New Romney ad touts Obama's rollback of welfare reform
This is one of Romney's better moves -- and it's nearly a month late.
Last month, President Obama waved his magic executive order wand and did away with the work requirement for welfare -- a key part of the 1990's welfare reform.
The newest Romney ad makes it clear that Obama is more extreme than Bill Clinton, who eventually embraced welfare reform after opposing it for years.
"President Obama is unilaterally dismantling President Clinton's welfare reforms," Romney campaign spokesman Andrea Saul said in a statement. "Instead of tough work requirements, the president's policies could change welfare to work into old-fashioned welfare. As president, Mitt Romney will restore the bipartisan work requirement in welfare so that workers have the dignity of a job and not just a handout."
The Obama campaign responded by noting that in 2005, then-Massachusetts governor Romney and most other Republican governors requested state waivers similar to those the Obama administration began allowing with the Department of Health and Human Services' July 12 announcement.
"Under the President's policy, states can build the welfare to work program that is best for them, and can apply for waivers from federal requirements that get in their way," according to an Obama campaign statement. "This new policy cannot be used to weaken welfare reform."
Romney plans to make his case in campaign appearances starting Tuesday, Saul said, and his message will be amplified by a new 30-second television advertisement, "Right Choice," that says, "Obama guts welfare reform."
In a memo to reporters, Romney campaign policy director Lanhee Chen tried to cast Obama as an advocate for "big-government liberalism."
"Unfortunately, not everyone was enthusiastic about welfare reform," Chen writes. "For instance, a man named Barack Obama took to the floor of the Illinois State Senate to announce his opposition. A devoted believer in old-school, big-government liberalism, Mr. Obama had no interest in embracing the welfare reform package that linked welfare to work. Now as president, with an economy struggling, an election looming, and a dispirited liberal base in need of encouragement, he has decided to turn back the clock."
Getting a temporary waiver of the work requirement is a lot different than unilaterally removing it, as the Obama administration did. Obama's move was done to pander to the poverty industry -- a network of bureaucrats, liberal churches, NGO's, and "community outreach" organizations who get government money to administer the program.
Welfare is a legacy from the 1960's when it was thought that throwing money at social problems was the way to solve them. What the poor need more than welfare is education, training, and the realization that generational dependence on government is not the way to happiness in life. At best, welfare should be temporary, targeted, and used in conjunction with providing the poor the necessary skills to make it on their own.
Not, as Obama wants, which is simply a handout to remain on the government dole -- and vote Democratic at election time.