Fact check: Romney's welfare claims wrong
August 30, 2012 -- Updated 1801 GMT (0201 HKT)
- Romney ad claims that Obama has "gutted" welfare reform
- Romney campaign claims Obama plan eliminates work requirement
- White House allowed some states waivers from existing welfare rules
- States, some with GOP governors, had asked for flexibility in handing out funds
Washington (CNN) -- Welfare reform, which added a work requirement tied to welfare benefits, is often cited as a major bipartisan political success of President Bill Clinton's second term.
So the idea of the next Democratic president, Barack Obama, taking the work requirement off the table is political dynamite.
Apparently, the Romney campaign believes it is.
A Romney campaign ad titled "Welfare Reform," which came out earlier in August, says that's just what Obama did.
"On July 12, President Obama quietly ended the work requirement, gutting welfare reform. One of the most respected newspapers in the country called it 'nuts,' " the ad says.
"Under Obama's plan, you wouldn't have to work and you wouldn't have to train for a job," the ad continues. "They just send you your welfare check. And welfare to work goes back to being plain old welfare ..."
But the Obama campaign calls Romney's ad "nuts."
CNN's Fact-check agrees.
Clinton calls out 'disappointing' Romney ad
"Every single person here who's looked at it says it's patently false," Obama said a news conference on Monday.
So where did the notion of a major welfare reform overhaul come from?
Where it didn't come from is Washington but rather from Utah, Nevada, California, Connecticut and Minnesota.
These states, some with Republican governors, asked the federal government for more flexibility in how they hand out welfare dollars. Their purpose was to spend less time on federal paperwork and more time experimenting with ways to connect welfare recipients with jobs.
The Obama administration cooperated, granting waivers to some states from some of the existing rules.
The waivers gave "those states some flexibility in how they manage their welfare rolls as long as it produced 20% increases in the number of people getting work."
In some small way, the waivers might change precisely how work is calculated but the essential goal of pushing welfare recipients to work -- something both Democrats and Republicans agreed to in the 1990s -- remains the same.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
October 23, 2012 -- Updated 1458 GMT (2258 HKT)
Although it has been over for nearly a year now, the war in Iraq continued to be a flash point in the final debate.
October 23, 2012 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
President Barack Obama made the case that al Qaeda in Pakistan is decimated while Mitt Romney argued they are on the rise in other countries.
October 23, 2012 -- Updated 1322 GMT (2122 HKT)
President Barack Obama accused Mitt Romney of initially being against a withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan in 2014.
October 23, 2012 -- Updated 1318 GMT (2118 HKT)
The contention that President Obama apologized to other nations for American behavior has been mentioned repeatedly by his critics, including Mitt Romney.
October 23, 2012 -- Updated 1312 GMT (2112 HKT)
President Barack Obama asserted that it cost the United States less to help oust Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi than it did to run two weeks of the 2003-2011 war in Iraq.
October 23, 2012 -- Updated 2158 GMT (0558 HKT)
President Barack Obama said Gov. Mitt Romney had criticized his administration for being too tough against China, and bringing a protectionist case at the World Trade Organization.
October 20, 2012 -- Updated 1648 GMT (0048 HKT)
Conservative critics launched an attack on moderator Candy Crowley after she corrected Romney's claim that Obama did not refer to the consulate attack in Benghazi as an "act of terror."
October 17, 2012 -- Updated 1150 GMT (1950 HKT)
Romney highlighted the number of women in the unemployment lines during President Barack Obama's term.
October 17, 2012 -- Updated 1630 GMT (0030 HKT)
Obama said he identified the September 11 assault on the U.S. Consulate in Libya as a terrorist attack within a day; Romney said it took two weeks.
October 17, 2012 -- Updated 1153 GMT (1953 HKT)
Obama touted his administration's support for the federal Pell Grant program and other aid for college students.
October 17, 2012 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
Obama boasted that the Affordable Care Act gives insured women free contraception coverage, and said Romney thinks employers should decide whether women can get contraception through insurance.
October 12, 2012 -- Updated 1216 GMT (2016 HKT)
Fears of a possibly nuclear-armed Iran took center stage early in the vice presidential debate between Biden and Ryan.
October 12, 2012 -- Updated 1218 GMT (2018 HKT)
The September attack that killed four Americans at a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya was the subject of a few claims at the VP debate.
October 12, 2012 -- Updated 1220 GMT (2020 HKT)
Federal support for wind power and electric cars was one of the early flashpoints between Biden and Ryan.
October 12, 2012 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
The Affordable Care Act emerged as an issue between Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.