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Romney: New welfare attack

“U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will launch a new attack against President Barack Obama on Tuesday, taking aim at the Democrat's plan to waive parts of a landmark welfare-to-work law,” Reuters notes.

The ad claims: “On July 12, President Obama quietly announced a plan to gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements. Under Obama’s plan, you wouldn’t have to work and wouldn’t have to train for a job. They just send you your welfare check. And welfare to work just goes back to being plain old welfare.”

But this breezy claim is misleading. The change Romney is attacking was actually designed to give states more flexibility – something for which Republican often argue. By the way, it’s also another attack that began with House Republicans.

Reuters has the context: “The directive from the Health and Human Services Department allows states to pursue a waiver from the work requirement of the welfare law in order to test alternative strategies that would help needy families find jobs. The aim is to give states some flexibility in how they carry out the welfare law as some state governors have advocated, rather than sticking to a rigid formula. But the health department's decision has generated strong opposition from Republicans. In the House, 76 Republicans complained in a letter to Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who sought to assure them that states will have to move at least 20 percent more people from welfare to work. But in a bare-knuckled presidential campaign, such nuances are quickly cast aside, and Romney is going full throttle after Obama on the issue.”

The Washington Post: “The Obama campaign responded by noting that in 2005, then-Massachusetts governor Romney and most other Republican governors requested state waivers similar to those the Obama administration began allowing with the Department of Health and Human Services’ July 12 announcement.”

GOP 12 notes that this is the fourth time that Romney or his allies have used Bill Clinton in an ad.

That’s not the only misleading Romney ad. The Washington Post’s fact checker: While there may have been good political reasons for Obama to make a trip to Jerusalem, the basic frame of the ad is misleading, especially the claim that he’s traveled all through the Middle East at the expense of a visit to Israel. The Romney ad also misleadingly suggests Obama’s failure to visit Israel is unusual since it asks, ‘Who shares your values?’” In fact, just four of the last 11 presidents have traveled to Israel. George W. Bush didn’t do it until he was in his eighth year as president and his father, George H.W. Bush, never visited.

“Romney's July [money] advantage was the biggest yet, leading to increasingly urgent fundraising appeals from Obama and the Democrats,” USA Today writes. “One e-mail to supporters from Obama's campaign chief operating officer, Ann Marie Habershaw, used the subject line, ‘This is why I keep asking.’”

Harry Reid to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, per Politcal Wire: "The whole controversy would end very quickly if he would just release his income tax returns just like everybody else that runs for president."

(The White House, by the way, distanced itself yesterday fro Reid’s comments, per NBC’s Kristen Welker.)

The RNC announced a few more speakers, NBC’s Garrett Haake reports, including: Gov. Mary Fallin, Sen. Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, and Jeb Bush.

Hey, Romney campaign… Reagan’s campaign manager says this isn’t 1980.

Reince Priebus on FOX on the Reid attacks, per GOP 12: "We are not going to get pushed around by these baseless accusations that the president's behind. I mean, the president is behind this. All he has to do is say to Harry Reid, 'You know what, cut this garbage out. This is not what I'm about. This is not what I campaigned on in 2008'. The problem is this president isn't who he said he was, and all of this is going to come unraveled."

And get this… Political Wire: “RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said he hopes Sarah Palin will speak at the Republican convention in Tampa, Politico reports. Said Priebus: ‘I think a lot of her and hope that she does speak.’ Palin told the Tampa Bay Times that she'd ‘have an announcement in a couple of days’ regarding the convention, though no announcement came.”

Priebus has previously touted Palin’s role in American politics and how closely he was able to work with her as chairman of the Wisconsin state GOP.

Cheney backs off Palin: “Former vice president Dick Cheney backed off criticism of 2008 veep nominee Sarah Palin today, saying her selection was "a mistake" because of the process, not her as an individual. ‘It wasn't aimed so much at Gov. Palin as it was against the basic process that (GOP nominee John) McCain used,’ Cheney told Fox News talk show host Sean Hannity,” per USA Today.