As the RNC gets underway in Tampa, one persistent critique of Mitt Romney’s campaign that keeps arising is the insistence that President Obama is “pandering to his base” by “gutting welfare reform” and just sending checks to people rather than maintaining work requirements implemented during the Clinton administration.
The Romney welfare claim has been largely decried by the media as false, given “pants on fire” and “four pinocchios” ratings by fact-checking columns and sites — no evidence has arisen to support the assertion, even thinly.
Critics have called the Romney welfare lie a racial dog-whistle, designed to unabashedly prey on stereotypes among a subset of white voters inclined to believe our fiscal issues are down to abuses of the welfare system and not two endless wars and massive concurrent tax cuts.
So loud has the cacophony grown that the Romney campaign has been forced to acknowledge the firestorm of controversy, but unsurprisingly, they’re doubling down on the claim.
Neil Newhouse told Buzzfeed on Tuesday that fact-checkers have an agenda, and that veracity is not going to dictate whether a claim stands in campaign ads:
“Fact checkers come to this with their own sets of thoughts and beliefs, and we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.”
It looks like it may be another Etch-A-Sketch moment for Romney, who himself personally criticized inaccurate ads in the campaign cycle just weeks ago. Back then, Romney said:
“You know, in the past, when people pointed out that something was inaccurate, why, campaigns pulled the ad.”
Do you think Romney should pull the inaccurate welfare reform ad?