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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

New Romney Attacks on Obama and Welfare: Racial Wedge?

UPDATE:  PolitiFact just judged Romney "welfare" attacks as big lie--"pants on fire."  Concludes: "The ad’s claim is not accurate, and it inflames old resentments about able-bodied adults sitting around collecting public assistance." Also see Maddow video here on the "racist dog whistle" angle that I mention below.

The Romney camp, while denouncing the Obamabots for their allegedly overwhelmingly "negative" campaign (and see here for their media allies doing same), is out with a new ad hitting the president for considering granting a few waivers in the welfare-to-work program.  Ad  does not admit that Romney favored such waivers when he was governor (so what else is new?) and that two of the five states that have applied are governed by...Republicans.  Romney  pushing this meme on the stump today but now the White House has blasted back, calling the attacks "false" and "dishonest."

But this approach, in any case, smacks of the old race-tinged rhetoric of GOPers and Southern Democrats of olde--not to mention Ronald Reagan and his "welfare queens."  Most whites probably still associate the word "welfare" with "minority," not to mention "lazy."

Plus, there's new word at NYT on Americans for Prosperity, the Tea Party things-go-better-with-Koch group, is launching its biggest anti-Obama campaign yet, to the tune of $25 million.  What's really different though is first ad expressly calls for defeat of the president,  raising questions about how far into such candidate advocacy such ads can go.  Here it is:

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