There’s a new Romney lie coming your way, and as usual, it only highlights Romney’s lack of principle and his own flip flops. Romney’s new ad accuses Obama of being a big government liberal who is handing welfare checks out willy-nilly, and who has destroyed Bill Clinton’s work reforms to welfare.
The ad says, “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.”
On the heels of the Romney campaign’s attempt to politicize our military with lies about the Ohio early voting law, they’re at it again. Today they’re trying to claim that Obama removed work requirements from federal welfare regulation, Clinton’s signature welfare reform move from 1996, by granting waivers to states that develop innovative ways to meet the law’s work requirements.
However, what the Obama administration really did was – wait for it – was make welfare more localized, as in smaller government, by saying they would consider waivers to the states in order to help cut down on paperwork and help caseworkers focus on helping people get work. The Obama campaign notes, “Waivers that weaken or undercut welfare reform will not be approved.”
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that the waivers will make Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (the welfare reform package instituted in 1996) a more effective program.
Indeed, it will strengthen welfare reform by giving states greater flexibility to test more effective strategies for helping recipients prepare for, find, and retain jobs — and measure their accomplishments in more meaningful ways than the current system allows.
Just who requested such waivers? Many states, including Nevada and Utah, both governed by Republicans. And then, of course, during his one term, Governor Mitt Romney.
As you could have guessed by now, Mitt Romney was for it before he was against it. In 2005, then governor Romney signed a letter asking the federal government to grant “increased waiver authority to states”.
The letter read:
The Senate bill provides states with with the flexibility to manage their TANF programs and effectively serve their low-income populations. Increased waiver authority, allowable work activities, availability of partial work credit and the ability to coordinate state programs are all important aspects of moving recipients from welfare to work.
This ad is the height of hypocrisy, as Obama’s plan gives states more control to test ways to connect people with jobs more efficiently. In this way, it’s a model of small government conservatism. But of course, the modern day Republican Party always hates their own ideas (see individual mandates) when they come from this President, which suggests that they are much more interested in the politics of winning elections than they are in actually implementing their alleged core beliefs.
It’s hard to take anyone seriously who flip flops as much as Mitt Romney. He was for the individual mandate when he was in charge, but now he’s against it. He was for waivers but now he’s against them. He must also be against Americans voting early, since he can’t seem to stop lying about the Ohio early voting law.
Mitt Romney is desperately trying to change the conversation from his refusal to release his tax returns and discuss what his tax policy would mean for 98% of Americans to any attack his campaign can manufacture against President Obama.
Meanwhile, the Romney whine tour about Harry Reid’s claim that someone told him that Romney hasn’t paid taxes in ten years is looking weaker and weaker. After all, if Rommey places such high value on honesty, how does he explain these ads? Does he really not understand the laws and policies, or is he lying on purpose? Neither reflects well on him.
Romney’s attempt to drive a wedge between Clinton, who will be speaking at the Democratic National Convention, and Obama with this ad is almost stunning in its ignorance and failure to see what’s right in front of his face. If Romney really thinks that Bill Clinton and Barack Obama’s relationship is that precarious, he hasn’t been paying attention. The bond between the former President and the current President took a while to develop, but they are a formidable team. It’s no wonder Romney wants to divide and conquer.
Romney’s inability to grasp the complexities of policy and the agendas behind forged bonds is troubling, but then, we already got a preview of this weird quirk during his Mitt the Twit tour. Once again, we see a Mitt Romney who is used to calling the shots and therefor can’t implement any sort of long-term political strategy let alone manage a few general meet and greets.
I’m not even going to touch the Obama the “welfare president” narrative that the “Anglo-Saxon” is bringing to this race, except to note that Bill Clinton was often referred to as our first black President. If I were Mitt Romney, I wouldn’t take on Bill Clinton and Barack Obama — but then, I wouldn’t run for President and think I didn’t have to release my tax returns either.
Of course, I also wouldn’t try to play on negative racial stereotypes steeped in the GOP’s Southern Strategy by implying that the majority of welfare recipients were black, when the fact of the matter is that 51% of welfare recipients are white and the majority come from red states — so it stands to reason that they are possible Romney voters. Insulting his own base with lies? What’s not to like.