Sixteen years ago today, President Clinton signed his signature welfare-reform measure into law. Marking the occasion, the Romney campaign said in a statement this morning, “[D]on’t expect President Obama to mark the occasion after just last month gutting the historic work requirements.”
They are, of course, lying — Obama didn’t gut the work requirements. As even the Romney campaign knows, governors asked the Obama administration for some flexibility on the existing welfare law, and the White House said that’d be fine, so long as the work requirement isn’t weakened. It’s consistent with the policy endorsed by many Republican governors, including Romney himself, just six years ago.
What I find interesting, however, is the number of people who are picking up on Romney’s shameless attempt to deceive the public. Consider these comments from Joe Scarborough yesterday:….
I’ll just leave it there because I don’t really want to consider the ass-covering comments of millionaire media personality Joe Scarborough. I guess I’m supposed to be thrilled that some “number” of famous people have decided Romney’s lies have become too embarrassing and blatant to ignore. I’m not impressed. I think that’s an incredibly low bar. I think they aren’t doing their job.
Romney launched these attacks weeks ago. They are completely untrue. Paul Ryan now repeats the lies. That means Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have had weeks to spread a flat-out lie to vast sections of the country. That’s an absolute failure of news organizations to report the truth to their readers.
If millions of people believe these lies, and they will, it will be because political media waited weeks to gather the courage to write a simple factual statement: Obama did not gut welfare to work rules, and Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are spreading this completely false attack because their campaign professionals believe Barack Obama is vulnerable on these charges because Obama is an African-American. That’s the truth and it’s not complicated and it’s not nuanced and it’s not difficult to write.
Political media waited weeks to admit this obvious truth. They allowed Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to spread this flat-out lie to millions of people, and this lie has now become “true.” They failed millions of people. Again.
Update: To this day, years after political media and conservative celebrities spread the lie that Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama inserted “death panels” into a federal law, I STILL have old people who come into this office and ask me about the “death panels.” That lie stuck because they waited MONTHS to correct it.
Good job! Thanks so much for finally getting around to reporting simple unequivocal facts.