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Using RTD editorial, Romney camp continues welfare attack

Mitt Romney’s campaign is up with a new ad in Virginia and other swing states using a Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial in support of its continued attack on President Barack Obama’s welfare policies.

The 30-second ad doubles down on the Romney campaign’s claim that Obama ended welfare’s work requirement “gutting welfare reform,” a charge that has been debunked by multiple independent fact-checkers.

Titled “Richmond Times-Dispatch on Welfare Reform,” the ad features an Aug. 15, 2012 Times-Dispatch editorial that defended the Romney campaign’s previous ads, saying that the welfare reform law had indeed been “gutted” by changes to the work provisions.

“One of the most respected newspapers in America called it ‘Nuts,’” the ad’s narrator says, “saying ‘If you want to get more people to work, you don’t loosen the requirements — you tighten them.’”

The narrator concludes: “Mitt Romney’s plan for a stronger middle class will put work back in welfare.”

On the day it was released, PolitiFact.com debunked the first of the Romney campaign ads claiming that “under Obama’s plan, you wouldn’t have to work and wouldn’t have to train for a job. They just send you your welfare check,” rating it “Pants on Fire.”

FactCheck.org followed suit, finding that Obama’s changes to the welfare reform law neither gutted it, nor “dropped” the work provisions. Rather, the piece says, states were given authority to change the work requirements with a goal of increasing job placement. Making it a hat trick, the Washington Post Fact-Checker also gave the claim “Four Pinnochios.”

“The Obama administration has strengthened the welfare to work requirement, not weakened it,” said Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith. “Just one week after pledging to run a substantive campaign, and whining about the negativity in this race, it’s clear Mitt Romney has absolutely no intention of living up to that pledge.”