Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, one of Mitt Romney’s top candidates for the GOP vice presidential slot, has joined the chorus of Republicans ripping President Barack Obama for his recent directive concerning welfare.
The rule change allows waivers to the seminal 1996 welfare reform law, and Republicans say it guts the requirement that those receiving welfare actively seek a job.
“In 1996, President Clinton and the then Republican Congress passed landmark welfare reform legislation that did a number of things,” Pawlenty told WIOD radio in Miami.
One of those things was the job search requirement. “It was an acclaimed welfare reform that had become bipartisan in many respects, although led by the Republicans,” Pawlenty said. “And it worked.”
But, “now you have President Obama issuing an executive directive to say that that requirement can be relaxed or waived and, really, dismantling the reform if that goes forward,” he said. “So, appropriately, Gov. Romney and Republicans are criticizing him for taking that step.”
Pawlenty has an explanation for why the Obama campaign has gone negative – “because his record is so bad,” the former governor said. “If you say, ‘does his record deserve re-election and did he keep his promises?’ The answer is no. So he’s surmised that he can’t win based on a positive telling of his record.”
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