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. nouk

    While I have zero love for Mitt Romney, this attack on Ann Romney is way out of bounds. The way to beat Mittens is to let him speak about the height of trees, being a self-made man, the need for the uber-wealthy to pay less in taxes, etc. Lay off his wife.

    April 12, 2012 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  2. Anonymous

    Hilary Rosen is a spokesperson for "liberal communication" outlets and organizations. She is lambasting a woman staying at home raising five kids (boys) and keeping them from doing, seeing and eating things. Just because she has money doesn't change the responsibility. Rosen has a partner and she resigned to spend more time with her "partner" and two kids. What a hypocrite! We need more bias people to prove that both sides have idiot mouthpieces.

    April 12, 2012 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  3. Gerry Daley

    After 8 years of unrelenting attacks on Hillaryy Clinton, the same on Michelle Obama for – God forbid – suggesting this nation's children eat healthier – these hypocrites are "outraged"????? Tell this to a woman who also has raised 5 children, but still had to get out there and work every day, minus pay equity and minus an obscenely rich husband.

    April 12, 2012 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  4. across12

    Actually staying home raising 5 kids is way harder and more frustrating than going to an office browsing emails all day, because that's what they do in the office, any office.

    April 12, 2012 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  5. Nobama

    This is Dems' war against "Stay-home moms"!!!!!

    April 12, 2012 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  6. well...

    it's 100% true, Rosen is not out of line at all. the Romneys are in no way reflective of the American people, or what their financial households look like. i mean – Mitt Romney is a guy who never once worried about whether or not he could pay rent any given month... this is something anyone who has ever worked their first job has had deal with. and i'm sure Ann Romney had plenty of help with those five kids, and never once worried about an empty fridge or pantry. i'm just not convinced that people who have never even had to think about these type of things can put themselves in the shoes of ordinary folks... especially in these times.

    April 12, 2012 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  7. Ntlcntpty

    Hilary Rosen is a spokesperson for "liberal communication" outlets and organizations. She is lambasting a woman staying at home raising five kids (boys) and keeping them from doing, seeing and eating things. Just because she has money doesn't change the responsibility. Rosen has a partner and she resigned to spend more time with her "partner" and two kids. What a hypocrite! We need more bias people to prove that both sides have idiot mouthpieces.

    April 12, 2012 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  8. thats funny right there

    good for her and she is right. A stay at home rich mother doesnt have the same issue and middle class working mothers. what does she know about the economy?

    April 12, 2012 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  9. Nobama

    Who is waging a war against woman???? It is the Obama and his staunch supporters!!

    April 12, 2012 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  10. susan griffin

    Okay, let's just stop the media firestorm over this now. Most of the population works hard to pay their bills, in today's world either MOM or DAD could be the stay at home parent. STOP THE INANE COMMENTARY ON TOPICS THAT ARE NOT ISSUES AND START FOCUSING ON THOSE THAT ARE.

    April 12, 2012 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  11. lucianne

    I agree that this comment was politically incorrect and that stay-at-home moms work very hard. But Ann Romney is a complete stranger to the economic issues that face most women, especially women who have to work outside the home as well as inside it. There is no slight to Ann by acknowledging that she simply doesn't live the same way the rest of us do, any more than her husband does. Probably she could have done anything else she wanted to do – but she had a choice that many women do not have.

    April 12, 2012 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  12. Qev

    There's nothing wrong with being rich having benefited from a privileged upbringing. There IS something wrong, however, with pretending to be something that you are most certainly NOT.

    Mitt Romney is not some gifted self-made business genius who "pulled himself up by his bootstraps" to become the financially successful man that he is today"–he is a rich kid who managed not to totally mess up the money, expensive education, and opened doors...that his daddy provided for him.

    April 12, 2012 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  13. Mark

    Ann Romney has my deepest respect, raising 5 sons is a HUGE job! I immediatly understood what Rosen meant though by her statement. Being a SAHM, wife of an affluent husband is much different from raising 5 sons and having to work some job to come up w/ the mortgage and keep the lights on and food on the table. Mitt should go to a diner or something and make the waitress who pour his coffee is advisor on women's economic issues.

    April 12, 2012 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  14. TJeff1776

    The more she comments, deeper she gets. Tongue in motion, mind OUT of gear.

    April 12, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  15. ElectClinton

    Well, Obama never worked either, so what?

    April 12, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  16. Brenda

    Typical liberal woman. You "don't work" unless you abandon your children to be raised by a stranger in Daycare and you dedicate yourself to the liberal, "emancipated" view of a woman's role which includes climbing the corporate ladder. WHAT A TYPICAL FEMINIST LIBERAL.

    April 12, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  17. Jill Onderdonk

    The important fact is that Ann Romney has never worked outside of her home and does not have the personal experience to relate to most American women who are mothers and work outside of the home. Raising children is hard work but does not translate to the same experience has working outside of the home while being a mother. She is probably a wonderful person but has limited very limited experiences and cannot relate to most American women because of her limited experiences.

    April 12, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  18. cleat

    just another demorat pushing her "values" on how she thiks people *should* live thier lives...
    maybe she should concentrate on the millions of people making a living off of welfare- with NO attempt to get off of it...

    April 12, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  19. Ray

    Women who decide to raise 5 kids are hero's.

    April 12, 2012 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  20. Jill Onderdonk

    The important fact is that Ann Romney has never worked outside of her home and does not have the personal experience to relate to most American women who are mothers and work outside of the home. Raising children is hard work but does not translate to the same experience has working outside of the home while being a mother. She is probably a wonderful person but has very limited experiences and cannot relate to most American women because of her limited experiences.

    April 12, 2012 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  21. cptpooppants

    I stay at home all day in my mansion with all our maids and servants. Wow, sounds sooooo hard!

    April 12, 2012 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  22. quotelawrence

    this network is strongly democratic and any issue facing between the parties it sounds as if you allow the democrats to present their discriminatory allegations and then after it seems as if the people for the republicans waste a lot of time addressing the discrimination rather then the facts Obama's direction is allowing Communist China to take all the manufacturing away from America not because of their highly trained workers but because of slave labor, and no E.P.A. the elected officials are obviously getting lobbyist money

    April 12, 2012 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  23. roy

    With Mitts millions at her disposal would imagine help was brought in to do major housekeeping choirs like taking care of the boys cleaning the house etc much like the Brady bunch maid Alice wonnder how she would have faired if she would of had to work every day in a factory PLUS take care of the kids. She's another example of how out of touch rich people are with ordinary families and expect us to beleive her 'hard work" balogny.

    April 12, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  24. Fair is Fair

    Will N.O.W. chime in and come to the defense of a conservative woman? I think not.

    April 12, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  25. Mary

    I don't understand why Rosen was criticized for this. She had a valid point. Yes, Ann Romney raised 5 kids, but let's be honest, she's never known what it's like to struggle financially. Her husband was a multimillionaire.

    Most women in this country could not AFFORD to stay home with five kids unless the government is helping out. Even if she is married, most men don't earn enough to support a woman and five kids, so the woman probably works as well. I think that's all Rosen was saying. Ann Romney never worked a day in her life because she didn't have to. And raising kids is no more work than women of all economic classes do.

    April 12, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
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