msnbc | August 28, 2012
>>> when are rnc and the romney campaign drew up a schedule of speakers tonight, they made what has turned out to be an interesting choice of speakers. we're expecting to hear from former senator and former presidential candidate rick santorum . but instead of santorum talking about what he is known for, instead of talking about social issues, republicans decided to have mr. santorum speak about welfare. this has been almost lost to history of the primaries this year, but rick santorum fans will remember this particular moment from the republican primaries .
>> i don't want to make people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money. i want to give them the opportunity to make their own money. he insisted what he said was blah people, and not black people . but what he was talking about was the issue of food stamps and welfare, and as he put it, getting other people's money. before mitt romney started rung ad after ad about how president obama has attempted to gut welfare reform by taking the work requirement out of it, a charge that has been universally debunked by fact checkers, that was sort of rick santorum territory. he was the guy who was saying this. not giving free money to blah people. his attempt to run on the issue of welfare reform has proved to be tricky for mr. romney . as governor, romney sought a waiver on the issue of welfare reform , as did a number of other republican governors, including brian sandoval from nevada. these governors are trying to backtrack from the fact that they have done that in their own records as fast as possible. but also, making welfare reform a signature issue has also likely contributed to this. this is the preference of african-american voters this year. 94% for president obama . zero for mitt romney . here's what it looks like among latino voters. there is a 35-point gap in favor of president obama over mitt romney . if the republican party is trying to appeal to african-americans and latinos this week, what they are offering is rick blah people santorum on a false charge about welfare and him being the president of lazy people who are taking your money and a republican party platform that seems to nationalize arizona's papers please immigration law , setting that up as a model for the country if this is supposed to be policy chasing people, i don't see how it works. chris matthews ?
>> you know, i think that people that don't recognize the code about welfare and food stamps are really being dishonest. i think if you look at our history from ronald reagan , who would talk about the young buck in the line using food stamps to buy t-bone steaks, or certainly wallace or david duke . they all talked about welfare. welfare has been a classic tool to pry apart working class whites from working class blacks. it's brilliant, because everybody sees it who wants to see it. certainly blacks can't avoid seeing it. whites can deny it because it isn't technically racial or sectarian, but everyone knows what's going on here. everyone knows. this and now for mitt romney , who should be able to win on the arithmetic, on the unemployment rate, on the job creation , on a number of factors, growth in this country not being what it should be, for some reason has resigned himself to the fact that he'll get no black votes and therefore he might as well work for the working class white vote. this isn't prejudice on his part. there's no evidence of that. it's really about engineering the country politically. it's a very bad sign of this ability to still be able to do it in our country. it's amazing. in the 21st century , 2012 , and what worked 60 or 70 years ago is still working today. say welfare, people think black because politically they've been taught to say so. i get back to living in d.c. all these years. i've lived there 40 years, a black majority city. anybody who wants to get up early in washington and drive down north capital and drive past florida avenue sees nothing but black people up and 6:30 in the morning going to work. that's where they're going. to work. and not at big wage jobs and not to get a welfare check. they're out work hard all day and not coming home with a fantastic paycheck. so this notion that blacks live on welfare and whites live on work is a brilliant political ploy, but it's not true, rachel, and you know it, i know it.
>> in terms of the truth of this, we are about to hear from rick santorum . if they tell us what he's going to say, it's that president obama gutted the welfare reform . it has no basis in raesmt does rick santorum have the burden of having to prove that that is true, or do they ignore --
>> i'm waiting for the governor. i think it's a hard find. you know there's always an argument about the truth of these ads and they somewhat are gray. this is one, as you pointed out, is a thousand percent wrong. it's called dishonest on front pages of quality newspapers, but let's see what santorum does. will he try to play this card dishonestly tonight.
>> if rick santorum tells you that president obama gutted the work requirement from welfare reform , he is not telling the truth.