Obama plays defense on welfare [VIDEO]

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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President Barack Obama’s campaign is broadcasting a new ad to remedy the damage caused by its June 12 proposal to roll back the popular 1996 welfare reform law.

Gov. Mitt Romney and his allies have been highlighting the rollback in speeches, statements and in a TV ad dubbed “Right Choice.”

Obama’s new ad, titled “Blatant,” quotes opinion articles in the New York Times and the Washington Post, plus an administration letter, to argue that the Romney’s criticism is untrue.

“The truth is clear: President Obama is strengthening welfare-to-work requirements by requiring states to move 20 percent more people from welfare to work in order to receive additional flexibility,” said a campaign press release.

However, that ad’s claim the rollback would boost welfare-to-work by 20 percent is drawn from a damage-control letter sent in July to Republican critics by Obama’s deputy, Kathleen Sebelius, the Health and Human Services Secretary.

The ad also includes a short quote from President Bill Clinton, who has provided a limited defense of Obama’s effort to rollback the workfare requirements.

The defensive ad will likely aid Obama’s campaign in most of the critical swing-states, suggesting that the Obama campaign gauged Romney’s criticism to be effective with swing-voters.

It will be broadcast in Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, North Carolina, Florida, Iowa and Nevada.

Next week, Romney will tour through Virginia, Ohio, Florida and North Carolina.

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