(CNN) – David Axelrod, senior strategist for the president's re-election campaign, on Thursday stood by his criticism of longtime Democratic ally Hilary Rosen after she made a controversial comment about Ann Romney.
The campaign quickly distanced itself from Rosen when she argued Wednesday that Ann Romney is unable to relate to working mothers because she had been a stay-at-home mom and "never worked a day in her life."
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Axelrod called out the Democratic strategist on Twitter shortly after her remarks, and a snowball of criticism directed at Rosen soon followed.
"We have an obligation to speak out, not just when people say things we think are inappropriate who are on the other side of the aisle, but when people are on our side of the aisle, when our friends speak out," Axelrod said Thursday on CNN's "John King, USA."
Republicans and Democrats alike both piled on throughout the day, including President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Offering an apology Thursday, Rosen, also a CNN contributor, told CNN she misspoke but she was not taking the firestorm of attacks-even from her own friends-personally.
Romney's campaign, however, focused on the issue for much of the day, labeling Rosen as an "Obama adviser" and painting her statements as part of a new Democratic-backed "war on moms."
Axelrod reiterated that Rosen was "not and never has been" an operative of the Obama campaign, despite her close ties with many who have worked in the Obama White House and for the Democratic Party.
"Hilary has acknowledged that she misspoke and said something she regretted saying in the way that she said it," Axelrod said.
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Rosen could have spoken more tactfully, but the fact is Lady Romney is out of touch with working women across the nation. She has apparently done a good job of raising her family, but probably has had more help than the average mother. She has never laid awake at night worrying about how to pay the mortgage or put food on the table. Her life has been very secure, comfortable and sheltered from many of the uglier realities of life.
While these GOPers will make hay grabbing at straws, a few things are clear: Rosen fully respects Ann Romney; Ann Romney's life is VERY far removed from that of the average struggling woman anywhere, which is what Rosen meant; Rosen and Axelrod and Obama are mature enough to know that they are on the same team even if they have to occasionally criticize each other. Having said that it would be appropriate that the Obama team owns Rosen , a faithful committed Democrat who happened to slip up this time.