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August 07, 2012 - 3:38 pm

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August 07, 2012 - 8:58 am

BY WESLEY P. HESTER

Welfare is at the focus of a new TV ad from GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee airing in Virginia and other key battleground states.

The ad, titled “Right Choice,” starts by giving kudos to President Bill Clinton and congress for enacting welfare reform in 1996 by requiring “work for welfare.” But it quickly pivots to an attack on President Barack Obama.

“But on July 12th, President Obama quietly announced a plan to gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements,” the narrator says. “Under Obama’s plan, you wouldn’t have to work and wouldn’t have to train for a job. They just send you your welfare check. And welfare to work goes back to being plain old welfare.”

The ad closes: "Mitt Romney will restore the work requirement because it works."

On the same day the ad was released, PolitiFact.com debunked the assertion that "under Obama’s plan, you wouldn’t have to work and wouldn’t have to train for a job. They just send you your welfare check." The fact-checking unit gave the claim a "Pants on Fire."

"In the latest example of Mitt Romney not telling the truth, he falsely attacks the president for weakening welfare to work requirements," responded Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith. "The truth is that the president is giving states additional flexibility only if they move more people from welfare to work –- not fewer." 

Over the weekend, the Romney campaign released two other new ads focused on the nation’s unemployment rate and its relationship with Israel. See them here, and here


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August 02, 2012 - 4:58 pm

BY OLYMPIA MEOLA

President Barack Obama’s campaign plans to open six more offices this weekend, which will bring to 31 the total number of posts around the state.

Offices are opening on Saturday and Sunday in Emporia, Fluvanna County, Halifax County, Reston, Lynchburg and Mt. Vernon, according to the campaign. A Chesapeake location opened on Wednesday.

At this point, both campaigns are setting up locations across the state at a brisk pace.

Republicans have set up offices across Virginia and have a total of 28 through their “Victory 2012” campaign — a joint effort of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s camp, the Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of Virginia.


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August 02, 2012 - 3:43 pm

BY WESLEY P. HESTER

Former Gov. George Allen, the Republican U.S. Senate nominee, has agreed to three fall debates with former Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, the Democratic nominee.

The new debates will be Sept. 20 in McLean, sponsored by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce; Oct. 8 in Richmond, hosted by the AARP, League of Women Voters Virginia, WVCE Public Radio and WTVR CBS 6; and Oct. 18 in Blacksburg, hosted by WSLS NBC 10 TV and Virginia Tech.

Kaine had already accepted invitations to those debates, and others.

“We’ve accepted eight broadcast debates across Virginia, including these three,” said Brandi Hoffine, communications director for Kaine for Virginia. “We’re hopeful that there will be more so that as many Virginians as possible have the opportunity to hear directly from the candidates, but we’re looking forward to these three.”

An Allen campaign spokeswoman said that five debates between the candidates would be sufficient. Allen and Kaine have already debated twice — last December at AP Day at the Capitol and last month at The Homestead, a session sponsored by the Virginia Bar Association.

Allen participated in three GOP debates before he won the party’s nomination in a June primary.

“George Allen has welcomed this election’s debate opportunities to contrast his vision and record with that of Tim Kaine,” said Mike Thomas, Allen’s campaign manager.


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August 02, 2012 - 9:19 am

BY WESLEY P. HESTER

GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign has released a Richmond-focused web video highlighting President Barack Obama’s “you didn’t build this” comments in Roanoke weeks ago. 

The video features Melissa Ball, owner of Ball Office Products in Richmond, expressing her disappointment with the remarks and the president’s policies.

Ball has become a go-to local businesswoman for the GOP, having helped Gov. Bob McDonnell, and now Romney, on a variety of occasions. Just last week, Ball hosted an event at her business where McDonnell, acting as a surrogate for Romney, criticized the president’s remarks.

Democrats claim the president’s comments in Roanoke have been taken out of context to use against him. They are printed below in the context of the speech so you can decide for yourself:

“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.”


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