Romney Campaign to Launch Concerted Attack on Obama Over Welfare
Presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his campaign are launching a new issue-attack against President Barack Obama, one that will further unite the GOP, motivate its voters and also effectively shift the focus away from the battle between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Camp Romney over Romney’s tax returns. It’s the welfare issue -- and the accusation is that Obama scuttled bipartisan compromises on welfare to nudge the U.S. back into being more of a welfare state:
Mitt Romney’s campaign is launching a new offensive on Tuesday accusing President Obama of “unilaterally dismantling” the 1990s bipartisan welfare reform.
On the campaign trail beginning Tuesday in Illinois and in a new television advertisement, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee plans to argue that the Obama administration is turning the federal welfare program into “just a handout” with last month’s decision to allow waivers to states from welfare work requirements.
This is Romney’s latest attempt to cast Obama as a big-government liberal and to drive a wedge between the president and the popular legacy of one of his Democratic predecessors, President Clinton.
“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.”
Welfare has long been an issue that resonated with GOP voters and a chunk of independents. Whether it will work within the context of the issues of a sagging economy (Obama negative) and fairness (Romney negative which is what the tax issue is all about) remains to be seen. But — at the very least — it’ll get Camp Romney back to campaigning against Obama rather than squabbling with an increasingly gleeful Harry Reid.