The Obama campaign is out with a new ad attacking Mitt Romney for running an ad accusing the President of gutting welfare reform.
It continues on a line of attack that featured prominently on this week’s Sunday talk shows when David Axelrod and other Obama surrogates were asked about the Priorities USA ad accusing Mitt Romney of being responsible for the death of steelworker Joe Soptic’s wife.
The Romney ad was based on a July 12, 2012 Heritage Foundation report that said the Department of Health and Human Services had granted a waiver to the work requirement found in the landmark 1996 welfare-reform law. It suggests the Obama’s plan means that welfare recipients wouldn’t have to work and wouldn’t have to train for a job to get a check.
“The new policy guts the federal work requirements that were the foundation of the reform law,” Heritage experts Robert Rector – an architect of the 1996 law – and Kiki Bradley wrote in the report undergirding the Romney ad. “The Obama directive bludgeons the letter and intent of the actual reform legislation.
“Now that the Obama Administration has abolished those standards, we can expect ‘work’ in the TANF program to mean anything but work,” they continue. “The result is the end of welfare reform.”
But the Obama ad returns fire on the Romney camp citing a Politifact report that gave the ad a “Pants on Fire” rating based on comments from liberal scholar Liz Schott and the HHS memo suggesting announcing the waiver, saying it was intended to “improve employment outcomes for needy families.”
Kessler noted that conservatives have legitimate concerns about how the Obama administration approached the issue, but he rejected the Romney campaign’s claim that there is an “Obama plan” to weaken the law.
The ad also, however, omits that Kessler gave three Pinnochios to the Obama campaign’s counterspin.
“Is there any truth to the charge that we are getting rid of work as a requirement for welfare payments?” MSNBC host Chris Matthews is shown asking in the ad.
Matthews’s guest then is shown saying the charge is false.
While former Clinton chief of staff and Center for American Progress Chairman John Podesta appears during a segment on MSNBC saying that Bill Clinton thinks the charge is “unplugged from reality” and that Romney’s ad was “part of a silly season of negative ads.”
The ad concludes with a clip of Romney telling Obama to take his “campaign out of the gutter” and telling him to take his own advice.