(Newsroom America) -- Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Tuesday accused President Obama of disregarding longstanding work requirements for welfare recipients, blasting him for fostering a "culture of dependency" while substantiating his claim with a new television spot.
The White House hit back, with spokesman Jay Carney accusing Romney of "blatant hypocrisy," saying that once, when he was governor of Massachusetts, he petitioned the White House to seek a loosening of employment rules for those receiving government assistance.
Romney made his comments to a group of voters in Illinois, which is not considered a battleground state and is actually believed to be safely in Obama's column. The president's adopted home town is Chicago.
In an appearance before hundreds of supporters at a manufacturing plant near Chicago, Romney said 1996 legislation passed by a Republican Congress and signed by Democratic President Bill Clinton "reformed welfare to encourage people to work. They did not want a culture of dependency to continue to grow in our country."
He went onto say that recently the president "has tried to reverse that accomplishment by taking the work requirement out of welfare. That is wrong, and If I'm president, I'll put work back in welfare. ...We will end a culture of dependency and restore a culture of good, hard work."
His new television spot emphasized his point.
"Under Obama's plan you wouldn't have to work and wouldn't have to train for a job. They just send you a welfare check, and welfare to work goes back to being plan old welfare," says a narrator.
"Mitt Romney will restore the work requirement."
Recently the Obama administration announced it was planning to issue waivers to states "to test alternative and innovative strategies, policies and procedures" regarding work and welfare requirements, adding that Republican governors in Utah and Nevada were among those seeking them.
Republicans in Congress, however, criticized the policy shift as a move to undermine the work requirement established during Clinton's tenure.
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