Ron Fournier: Romney’s Welfare Lie Plays The Race Card
Mitt Romney’s lie that President Obama doesn’t want a work requirement for welfare plays on the resentment of whites, as Ron Fournier notes in the National Journal.
Thanks to Romney, they see minorities grabbing at their way of life every day and all day in the inaccurate welfare ad. It opens with a picture of Bill Clinton (a man obsessed with Macomb County and Reagan Democrats) signing the 1996 welfare reform act, which shifted the benefits from indefinite government assistance to one pushing people into employment and self-reliance.
A leather-gloved white laborer wipes sweat from his forehead. “But on July 12,” the ad intones,” President Obama quietly announced a plan to gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements. Under Obama’s plan, you wouldn’t have to work and wouldn’t have to train for a job. They just send your welfare check and “welfare to work” goes back to being plain old welfare.”
There is data to back up this charge.
…internal GOP polling and focus groups offer convincing evidence that the welfare ad is hurting Obama. Second, the welfare issue, generally speaking, triggers anger in white blue-collar voters that is easily directed toward Democrats. This information comes from senior GOP strategists who have worked both for President Bush and Romney. They spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid retribution…
Still, Romney and his advisors stand by an ad they know is wrong – or, at the very least, they are carelessly ignoring the facts. That ad is exploiting the worst instincts of white voters – as predicted and substantiated by the Republican Party’s own polling.
That leaves one inescapable conclusion: The Romney campaign is either recklessly ignorant of the facts, some of which they possess – or it is lying about why (and how) it is playing the race card.