Romney smeared but the media nitpicks GOP welfare ad
This is pretty unbelievable -- even for the mainstream press.
An ad came out yesterday that basically calls Mitt Romney a murderer. A steelworker who lost his job because of the Bain takeover in 2001 blames Romney for the death of his wife because he lost his health insurance.
As it turns out, his wife died 5 years after the takeover and she had her own insurance even after the steelworker lost his job.
The lies in this ad are stupendous. The steelworker claims his wife died "a short time after" he was let go. Five years is not "a short time after." And Allahpundit makes the real point regarding the smear:
What is it, precisely, that Bain is being faulted for doing or not doing? They shouldn't have closed down the plant because ... it was unfair to expect the workers who were laid off to ever find new jobs with insurance? It was negligent not to predict that some workers' wives might get laid off too and wouldn't find a new job for years before they became ill? There appears to be no actual policy or business critique here. It's just a string of events spread over five whole years, with certain key data omitted, and you're supposed to infer causation without really being told why or how. This is what the Unicorn Prince has come to after promising four years ago to heal America or whatever. Perfect.
You might think that this incredible smear of Romney would lead the news. You would be wrong. Instead, the press is going after Romney for his ad that charges President Obama tried to gut the welfare reform act.
Bill Clinton said an attack ad from Mitt Romney misconstrues recent changes pushed by President Barack Obama to the welfare reform law Clinton signed as president.
"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 said in a statement Tuesday, adding that the Obama administration had taken steps to ensure work requirements for welfare recipients were maintained.
The Obama administration directive, issued July 12, allows individual states to experiment with changes to their welfare-to-work programs, which are federally funded. 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 welfare-to-work program affected by the directive - the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) - was created by the 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.
In Tuesday's ad from the Romney campaign, an announcer points to Clinton's achievement, and claims Obama's directive 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 announcer continues. "And welfare to work goes back to being plain old welfare."
Clinton said that was untrue, and wrote that Romney himself pushed for changes to welfare laws while he was governor of Massachusetts.
The problem with the Obama defense is that states will indeed be able to go back to basically the old system if they want to. To my mind, that's "gutting" welfare.
But picking nits about whether Romney is being completely honest is not the point. This is a tempest in a tea pot compared to the Obama super pac accusing Romney of murder -- unfairly, and with deliberate lies.
So why does the press play up the welfare ad instead of the baseless smear? It's "get Romney" day every day of the week and Harry Reid smearing Romney over taxes and the super pac smearing him as a murderer is par for the course.
And it's only going to get worse.