Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Thursday offered a less-hyperbolic-than-usual description of President Barack Obama's recent welfare policy announcement.
The Romney campaign has been falsely claiming in TV ads that "Obama quietly ended work requirements for welfare."
In July, the Obama administration announced it would consider waiving some federal welfare rules for states interested in running "demonstration projects" that would help more welfare recipients get back to work, which was the ultimate goal of welfare reform in 1996.
Ron Haskins, a welfare expert and former GOP congressional staffer who helped write the reform law, said, like many others have, that the new policy does not undermine welfare reform like Romney says and that the administration has not even issued any waivers as of yet.
Talking to reporters Thursday, Romney said waivers would apply only "in certain cases."
"I wanted to make sure people understand what the president has done in welfare, and what the president has done in Medicare," Romney said. "In welfare, providing a removal of the work requirement in certain cases, I think, has been surprising to people."
The Obama administration has never said that it will issue waivers for any projects that undermine welfare's work requirements.
Romney campaign surrogates have been less strident about the welfare waivers all along. Rick Santorum said last week the policy would only "potentially gut" the work requirements and Newt Gingrich admitted there is "no proof" for the premise of the ads, which are still airing in multiple markets, according to to TVEyes, a media monitoring service.
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