Thursday, April 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Mitt Drives the Baseline

Romney is back with his claim Obama is gutting welfare work rules; but this time its aimed squarely at his base.

Mitt Drives the Baseline

There’s a basic rule in basketball that you defend the baseline, the area closest to the hoop, because it’s an easy path to a score.

Mitt Romney is driving baseline with a new video ad on his claim that President Obama wants to “gut” work rules for welfare recipients, a claim universally labeled false by a variety of fact-checking news organizations and non-partisan watchdog groups.

Romney first jumped on the issue last month with a broadcast ad but now restricts the complaint to references in front of friendly GOP audiences and with this new online video, "Only in America," aimed squarely at his base.

It’s a smart tactic to fire up conservative, anti-welfare followers. The video is a touching story of a former welfare recipient who made good, presumably because of welfare-work rules. You can watch it here.

Interestingly, support in the video for claims Obama is stripping such rules comes from The Heritage Foundation and the National Review Online, two sources the GOP love and trust. Everybody else is, you know, leftist, liberal, lying, godless media.

So this is (not to mix sports metaphors) an end-around, aimed at scoring with the base.

The Obama campaign Tuesday issued a statement reiterating that Romney/Ryan claims that work rules are being stripped from welfare are “false and misleading,” but I’m betting the GOP base doesn’t pay much attention or give much credence to Obama campaign statements.

As such, expect Mitt to continue driving the baseline because, in politics, a thing doesn't have to be true to be effective.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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