Monday, October 20th, 2014

Battle of the week: welfare

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney speaks to reporters during his daily briefing this week.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney speaks to reporters during his daily briefing this week.

In a campaign that has been largely quiet on social issues, welfare reform landed front and center this week.

Mitt Romney released a campaign ad attacking President Barack Obama over a plan allowing states some flexibility in how welfare programs are administered.

The Romney ad declared that Obama was dropping requirements that say welfare recipients must seek jobs and job training. "They just send you your welfare check," the ad said. It was such a distortion, we rated it Pants on Fire!

The White House responded quickly. In a briefing with reporters, press secretary Jay Carney called Romney's ad "blatantly false" as well as hypocritical. Romney, Carney said, as governor of Massachusetts "supported policies that would have eliminated the time limits in the welfare reform law and allowed people to stay on welfare forever."

We examined the bill Romney was backing at the time and found that it would not have allowed people to collect welfare indefinitely. The ruling: False.