Obama rebuts Romney ad with new ad
August 10th, 2012
06:00 AM ET
10 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. Confused

    So first health care, now loosening work requirements for welfare. All these things that Romney did in his past, that are on record, he now is against. He wants us to vote for him for all of his experience, but all of his experience is doing things he now says he's against. I don't see how anyone can trust what he says.

    August 10, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  2. Gotta Be Kiddin

    ...Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said in a statement.

    Where is spokeswoman Andrea Saul?!?!?!?

    August 10, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  3. Donkey Party

    I think I understand Mormonism now. It's a religion where delusion, denial, and blatant lies reign supreme.

    August 10, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  4. M-W-T

    I Don't Trust him
    I Don't Like him
    I Will Not Vote for him

    August 10, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  5. Keeping it Real

    Until Obama publicly denounces the lies on the tax issues, all of his other campaigning will be for nothing. He simply doesn't have any creditability when he allows unsubstantiated lies lies his to continue. Obama has shifted from campaigning on the future of America to a smear and lie campaign.

    August 10, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  6. Marry

    "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."
    Mr. Romney, first your tax returns – than we can talk about who “depends” more on the Government!
    Stop your grinning and show your tax returns!!!!

    August 10, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  7. LOL in Colorado

    The Romney Plan = "I will lie my way into the White House and then me and my rich buddies will rule the world! Getting rid of the middle class will be my top priority."

    August 10, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  8. v_mag

    Gee, Mr. President, you're not supposed to fight back. How is Rob-money supposed to win if you are constantly correcting him? He'll just have to get his Koch-head friends and that mafiosi Sheldon Adelson to kick in more millions for more lying advertisements.

    August 10, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  9. GI Joe

    Romney is the biggest, most bald-faced, blatant liar ever to run.

    Even Nixon was better than Robbingme.

    August 10, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  10. BinaryTooth

    Excellent article! It will keep the focus off the economy and that's what we need to get Obama reelected.

    Obama 2012

    August 10, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  11. CrisMN

    What's new? Mr. Romney is lying? Wasn't it already clear... I don't think that the Republicans will be swayed by his lies, they fall acritically in the ranks. They are Roboticlans, FOX news gives the voting order and they follow...

    August 10, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  12. Southeast

    Mitt if you did'nt take away jobs there would be less people on welfare.

    August 10, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  13. Desmond, a Canadian

    "Blatantly False"! That is a most accurate description of the Rawmoney guy.

    August 10, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  14. peckish

    This blatant lying is nothing new for the Romney campaign. Remember when they used Obama quoting John McCain's own words–"If we talk about the economy, we lose"– to make it seem like Obama was saying that? How about the "You didn't build that" attempt to make it look like Obama was talking about businesses, not infrastructure? Shameless. And Romney has the gall to say that in previous elections, campaigns would voluntarily take down ads when they were shown to be false. Look to your own ads, Mr. Romney.

    August 10, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
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