The newest campaign ad for President Barack Obama is a televised rebuttal to a Mitt Romney commercial that accused him of wanting to “gut” welfare reform.
“Seen this?” a narrator says as a shot from the Romney ad appears on the screen.
The Obama ad goes on to feature a New York Times editorial calling the Romney ad “blatantly false” and a Washington Post editorial saying “the Obama administration is not removing” welfare-to-work requirements “at all.”
Former senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum held a press conference call today in which he described President Barack Obama’s policies on welfare as part of a “pattern” of the president’s “contempt for the Constitution” and “contempt for the rule of law.” He also said the president’s decision to offer states waivers lessening the requirements for people to apply for welfare funds as proof “the president doesn’t believe in the American people.”
“The president’s acted with contempt for the law … absolute contempt for the law and for the Constitution,” Mr. Santorum said. “For the president to act in this fashion, to act with contempt for the people’s laws and the people’s Constitution as he has done here, and by the way, he has done on repeated occasions over the past several months in office on immigration, on his healthcare law and some other things.”
The Romney campaign issued a statement from Newt Gingrich this afternoon accusing President Barack Obama of deciding “to cater to the radical left wing of his party and undo welfare reform.” The former speaker of the House characterized the Obama administration’s decision to issue waivers to states easing the requirements for people to qualify for assistance through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program as undoing the “central concept” of the 1996 Welfare Reform Act.
“As an architect of the historic and bipartisan 1996 welfare reform bill, I am disturbed and angered that the Obama administration is undoing the act’s central concept of a welfare-to-work requirement. The hugely successful reform saved billions for taxpayers. More importantly, it began to dismantle the culture of dependency that welfare had fostered: two out of three people on welfare went to work or went to school,” Mr. Gingrich said.
After the Romney campaign launched a series of attacks yesterday accusing President Barack Obama of trying to “gut” President Bill Clinton’s 1996 welfare reform, President Clinton defended his successor with a late night press release.
“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,” President Clinton said.
This morning, the Romney campaign began what they described as a weeklong offensive accusing President Barack Obama of trying to “gut” President Bill Clinton’s 1996 welfare reform plan. Team Obama fired back this afternoon by bringing out Obama For America Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter and President Clinton’s former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta for a press conference call in which they described the Romney campaign’s welfare attack as “completely false.” Mr. Podesta also said he spoke to President Clinton about the situation and they were both in agreement that President Obama’s policies are “consistent” with the original vision for welfare reform.
According to a campaign update sent out this morning by Mitt Romney’s spokeswoman Andrea Saul, the Romney campaign is going to be spending the week “discussing President Obama’s actions gutting welfare reform.” To that end, this morning, they released a new television ad pitting President Barack Obama against President Bill Clinton by accusing him of destroying the 1996 welfare reform plan enacted by President Clinton “and a bipartisan Congress.”
“In 1996, President Clinton and a bipartisan Congress helped end welfare as we know it by requiring work for welfare. But on July 12th, President Obama quietly announced a plan to gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements,” a narrator says in the ad. “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 and welfare to work goes back to being plain old welfare.”