Mitt Romney: We Must Restore Work in Welfare

Statement

By:  Mitt Romney
Date: Aug. 7, 2012
Location: Elk Grove, IL

MITT ROMNEY: "One of the things that happened in the last couple of decades was one of the greatest bipartisan successes we've seen. And that was President Bill Clinton and Republicans coming together to reform welfare. They reformed welfare not to just save money. More importantly, they reformed welfare to encourage people to work. They did not want a culture of dependency to continue to grow in our country but instead wanted to have people to have the blessings of work. And by virtue of that bipartisan effort that put work back into welfare, you saw the welfare caseload cut in half and you also saw the number of people in poverty come down year after year after year. That was a great accomplishment. I hope you understand that President Obama in just the last few days has tried to reverse that accomplishment by taking the work requirement out of welfare. That is wrong. If I'm president I will put work back in welfare. There is nothing better than a good job to help lift a family, to allow people to be able to provide for themselves, and to end the spread of a culture of dependency. We must include more work in welfare. When I was Governor of my state, I fought time and again. My legislature passed a bill removing the work requirements at the level we'd had in the past. I vetoed that and then fought time and again to get more work requirements, to raise the work requirements of my state. Not because I don't think people who need help should be helped. I very much agree that those who are seriously disabled or are unable to work need to have the help of the rest of us. But those who can work ought to have the opportunity for a good job and if they are getting state assistance they ought to have the requirement for a good job. We will end a culture of dependency and restore a culture of good hard work."