(NBC) -- Mitt Romney is working to make welfare a major issue on the campaign trail.
Romney has accused President Obama of rolling back welfare reform to reduce the requirement that recipients work.
The White House calls the charge outrageous.
In 1996 President Bill Clinton and both parties agreed to add a work requirement.
Now, the the Obama administration is loosening that rule, giving states the flexibility on welfare they demand, and giving Romney an issue.
"Taking the work requirement out of welfare, that is wrong," Romney said. "If I'm president, I'll put work back in welfare."
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney called Romney's claim "categorically false and it is blatantly dishonest."
The White House asserts the Obama plan requires governors to move 20% more welfare recipients to work.
"This administration's policy will strengthen the program by giving states the opportunity to employ more effective ways to help people get off welfare and into a job," Carney countered.
President Obama, meanwhile, resorted to name calling on Romney's plan to keep taxes low on the rich.
"It's like Robin Hood in reverse. It's Romney Hood," he said.
Romney later responded "and if I were to coin a term it would be Obabaloney".
So who's winning?
So far, not Romney,
In ten of 11 swing states, he's behind in the polls..
Running second is one reason Romney's talking welfare, to try to shake up the race.