more lies. Is this really the best the Republicans have to offer ? WHAT LIE ARE U TALKING ABOUT ? DO U HAVE A JOB OR U LIVE OFF OF Barack Obama welfare DO YOUR WORK HOME

    August 8, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  21. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Grow a pair Mittens. Admit that you were wrong and that you lied. It is not going away by more lying. Although, it is refreshing for the rest of the GOP to see that your illegal off shore banking activities or on a temporary hold.

    August 8, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  22. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    When Mittens is arrested for not claiming foreign accounts on his taxes, does this automatically put little Timmy at the top of the ticket?

    August 8, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  23. 1crusader

    This is a complete , reprehensible, race card lie.This ad is not an outside group either.Romney's campaign is runningthis ad; and it further demonstrates his willingness now to say and do anything to win.

    August 8, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  24. obama victim

    Barry set the standard for distortion.......get after that boy Mitt!!

    August 8, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  25. Ray E. (Georgia)

    And the one thing I am absoultly convinced of is we have to work as the Centerpiece of any social policy. No kidding Dick Tracy, what gave you your first clue? Obama can spread it on thick. So why do we need the Social Policy?? Oh, it is to get rid of all the "Welfare Queens" Don't worry. Jobs will begin to come back after Romney is elected. .

    August 8, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
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