After releasing false radio and television ads about the auto bailout, Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign unveiled a new commercial that highlights another one of the candidate’s favorite false claims. This ad, first flagged by the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein, revives Romney’s claim that President Obama has “gutted the welfare work requirement” through a waiver program that Republican governors, including Romney himself, have long asked for.
The ad hits Obama on a number of issues, but the most blatantly false of its claims are aimed at welfare:
NARRATOR: If you want to know President Obama’s second term agenda, look at his first: gutted the work requirement for welfare. Doubled the number of able-bodied adults without children on food stamps. Record unemployment. More women in poverty than ever before. Borrowed from China and increased the debt to over $16 trillion, passing the burden onto the next generation. We may have made it through President Obama’s first term — it’s our children who can’t afford a second.
As reporters, fact-checkers, and the directive Obama signed made abundantly clear, the welfare work requirements will remain in place even if states are granted waivers. The major change is that states will be granted more leeway in how they transition welfare recipients into jobs. That is a change sought and supported by many Republican governors, like Romney endorser Rick Snyder (MI), who said of the program, “More flexibility to governors is a good thing.”
The Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program certainly needs changes — since 1996, it has failed to provide America’s poorest families the assistance they need. But with the election in the balance, Romney has now resorted to making claims in multiple advertisements that even members of his own party say are false.