The campaign of Mitt Romney said bluntly Tuesday that they were going to continue running untruthful ads about President Barack Obama, because the ads are working.
Despite universal agreement among independent fact-checkers that Romney is lying about Obama’s welfare policy, Romney campaign pollster Neil Newhouse said that wouldn’t deter the campaign.
“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,” Newhouse told BuzzFeed.
Romney strategist Ashley O’Connor agreed, telling ABC News that the ad was “new information.”
The “new information” in the ad is that Obama plans to eliminate work requirements added to welfare in the 1996 reform law signed by President Bill Clinton. This information is new to voters because it is flatly untrue; the Obama administration is simply not doing what the Romney campaign claims they are doing.
The Obama administration has offered waivers that would allow states some flexibility in setting rules for welfare. These waivers were requested by both Democratic and Republican governors, who are looking for new ways to move people from welfare to work in a stagnant economy. Bob Haskins, who worked as a Republican staffer for welfare policy during the Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Clinton administrations, told NPR flatly, “There’s no plausible scenario under which [Obama's policy] really constitutes a serious attack on welfare reform.”
Nevertheless, the Romney campaign has gone ahead with the ads, which claim that Obama has simply eliminated the work requirement for welfare.
The ads’ complete falsity and attack on welfare recipients has made it clear that the Romney campaign is seeking to use race as a wedge issue, in order to peel off enough white votes from Obama to win the election. With Romney cracking birther jokes and ripping the NAACP, it’s become pretty obvious that Romney is trying to stoke the fires of racial resentment in order to oust the country’s first African American president.
Romney is so intent on a racist campaign that he’s willing to flat-out lie to do so. Will it work? That’s up to the American people to decide.
Image Credit: Donkey Hotey