In recent weeks, a Mitt Romney campaign ad has flashed across television screens blasting President Obama on the issue of welfare. The ad claims Obama “gutted” the requirement in the 1996 welfare reform law that recipients look for work in exchange for government support. Media fact-checkers quickly debunked Romney’s attack—PolitiFact rated it “Pants on Fire”—and Obama’s campaign lashed back with a TV ad of its own. Yet Romney stuck with the welfare attack on the stump, and Romney aide Ashley O’Connor said the ad was the campaign’s most potent of 2012.
Romneyland didn’t whip up the bogus welfare attack on its own. It relied instead on the work of Robert Rector, a senior researcher at the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank in Washington, DC.