08/30/2012 08:23 pm ET Updated Aug 31, 2012

Newt Gingrich Convention Speech Repeats Bogus Welfare Claim

TAMPA, Fla. -- Addressing the Republican National Convention on Thursday, Newt Gingrich repeated Mitt Romney's false claim that President Barack Obama "gutted" welfare reform by removing work requirements.

Gingrich appeared at the podium with his wife, Callista Gingrich, with whom he took turns reading portions of the speech. Callista Gingrich said the welfare reform law of 1996 "put millions of Americans back to work" thanks to its requirement that a percentage of welfare beneficiaries engage in work or work-related activities.

"Tragically, President Obama gutted this achievement," Newt Gingrich said. "And, like Jimmy Carter, over four years he produced little effective legislation that brought the two parties together in the interest of the nation. Obama's waiving of the work requirements in welfare reform is just one example of his direct repudiation of President Reagan's values."

At the request of several governors -- including two Republicans -- the Obama administration announced in July that it would consider waiving certain federal welfare rules if states want to try out "demonstration projects" that would boost employment among recipients of welfare, formally known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. The program is run by states within federal rules.

Though no waivers have actually been issued, the Romney campaign has falsely claimed for weeks that the Obama administration has completely removed work requirements. Though the claim is not true and has been debunked repeatedly, a Romney pollster said this week that the campaign will not let itself "be dictated by fact-checkers."

Gingrich, for his part, admitted there is "no proof" for the premise of Romney's welfare attacks, though he claimed this week he only said that because he'd been cornered by his interviewer.

"Obama's proud of what he's done and of his politically motivated partisanship, but he should be ashamed for putting politics before people," Gingrich said Thursday.



Republican National Convention 2012