By Justin Sink - 08/20/12 09:11 AM EDT
Mitt Romney's campaign released a new ad Monday citing a newspaper editorial that decries President Obama's recent change to welfare policy as "nuts," doubling down on the presumptive Republican nominee's tough attacks on the shift.
The ad closely mirrors a recent and heavily broadcast attack from the Romney campaign criticizing Obama over a memo from the Department of Health and Human Services that said states could apply for waivers to the welfare-work requirement, and is now the third Romney television commercial on the issue.
“One of the most respected newspapers in America called it ‘nuts,' saying, ‘If you want to get more people to work, you don't loosen the requirements — you tighten them,' " the ad's narrator says.
The commercial then repeats Romney's pledge to "put work back in welfare."
The Obama administration has argued that the waivers are intended to give states greater flexibility in the implementation of the program, and noted that the memo specifically advises that only plans that will put more welfare recipients to work would be considered.
Independent fact-checkers and some Republicans have agreed, with the Annenberg Public Policy Center's FactCheck.org calling the Romney attack ads "simply untrue."
Earlier this month, White House press secretary Jay Carney blasted the depiction of the welfare changes as "categorically false and blatantly dishonest in its representation of the president's policy."
"And that's not just me saying it," Carney continued. "That's President Bill Clinton who has said it. It is Republicans who worked on welfare reform who have said it. It is Republicans, who are putatively out there to advance the argument on behalf of Gov. Romney, who have said there is no proof that the ad is true."
The Obama campaign released an ad of its own earlier this month defending against the attacks.
"See this? Mitt Romney claiming the president would end welfare's work requirements? The New York Times calls it 'blatantly false.' The Washington Post says, 'The Obama administration is not removing the bill's work requirements at all,' " the narrator says.
Still, the Romney campaign is looking to press the president on the issue, believing it could resonate with working-class voters. According to the Romney campaign, the presumptive nominee and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), are expected to hammer the welfare issue at a town hall in New Hampshire on Monday.