Last night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow explained that Mitt Romney’s welfare reform ad was “obvious dog-whistle racism” and a effort to distract voters from his tax returns.

Maddow insisted that the welfare reform issue had a history of being used by Republicans to stoke “racial resentment” from white voters.

MSNBC’s Melissa Harris Perry joined Maddow for the segment, and agreed:

“I want to be clear about how African-American single mothers who are in circumstances of poverty and trying to raise their children in difficult circumstances, that’s what we’re talking about when we use this kind of welfare queen boogeyman.” Perry said, adding that “the goal” of these attacks was to “stoke racial resentment” among white women “to get them to vote their race rather than their gender.”