April 12th, 2012
02:43 AM ET
3 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.

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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. John B.

    I'm sure life must have been rough raising 5 boys with such limited funds. Ordering the maids around...the butler....the other servants....this is tough work. I wonder if she ever changed a diaper.

    April 12, 2012 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  2. Larry

    But everyone is forgetting that the liberal mindset views anything said negatively against conservatives – regardless of race, gender, etc. – to be for the advancement of the liberal cause. Therefore, any and all comments are acceptable. It was fine for Bill Maher to call Bristol Palin a slut for having a child out of wedlock, but a woman with so many partners that her contraception bill was bankrupting her, prompting her to protest her medical coverage, is a model of virtue because she's a liberal.

    April 12, 2012 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  3. Steve

    Open mouth, insert foot lol.

    April 12, 2012 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  4. eleanor

    Ann Romney seems like a good woman and mother, more fortunate in her fiancial circumstances than many American women trying to raise a family. What more is there to say.

    April 12, 2012 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  5. Just Say No to Flipper

    Rosen made a poor choice of words, though there is a huge nugget of truth on what she was trying to say. In particular, Ann Rmoney is just as out of touch with average Americans as her flip-flopping husband is. Neither of them know anything about the daily struggles of the average working parent. Rosen should have simply said "Ann has led a life among the privileged elite and she has no clue about the issues that face poor and middle class mothers and fathers."

    April 12, 2012 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  6. Addison

    i do not have to have cancer to understand the suffering of those with Cancer. I do not have to be an attorney to understand a trial, I do not have to be a rocket scientist to understand that being an astronaut is dangerous and I do not have to be a woman to understand the issues that face women, and I do not have to be a man to know prostrate cancer is a killer. Comments like this woman's who also likely earns a significant income then does not identify with the average woman who earns 10 to 15 per hour and juggles her time and stays home when her kid is ill then wonders if the days lost income will mean not paying a bill. If we have to experience 100% of everything before we can empathize with others, then we do not live long enough.

    April 12, 2012 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  7. conard

    Tell that to my wife. It won't fly.
    Taking care of kids (my wife & I have 6) is perhaps the HARDEST job ever.
    Constant crying, fighting, "I'm hungry" chants, pooing......yeah.........walk in the park. TOOL!!!!
    As for economic issues, schooling, etc? I'm pretty sure any woman or man for that matter can tell you that, as a parent, you are constantly making choices & decisions based on your economic situation. (this name brand cereal or generic brand, new clothes or hand-me-downs, beach for a day or beach (if $$ allows you) for a week? Decisions, decisions...

    April 12, 2012 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  8. L. R. Long

    Ann Romney has done plenty. She has faced difficulty and overcame it. However, being wealthy for 20+ years, and never once clocking into a job to earn a paycheck, does NOT make her an expert on the economy. Rosen could have worded her remarks differently, to sound less offensive. Fact remains: Ann Romney does NOT understand financial uncertainty the way Romney's campaign would have you believe... Obama 2012

    April 12, 2012 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  9. Addison

    i do not have to have cancer to understand the suffering of those with Cancer.. Comments like this woman's who also likely earns a significant income then by her own comments cannot identify with the average woman who earns 10 to 15 per hour and juggles her time and stays home when her kid is ill then wonders if the days lost income will mean not paying a bill. If we have to experience 100% of everything before we can empathize with others, then we do not live long enough.

    April 12, 2012 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  10. Brad

    Rosen has simply proven that she is a fool! Being a Democrat strategist is hardly a job Ms. Rosen. Why don't you go out and do something productive that helps society instead of being a political parasite?

    April 12, 2012 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  11. Master and commander

    Hilary Rosen always talks out her backside, this comment is no surprise.

    April 12, 2012 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  12. Linda

    Rosen is right. Most women go to work and raise children even with illnesses. Go ride your horses and drive your Cadallacs, Ann. Josh is clueless.

    April 12, 2012 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  13. RowJimmy

    Ahh liberals showing their true stripes. Raising children isn't legitimate work, abort the children and go out and do real work.

    April 12, 2012 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  14. josh b'gosh

    Typical blind ignorant liberal.

    April 12, 2012 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  15. angel611

    So now the truth is not allowed?
    She HAS NEVER worked as an adult.
    I don't know anyone that uses the term "work" to describe anything other than a paying job.
    It's the truth, live with it.
    By the way, as far as I am concerned, Romney himself has never really worked a day in his life either.
    Pushing phoney paper and fake money that does not exist, to destroy companies for profits, is not work in my book.

    April 12, 2012 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  16. Common Sense

    A lot of hand wringing over nothing.

    April 12, 2012 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  17. Mark

    yeah this is quite the useless nitpicking for sure. so even if people happen to be rich they can no longer comment on anything, because of the assumption that they have no idea what they are talking about? please, what a pile...

    April 12, 2012 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  18. Willie12345

    It's all part of OBAMA's War against Women.

    April 12, 2012 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  19. 4thbg

    Cry me a river Ann. How about raising five kids, without domestic staff and having to collect a W2. Now THAT'S hard work. Most women don't get to "choose to stay home".

    April 12, 2012 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  20. Hellno

    WOW!! The truth hurts, doesn't it? She didn't raise 5 boys, the nannies and maids did. Ann Romney hasn't got a clue what it's like in the real world.

    April 12, 2012 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  21. Jeremy

    How dare Hilary Rosen, to make the comment about Ann Romney never working a day in her life, raising five children is hard work, especially when you're a millionaire;-)

    April 12, 2012 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  22. beefromnj

    Hilary, is absolutely right. I think her point was missed completely. She hasn't had to work or worry about where she was going to get the money to do this or that. Not blaming her for being rich or being a mother of five, that's wonderful and i'm sure she worked hard as a mother to instill values in her children but she cannot represent the working woman.

    April 12, 2012 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  23. Rick

    Typical political strategy: attack the opponent instead of logically and factually supporting your position. It is ronic that Mr. Romney has employed the same strategy during this entire campaign, albeit without targeting his opponents' wives.

    April 12, 2012 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  24. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Only focus on the candidate dummy... There is plenty to bash Mitt on at this point. She adds little to the campaign to start.

    April 12, 2012 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  25. Eman de Riuqer

    It may be a hard job, there's little sense in denying it, but it's also a job that by its nature it is hard to get fired from. You have to really screw up, to lose that particular "job".

    Contrast THAT with most jobs in which it is a piece of cake to get fired. Also, the stay at home mom is not a full-time job, once kids enter school, unless the kids are being home-schooled. This is a far cry from a 9-5 job. The worries are different, the rules are different, the economics are different. What 'pay' a stay-at-home mom gets (often taking the form of someone else providing food, shelter, etc.,) is not by the hour, either – another difference between being a mom and having a real job, many of which are hourly, NOT salaried. I think this is the point Hilary Rosen was trying to make, not that being a stay-at-home mother isn't hard, or that it isn't work, it's that it's NOT the same as having a job in which you have a boss, coworkers, quotas to fill, etc.

    April 12, 2012 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
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