Republican presidential Mitt Romney is due in Iowa later today to attend a private campaign fundraiser, but Romney’s staff held a telephone conference call this morning to publicize Romney’s latest attack against President Obama. Jonathan Burks, the deputy policy director for the Romney campaign, accused Obama of trying to undermine the bipartisan 1996 welfare reform law.
“President Obama has always been opposed to the strong work requirement in welfare and is trying to take an opportunity gut that requirement,” Burks told reporters.
Ted Cruz — the Republican nominee for the open U.S. Senate seat in Texas — suggested it shows how different Obama is from Bill Clinton, who signed welfare reform into law.
“President Obama apparently believes that Bill Clinton was way too conservative and that the Obama Administration is and should be far, far to the left of the Clinton Administration,” Cruz told reporters.
A Health and Human Services directive allows states to get a waiver from the work requirement in order to test new methods of finding jobs for needy families. Obama campaign officials say those waivers are only available to states that move 20 percent more people from welfare into work.
“Contrary to what Romney is alleging, President Obama’s actions have strengthened, not weakened, the welfare system’s ability to move people from assistance to employment,” Stephanie Cutter, the deputy campaign manager for Obama, told reporters in a conference call.
Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat, also spoke with reporters in a conference call organized by the Obama campaign.
“Today, Mr. Romney is literally behind a gated community, raising even more money, while we’re talking about the middle class and how we can help Iowans,” Harkin said.
Romney is scheduled to appear at a campaign fundraiser in Glen Oaks in West Des Moines. The development’s website describes Glen Oaks as a “private golf club community” featuring “guarded gates.” Romney out-raised President Obama in July, collecting over $101 million for his campaign compared to the $75 million in campaign cash Obama raised last month.
Romney will hold a public campaign event in Des Moines early Wednesday morning. The Obama campaign announced this afternoon that the president Obama will embark on a three-day tour of Iowa on Monday, with events in Council Bluffs, Boone, Oskaloosa, Marshalltown, Waterloo, Dubuque and Davenport.