Mitt Romney is at it again. Man, did Chris Matthews ever call it yesterday, when he called out Reince Priebus.
The Romney campaign is desperate. They know perfectly well that their candidate is weak, and harping about the economy while blaming it solely on the President, ignoring that part that Paul Ryan's Congress has played, or what he inherited from George W. Bush-who Americans still rightfully give the lion's share of the blame to regarding this painful downturn is just not going to be enough to win this election.
So what they are going for is a campaign based in what the Republican party does best: pure, unadulterated race baiting.
Consider too, that the fellow who produced the Willie Horton ad-he's working for Romney this time. This welfare angle is a big part of it. It makes no real sense as an explanation of what's wrong with the economy as the President only announced the rule change this Summer. Of course, in the past many Republican Governors-including, you guessed it, Mitt Romney-actually asked for it.
Now though, Romney sees it as a very effective weapon for attacking Obama in terms of race. The "food stamp President", etc.
No matter how many times it is pointed out to Romney that his claims about Obama eliminating the work requirement is fallacious, he continues to repeat it and play ads that make the same false claim.
Why? It's all they have left-race baiting. Obama can win this election even with the unemployment rate we have. They know this. This is why they are going here, and why Romney gets no pass for the birth certificate "joke" on Friday. It was deliberate. He knew perfectly well what he was doing.
I notice that some like Tom Brokaw on Laurence O'Donnell last night tried to give him a pass as just making a bad joke. No doubt Romney is a clumsy oaf. But this this was in a way not an accident as it's their strategy at this point. Play as dirty as you have to while piously claiming that the President is the dirty one.
So Romney will not stop. And why not? We see that the President's 10 point lead in Iowa back in May, is now down to 2 points.
"Mitt Romney doesn't care what fact-checkers think."
"Even in the face of repeated debunkings by journalists, Romney's presidential campaign has continued to produce new ads falsely claiming that President Barack Obama ended the requirement that people on welfare, formally known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, engage in work."
"On Wednesday, the Des Moines Register confronted Romney about his false ads: "Iowans who consider you an honest man are asking why you would keep repeating something that isn’t true," a reporter said during an interview with the Republican candidate."
"In response, Romney argued that the Obama administration lacks the authority to waive welfare work requirements -- a separate issue from the allegation in Romney's TV spots, which simply claim that the work requirements have been dropped. The Des Moines Register pointed out that fact-checkers have said that has not actually happened."
"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."
"Here is what actually happened: At the request of several states -- including two with Republican governors -- the Obama administration announced in July that it would consider waiving certain federal welfare rules if states have ideas for "demonstration projects" they promise can increase welfare employment outcomes by 20 percent (states are required to maintain certain percentages of welfare beneficiaries in work activities or else face penalties). The administration has not announced that it has issued any waivers."
"But instead of saying something to the effect that the administration has potentially removed welfare work requirements, or perhaps opened the door for their eventual removal -- even those phrasings would be a big stretch -- the Romney campaign has been saying, "Obama quietly ended work requirements for welfare."
Of course, he's not going to say that-like he said, Mitt Romney doesn't care about fact checkers, not that he needed to state the obvious. So this argument over welfare requirements is no innocent, idle, intellectual debate. He's hoping it just might steal him an election.
So we can expect to see a lot more of this-blowing the racist dog whistle. He has nothing else.