April 12th, 2012
02:43 AM ET
2 years ago

Democrat's comment about Ann Romney creates firestorm on Twitter

(CNN) – Democratic Strategist Hilary Rosen generated instant bipartisan criticism Wednesday night for her statement that Ann Romney has "actually never worked a day in her life."

The reaction on Twitter from high level politicos was instant and virtually unanimous: Rosen had gone too far.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

Rosen: Ann Romney and working moms

Rosen's comment also prompted Ann Romney herself to make her twitter debut.

"I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys," Romney tweeted. "Believe me, it was hard work."

Rosen, also a CNN political contributor and a working mother, made her comments on CNN's "AC360."

"What you have is Mitt Romney running around the country, saying, 'Well, you know, my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues, and when I listen to my wife, that's what I'm hearing.' Guess what? His wife has actually never worked a day in her life," Rosen said.

"She's never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing, in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school, and why do we worry about their future," Rosen continued, adding that Romney "just seems so old fashioned when it comes to women."

Her comments drew instant criticism on Twitter from campaign advisers on both sides of the aisle, as well as one of Romney's sons.

Josh Romney posted that his mother "is one of the smartest, hardest working woman I know. Could have done anything with her life, chose to raise me."

The senior adviser to President Barack Obama's reelection bid also took to Twitter to distance the campaign from the comments.

"Also Disappointed in Hilary Rosen's comments about Ann Romney," David Axelrod wrote. "They were inappropriate and offensive."

Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter posted, "Families must be off limits on campaigns, and I personally believe stay at home moms work harder than most of us do."

Several press aides to Romney's campaign - Andrea Saul, Ryan Williams, and Amanda Henneberg - posted links tying Obama to Rosen, such as her appointment as a DNC adviser and her appearance at a White House event.

Romney campaign strategist Eric Fehrnstrom wrote: "Obama adviser Hilary Rosen goes on #CNN to debut their new "kill Ann" strategy, and in the process insults hard-working moms."

Eric Erickson, a CNN political contributor and editor of a conservative website, appeared on the same panel as Rosen, and tweeted, "If raising 5 sons through breast cancer and MS isn't a real job, I'm not sure what is."

The comment drew criticism from a Republican member of Congress, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, who posted, "Wrong. Being a mom is a full-time job."

Rosen explained her comments in a post on the social networking site.

"When I said @AC360 Ann Romney never worked I meant she never had to care for her kids AND earn a paycheck like MOST American women! #Truth," she wrote.

She later posted a direct comment to Romney.

"Please know, I admire you. But your husband shouldn't say you are his expert on women and the economy."

Also see:

Romney on Santorum: 'This has been a good day for me'

Louisiana governor endorses Romney

Crossroads GPS to drop $1.7 million against Obama


Filed under: 2012 • Anderson Cooper 360 • Ann Romney
soundoff (237 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    Hilary Rosen's comments are not that unusual. Wrong, but not unusual. What I find far more troubling is her attempt to explain her mistake in a comment to Ann Romney: "Please know, I admire you. But your husband shouldn't say you are his expert on women and the economy."
    Really Rosen? Why don't you also advise Romney on his personal finances or how they've raised their five kids. You are obviously of another world so awesomely superior is your intellect...

    April 12, 2012 06:14 am at 6:14 am |
  2. Mike

    Rosen's comments are not unusual. Wrong, but not unusual. What is troubling is her later comment to Ann Romney in which she states, ""Please know, I admire you. But your husband shouldn't say you are his expert on women and the economy."

    Really Rosen? Wow, with your obviously superior intellect, you should advise the Romneys on their personal finances or how best to raise their kids perhaps...

    April 12, 2012 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  3. Michael

    More liberal intellectual (and unfounded) arrogance. Is there anything that liberals do as well as being snide and hypocritical? It's what defines them.

    April 12, 2012 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  4. Ask me if I care

    People are way to sensitive about this and I don't understand how you can be offended. The Romney's cannot relate to the struggles of most middle class to poor families about issues like this. Mitt Romney is a millionaire so I agree that she didn't have to worry about how she was going to pay for food to feed her children, if she would be able to afford to send her kids to college, if she would be able to afford to send her kids to daycare, how she was going to afford to buy her kids clothes, if she would be able to keep a roof over their head, etc. Mitt Romney opened this discussion when he said he relied on his wife, a person whom has never worked a day in her life outside of the home, about economic issues.

    April 12, 2012 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  5. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Mitt McCain is deperately lying now. The GOBP War on women is killing him and the "gals" have him on the run . Ann is his only shield.

    April 12, 2012 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  6. Bob

    Is that a Democrat talking point? So a woman has no worth if she raises 5 children? That has been the women's lib characterization for the longest time. This is outrageous. Rosen is a far left ideologue as many others in the Democrat party have become.

    April 12, 2012 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  7. Reverend Roger C Henderson

    So, Hilary Rosen works for Karl Rove?

    April 12, 2012 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  8. Opprobrious

    Exactly how hard does a political strategist work again?!? That air conditioned office and dirty money must be a real pain in the neck!

    April 12, 2012 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  9. Adevilson Silva

    Well, that is TRUE. What are ppl complaining about?

    April 12, 2012 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  10. Marie MD

    Let's see rich girl marries millionaire. She could raise her kids, unlike many hard working women today, without having to worry about a paycheck because she married a millionaire. What has she done besides spawn boys who never served their country and be married to a man who wakes up every morning thinking something different.
    If he was any older it would be called dementia!

    April 12, 2012 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  11. Ron3434

    So who is really waging a war on women? This Democratic "strategist's" comments are not just anti-Republican, they snub every woman who made a choice - oh, and we're pro-choice, aren't we? - to stay home and do the hard work of raising a family. Again, Democrats talk out of both sides of their mouths.

    April 12, 2012 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  12. setnommarih

    This is the obama strategy, demonize wives? I knew he was a low down in the ditch filth slinger, but this is even lower.

    April 12, 2012 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  13. dave richman

    Another failed attempt at class warfare. We are all Americans, and we all are going down the same road to a crushed economy.

    April 12, 2012 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  14. corncop

    I have to agree to a point. The comment should have been qualified for work outside the home in the private sector. Beside that, how much does she know about the daily struggles of normal families in budgeting and balancing the income against putting food on the table and paying the bills? About the only decision she might have made was which Million $ bank account to get the money from. Or which $5,000 suit Mitt might wear that day. So in reality any "advice" that Mitt might have gained has no substance out in the real world of the struggling famililies that make up the vast majority of America. So folks, give me a break on the false outrage!

    April 12, 2012 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  15. JIMMYJOHNNYBOY

    Never attack the candidates wife or family. Bad form all around

    April 12, 2012 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  16. Coloradan

    Oh here we go. The GOP struggling with women voters will try to make political hay off of this with manufactured indignation. Fasten your seat belts. Just don't take it to seriously.

    April 12, 2012 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  17. WalkerTR

    Unreal. So the DNC is starting two new wars? The War agaist Stay-at-home-moms and the War against the Unemployed? I mean, that's what she's saying here. If you're a SAHM, then you don't know anything about the struggles of mothers? If you're not in the workforce then you can't talk about the economy? It's not all gumdrops and rainbows for SAHMs, and they do bring economic value to the household, btw. The most divisive President ever and his divisive advisers. This man is dangerous.

    April 12, 2012 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  18. firebird9999

    Rosen was merely trying to make a point related to the economics of Ann Romney's personal lifestyle. Ms. Romney was able to make the choice to stay home and raise her kids. That in and of itself is admirable in my opinion. But when you take into account that she could make that choice without any financial repercussions because she is a very wealthy woman, well, it puts things in a different light. Many of us who stayed home with our kids paid a very dear price (no pun intended) in that we had to make tremendous financial sacrifices. Ann Romney never had to worry about money a day in her life. She has been quoted as saying that she doesn't consider herself to be wealthy. An absurd statement that puts her in a totally different league from most of us. Out of touch? You betcha.

    April 12, 2012 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  19. smc

    In my childhood, my "stay-at-home" mom cooked, cleaned, mowed the lawn, worked the garden and planned what to get at the grocery store so we could get by on a tight budget. Ann Romney's view of "stay-at-home" mom is having maids and illegal immigrant gardeners.

    April 12, 2012 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  20. Anonymous

    Hilary Rosen is correct when the comment is viewed in context. Being a stay-at-home mother is very hard. However, she should not be offered as the voice of experience behind Romney on issues American women are facing in this economy – women are facing the issues Hilary raised. How do you work 9 hours a day outside the home, sometimes more, and pay for food, daycare, clothing, rent, etc. And for the vast majority of women who HAVE to work for financial reasons, how do you raise your kids and support them. Many women today did not plan to work as much as they do, or at the jobs they have, but have been forced to take those jobs due to the economy. Women can't take days off to care for sick children to attend children's school events, etc., because they cannot risk losing their jobs. Mrs. Romney had never had an experience even remotely like working women do today, and because of that, Mitt Romney cannot seriously cite her as his source of information on economic and parenting issues facing American women today. I believe he said she drives two Cadillacs or something – maybe there are issues that arise from that he can reference.....

    April 12, 2012 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  21. ajbuff

    Hilary Rosen is correct when the comment is viewed in context. Being a stay-at-home mother is very hard. However, she should not be offered as the voice of experience behind Romney on issues American women are facing in this economy – women are facing the issues Hilary raised. How do you work 9 hours a day outside the home, sometimes more, and pay for food, daycare, clothing, rent, etc. And for the vast majority of women who HAVE to work for financial reasons, how do you raise your kids and support them. Many women today did not plan to work as much as they do, or at the jobs they have, but have been forced to take those jobs due to the economy. Women can't take days off to care for sick children to attend children's school events, etc., because they cannot risk losing their jobs. Mrs. Romney had never had an experience even remotely like working women do today, and because of that, Mitt Romney cannot seriously cite her as his source of information on economic and parenting issues facing American women today. I believe he said she drives two Cadillacs or something – maybe there are issues that arise from that he can reference.....

    April 12, 2012 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  22. Rob

    Twist it any way you need to for political gain, but the comment was factual in the most commonly used meaning of the word "Worked". Should we also get GOP scientists into the fray to explain that any form of motion is also "Work"? The comment was appropriate to the situation, but as with all things political, the language used is skewed to offend as many people as possible in hopes of political gain or loss (depending on your position). Stupid really, because Rosen has a good point that Romney's housewife shouldn't be more knowledgeable on the economy than him.

    April 12, 2012 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  23. b d

    Its surprising that Rosen was still trying to actively defend herself..

    April 12, 2012 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  24. jason

    Its true the romneys have always been billionaires they are the one percent neither one of them have ever known what it is like for the normal hardworking citizen. its just history repeating itself capitalism means the working class works to support the elite.

    April 12, 2012 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  25. True colors

    Thank you so much, Rosen. You've made it that much easier.

    April 12, 2012 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10