msnbc | August 29, 2012
>>> the republican convention , andrea mitchell is on the floor with us with my dear friend rick santorum . andrea .
>> i'm with rick santorum . you gave a speech today and focused on welfare and really went at the president, a lot of fact checkers, all the fact checkers have said that campaign ad by the romney campaign is not accurate, that the waivers were requested by governors, republican governors, what up with that?
>> well, i'm not suggesting that some republican governors don't want to waive the work requirement. some do, unfortunately. but congress is very clear that we understand that the way to move people from welfare to work is to do two things, require work and to put a time limit on welfare and someone who helped write the bill, was a principal author in the house particular, we said those were the things we wouldn't allow to be waived and created enormous flexibility to try to help people do those two things, and guess what happened? welfare rolls went dramatically down. people went back to work. poverty went down. i mean all of these things proved to work and work well. president obama opposed welfare reform . opposed work requirements. he waived work requirements earlier in his term on food stamps and food stamps have exploded.
>> exploded because the economy is in such terrible shape.
>> because we have broadened eligibility. look, this is a president who continues to broaden he would jiblt for a variety of different programs and pulling back on work requirements. only reason you issue something like that is weaken those requirements or in some cases i suspect they could be eliminated.
>> how did it feel tonight? you fought so hard for this nomination. you won the early primaries. mitt romney clobbered you with money and then you're here tonight, loyal republican soldier watching the acclaim for mitt romney ? what's the emotional tug there.
>> oh, none to be very honest with you. you know, look, i got into this race because i believe this is the most important election in my lifetime, and that president obama is doing severe damage to our country on every front and that we have an obligation to come together and try to right the ship here so i have no emotion other than trying to get people, many people did come up to me and said thank you, you helped me rally behind governor romney .
>> the keynote speech from chris christie ?
>> vintage chris christie . i mean, i just -- i'm someone who, you know, grew up in an italian home and sort of love that smashmouth, just right at them kind of talk.
>> does it make it harder for mitt romney in his acceptance speech when you have such a bare knuckle speech from chris christie ? do you think there's going to be some republicans thinking would have, could have, should have.
>> i don't know about that. there's a place for bare knuckle knuckles and a place for a velvet touch. the president has to have sort of that range that a singer has or an actor has to be able to communicate on a whole variety of different levels. chris seemingly has one speed. i think, you know, governor romney has more than one speed and hopefully we'll see that on display thursday night.
>> thank you very much. just one word about ann romney 's speech because the women on this floor, the republican women here really seemed to be responding to that call from the candidate's wife.
>> well, there's nothing better for a candidate than to get -- you know, to hear from the person they've spent, what, how many years with, and i think that insight hopefully -- i always felt that this convention, the most important thing this convention could do is give people a better picture of who romney is and who better than his wife and she did a good job of doing that.
>> rick santorum , thank you very much. thank you. rachel, back to you.
>> thank you, andrea . senator santorum in my opinion gave the best speech of the night, bar none . he was not -- not billed as the guy that would do that but with andrea trying to nail him down on the issue of whether or not the president did try to remove the work requirement from welfare, the president did no such thing, mr. santorum's only explanation was blame governors who might have requested that kind of flexibility. those governors would include mitt romney when he was governor of massachusetts , so the welfare attack still just factually disastrous for the republicans, but they don't seem to care. i have one correction to make. i referred to senator santorum earlier as my dear friend. i was lying. he's not actually my friend. he won't even talk to me but it was just wishful thinking . coming up chris