In a new video advertisement unveiled on Tuesday, the Romney campaign repeated a claim that has already been debunked numerous times.
The 30-second ad says that Obama has “gutted the work requirement for welfare” and then lists a number of other economic woes. It is the third time the Romney campaign has released an ad accusing the President of eliminating the work requirements in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) welfare program.
The ad cites an article by the Heritage Foundation. The conservative think tank claimed that the Obama administration was actually trying to make it so those who receive TANF benefits could fulfill their work requirements through bed rest and hula dancing.
A provision in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 limited the types of activities that could be considered as work under TANF. The Heritage Foundation said the “Obama administration has abolished those standards” — a claim that multiple fact checkers have said is false.
In response, the Romney campaign said in August that the former Massachusetts governor’s messaging strategies were not “dictated by fact checkers.”
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced in July that it was seeking to provide states with more flexibility to administer the TANF program. George Sheldon, acting assistant secretary for the Administration for Children and Families, said the law contained “mind-numbing details about how to run a welfare-to-work program” and offered to waive some of those federal regulations.
The waivers would only allow states to test limited pilot programs designed to improve employment outcomes in the welfare program. As an example, Sheldon said that states could “coordinate employment programs for low-income parents funded by Department of Health and Human Services with workforce training programs funded by the federal Department of Labor.”
“Mitt Romney’s desperation has brought him back to his old welfare lie – showing once again that there’s nothing he won’t say to win this election,” Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith said in a statement. “The welfare attack he repeats in his new ad has been called false by every major fact-checking organization, President Clinton, Newt Gingrich, and a Republican architect of welfare reform. If the American people can’t trust Mitt Romney’s words in his campaign ads, how could they ever trust him with the presidency?”