It would appear the Romney team is now fully banking on their ability to run a campaign focused around things that are simply not true. The campaign admitted that their highly racially tinged ad which falsely accuses Obama of gutting the work requirements for Welfare reform is their most effective ad. From Buzzfeed:
“Our most effective ad is our welfare ad,” a top television advertising strategist for Romney, Ashley O’Connor, said at a forum Tuesday hosted by ABCNews and Yahoo! News. “It’s new information.”
The welfare ad has been the center of intense dispute, with Democrats accusing Romney of unearthing old racial ghosts and Romney pointing out that the Obama Administration has offered states waivers that could, in fact, lighten work requirements in welfare, a central issue in Bill Clinton’s 1996 revamping of public assistance.
The Washington Post‘s “Fact Checker” awarded Romney’s ad “four Pinocchios,” a measure Romney pollster Neil Newhouse dismissed.
The ad is quite simply based on a complete fabrication, a misrepresentation of reality. The Washington post is only one of numerous fact checkers and media outlets to point out the ad is not true. Instead of responding to the criticism by changing the messaging, the Romney team is doubling down on the false claim that Obama has “gutted” the work requirement from the welfare reform laws. Not only is the Romney campaign still repeating the false attack about welfare, but Romney told USA Today that Obama was doing this to “shore up his base.” This charge is also knowingly false, since Romney knows the underlying claim is false.
Since the Romney campaign admits this style of attack is effective, and they don’t care if the claims are true or not, we should expect more of this racial dog whistle messaging between now and November.