Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett visited Philadelphia Wednesday to stump for the Romney-Ryan presidential ticket. He spoke in the middle of a tough week for the Romney campaign, following the release of a video in which the GOP nominee calls 47 percent of Americans too dependent on government.
Corbett said he hadn’t seen the video, taped secretly at a fundraising dinner, but he said Mitt Romney was commenting on the number of people who are now dependent on the government.
“We have to start reducing the dependency on the government because we have become or are closely becoming an entirely entitlement-mentality. And this country will never be what it once was if we accept that,” Corbett said during an appearance at the Port of Philadelphia.
Before the governor arrived, the Obama campaign deployed its own surrogates.
State Rep. Eugene DePasquale, D-York, said that government-issued student loans helped him and his wife become independent through higher education.
“She came from a struggling dairy farm. My dad was actually in prison when I went to graduate school, you know, so we would not have been able to do it but for some assistance,” DePasquale recounted. “That gave us the ability to then go out and make our money and be productive members of society.”
During his remarks, Corbett repeated a discredited allegation that the Obama Administration has weakened work requirements for welfare recipients.
“We need to get people off of dependency with the government by getting them jobs, by building the economy. not by waiving rules of looking for work on welfare,” Corbett said.
The governor was referring to an administrative memo from the Department of Health and Human Services allowing states to apply for exemptions from some regulations. The waivers let states test new ways to fulfill work requirements that might be more effective. Those taking the waivers have to promise to place more people in jobs than under the old rules.
Speaking after his address, Corbett was dismissive of the slew of independent fact-checkers who have debunked the same claims when they appeared in widely aired Romney campaign ads.
As of earlier this summer, Corbett’s administration was still looking into the waiver program and had not made a decision on whether to apply.