Second GOP Governor Doubts Validity Of Romney’s Welfare Attacks

Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) and Mitt Romney

Several weeks ago, the Romney campaign launched dishonest series of attacks claiming that the Obama administration has “gutted” welfare reform by removing welfare’s work requirements. Early on Wednesday, Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS) admitted that the attacks have no basis in reality, a fact already well explained by major media outlets.

“You agree that these claims that the work requirement has been abolished are false?” asked MSNBC’s Chris Jansing. “As far as I have seen,” Brownback replied.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), however, declined to take the same step. Initially, Kasich said that the work requirement had been “eroded.” But after MSNBC’s Chris Matthews played the clip of Brownback’s answer and asked Kasich if he could say the same, Kasich replied that he hasn’t had time to examine the issue. However, he did say that he refused to sign onto a letter that the Romney campaign has been circulating on the welfare issue:

MATTHEWS: Can you give that same answer from what you have seen? They haven’t removed the welfare requirement — work requirement yet? They haven’t done it yet? You say eroded. I don’t know what that means. Is it gone or is it still in place? Can you get welfare without working?

KASICH: I don’t know the answer to that, Chris. In fact, I was asked to sign a letter as I was going out the door to head down to this convention before I had a chance to study the whole issue. I said, look, I’m going to pass on this letter until I understand the whole issue.

Watch it:

Kasich is the governor of a major state, and the Romney campaign has been using this attack for weeks, yet he claims he hasn’t had any time to look into it. But that didn’t stop him from presuming that the claims are true. Campaign officials, meanwhile, have simply laughed off questions about the false ads, while campaign pollster Neil Newhouse told BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith, “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.”