By Justin Sink
But on Wednesday, Romney defended his campaign's attacks.
"When the welfare reauthorization bill was passed, effort was taken specifically to limit the type of work that qualified as work for welfare. There had been reports of [a] wide array of activities that were really not work but were being called work. And so Congress said that the federal government may not provide a waiver from the work requirement, you may not redefine the work requirement," Romney said.
"That was specifically included — I believe it was Section 407 of the act. The president’s decision to say, no, in fact, we are going to open welfare waivers to states or excuses from work requirements, is a violation of the act and says once again we’re going to allow people to escape the work requirements."
Pressed on the analysis by the independent fact-checkers, Romney insinuated those examining the issue were biased.
"Fact-checkers on both sides of the aisle will look in the way they think is most consistent with their own views," Romney said. "It’s very clear that others who have looked at the same issue feel that the president violates the provision of the act which requires work in welfare, defines what work is. He guts that, he ends that requirement for those that seek that welfare.”
President Obama blasted the Romney attacks during a press conference earlier this week.
"Everybody who's looked at this says what Gov. Romney's saying is absolutely wrong," the president said Monday. "They can run the campaign they want, but the truth of the matter is you can't just make stuff up."
Romney also defended his criticism that the president was cutting $700 billion from the Medicare program. The cuts come from reducing fraud and an agreement with hospitals to reduce costs in exchange for the guarantee that most of their future patients would have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, so the Obama administration argues patient care would not be affected.
But Romney said that the shift would hurt the health of the Medicare system.
"It’s a raid on Medicare, and the Medicare trustees have noted that approximately 4 million people will lose Medicare Advantage and a Medicare actuary has estimated that some 15 percent of hospitals and nursing homes will stop taking Medicare patients," Romney said. "This is a dramatic change in the resources that are available for Medicare-aged seniors. And for the president to do that is wrong. That’s why my budget, I said in the very beginning, I said, no, we’re putting that $716 billion back into Medicare.”
And the Republican presidential contender said he thought the deal struck with medical providers to reduce administrative costs was unfair to seniors who relied on the program.
"There may be a hospital administrator that was willing to trade off Medicare patients for their interests, but I’m not willing to trade the rights of seniors in this country for the interests of a hospital administrator who thinks he’s better off," Romney said.