"It's a tacit acknowledgement that it's not enough to just hammer the economy," said Steve Lombardo, a Republican pollster who worked for Romney's 2008 presidential campaign. "That will get you to 46, 47 percent, but it won't get you to 51 percent."
Obama campaign officials say they see no evidence in their internal polling that Romney's welfare criticism is helping the Republican gain any ground.
Democrats see Romney's focus on welfare as an attempt to put a wedge between Obama and Clinton, the popular former president who has taken on an increasingly active role in Obama's re-election campaign.
Clinton, seeking to steer his administration toward the political center, signed a welfare reform law in 1996 that replaced a federal entitlement with grants to states. It also put a time limit on how long families can get aid and required recipients to go to work eventually.
Clinton is among those who have called Romney's welfare attacks dishonest and false.
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