In an interview with Anderson Cooper on Wednesday, Newt Gingrich acknowledged there is no proof to back up claims about President Obama's welfare policy in a controversial Romney ad.
The ad has been widely criticized for inaccurately stating Obama wants to "gut welfare reform" by "dropping work requirements." The narrator tells viewers, "you wouldn't have to work and wouldn't have to train for a job. They just send you your welfare check."
Gingrich defended the ad and repeated a line similarly used by Romney in campaign speeches. "This is an administration which has maximized the increase in dependency, maximized the number of people on food stamps, maximized the effort to get people to rely on the government."
The Obama administration has said that waivers will only be granted if states requesting them can make the case that the changes they're proposing would lead to higher employment rates for welfare recipients. The president's re-election campaign has also said that that flexibility, which was first requested by Republican governors in Utah and Nevada, is similar to changes sought by Republican governors – including then-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney – back in 2005.
"We have no proof today," Gingrich admitted, but defended the claims on the grounds that "under Obama's ideology, it is absolutely true that he would be comfortable sending a lot of people checks for doing nothing."
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