Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney escalated his attacks on President Barack Obama’s welfare waivers Monday, suggesting that welfare recipients make up President Barack Obama’s political “base.”
In an interview with USA Today, Romney defended his much-criticized ads, which falsely accuse the president of removing the work requirement in welfare. He insisted that the spots were accurate and that Obama had pursued his policy as part of an electoral calculation.
“There’s no question in my mind that the president’s action was calculated to… shore up his base,” Romney said, according to an extended quote that USA Today provided to The Huffington Post. “Weakening the work requirement in welfare is an enormous mistake.”
The racial components of Romney’s welfare ads have already been much discussed, and Romney’s suggestion that welfare recipients are Obama’s “base” seems likely to only further anger those who view the attack ads as divisive. Welfare recipients, in fact, would make up quite a small “base” — there were only an average of 4,417,445 recipients of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families in 2011, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
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