After days of right-wing media outlets lauding Mitt Romney for his hypocritical ad attacking President Obama over welfare work requirements, a Fox News guest finally criticized the ad. But instead of pointing out Romney's hypocrisy, he lamented its lack of images of "welfare moms."
In July, the Obama administration agreed to consider waivers to states to experiment with work requirements in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Such waivers had been requested by two Republican governors. In 2005, an even more extensive version of these waivers were requested by 29 Republican governors, including Romney. But despite his previous advocacy, Romney produced an ad attacking Obama for supposedly gutting welfare reform by supporting such waivers. Right-wing media figures have ignored the hypocrisy and praised the Romney ad.
Today, Fox & Friends hosted Michael Maslansky, business partner of frequent Fox guest Frank Luntz, to critique Romney's ad. Maslansky asserted that the ad contained "a great narrative that Obama doesn't care about ... requiring people to work for welfare." Maslanky then added:
But the imagery is all wrong. It's got people working when he talks about Obama not caring about people going to work. It should have welfare moms as pictures. You want to make it a strong ad? Put welfare moms up there.
Maslansky's use of the term "welfare moms" is reminiscent of the Reagan administration's use of the racially-charged term "welfare queen" to attack people who received government assistance. The term referred to women who have additional children while receiving government assistance. As Fox News' Juan Williams noted the "welfare queen" charge is "an old-fashioned, racially charged attack on Hispanics and blacks" as being "under the spell of an evil Democratic party."
The term also makes more clear the entire dog-whistle nature of the attack on Obama over welfare.