August 15, 2012

A curious thing happened this morning, probably by complete accident, but nevertheless occurred: NBC's Chuck Todd called out a Republican Governor for his blatant lying. The interview started out innocently enough, discussing the effects of the drought in the mid-west with Iowa's Terry Branstad, but took a turn when Branstad veered off into wingnuttery that the increase in the food stamp program, coupled with the "gutting" of the welfare reform law by getting rid of work requirements have contributed to the lack of a Farm Bill. None of which is true of course, but as a current republican talking point Branstad felt compelled to insert it into the discussion. Chuck Todd, perhaps jarred by this offnote, committed an uncharacteristic act of journalism by calling out Branstad with this mild rebuke.

h/t Think Progress

BRANSTAD: We reformed welfare in the 1990s, now the Obama administration’s trying to undo the work requirement.

TODD: Wait a minute, Gov. Branstad, I can’t let that go. They haven’t done that. [Crosstalk] You leveled a charge about the welfare work requirement. It turns out that’s not true. Where did you get your information?

BRANSTAD: It absolutely is. I was one of the governors that helped get it, and when we passed it, it was designed not to be waived. And now the President of the United States has, by executive order in July, weakened that which was very effective.

TODD: The waivers are for state governors. The waivers are for you. [...] If governors weaken it to a certain point, the federal government yanks the waiver. [...] Nothing about this issue, every charge that has been leveled about this welfare reform order that the president signed, every accusation that has been leveled by some Republicans have been proven to be not true.

BRANSTAD: Well, the fact of the matter is that the president did it. He didn’t have to take this action to weaken the strong work requirement that was passed.

TODD: It doesn’t weaken it…The works still there, governor, it’s still there.

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