Obama weighs in on Rosen controversy
April 12th, 2012
05:52 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama weighs in on Rosen controversy

(CNN) – Less than 24 hours after Hilary Rosen made a comment about Ann Romney's history as a stay-at-home mother, President Barack Obama joined other political heavyweights in taking a swing at the Democratic strategist's controversial remarks.

Obama, reflecting on his own mother and his wife, said there's "no tougher job than being a mom."

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"Anybody who would argue otherwise, I think, probably, needs to rethink their statement," the president said in an interview with CNN affiliate KCRG, a television station in Cedar Rapids.

His comments came after Rosen, also a CNN contributor, sparked an uproar Wednesday night by saying Ann Romney had "never worked a day in her life" and could not understand the struggles of working moms.

Republicans and Democrats–including members of Obama's re-election team–quickly rushed to the defense of Ms. Romney, calling Rosen out for her remarks.

In an apology the following day, Rosen said she used a poor choice of words and meant to say the Romneys were out of touch with working class families due to their wealth.

The president, however, said families should be "off limits" in an election season.

"I don't have a lot of patience for commentary about the spouses of political candidates," Obama said. "Those of us who are in the public life, we're fair game. Our families are civilians."

While he's never met Ann Romney, he argued she hadn't "necessarily volunteered for this job," adding further that spouses do not deserve to fall in the crosshairs of political rhetoric.

"Me and Governor Romney are going to have more than enough to argue about during the course of this campaign," he said.

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Filed under: 2012 • Ann Romney • Economy • President Obama
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Patriot Awesome

    it's so nice to have a sensible classy and dare I say presidential president.

    April 12, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  2. James

    Did Obama just throw Rosen under the bus??? Or did he stick his finger way up in the air to come to this conclusion

    April 12, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  3. Niko_in_Richmond

    Do you expecting anything less from a man who is trying to get re-elected? What the media and those who are criticizing Hilary Rosen fail to point out is that she is a working mother. She has two children and works, so she might understand the issue a bit better than President Obama and the male-dominated Republican attack machine. As she said in her response, it's all politics. Any and everything that gets said, even if true, will be picked apart, scrutinized and each side will do whatever it can to claim victory. The only winner in this situation in my opinion is Rosen because, even though I don't think she should have apologized, she did and decided to move on to more important things.

    April 12, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  4. Howard

    What a bunch of B.S. !!! So ... Rosen is a lesbian career woman, who is raising her children with another lesbian, while criticizing Mrs. Romney for devoting ALL her time to raising her 5 children in a traditional home ??? Too bad we can't fast foward about 10 years, to see how screwed up Rosen's kids are going to turn out !!!

    April 12, 2012 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  5. concernedjoy

    Good to hear Obama finally state that families should be "off limits" in an election season. It's a shame he could never voice that opinion when Sarah Palin's children were being attacked verbally.

    Did anyone ever question whether the Kerry's were out of touch with working class families due to their wealth? Seems only to be a concern if the people are Republicans.

    April 12, 2012 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  6. Joseph

    Always with respect to his opponents. In this respect he shows his class. He is a good man and a wonderful President. I can smell four more years of this great man from the South Pacific, President Obama of the United States of America. May God of Abraham, Issacc and Jacob bless you richly and the God bless the USA.
    Joseph
    Port Moresby

    April 12, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  7. gt

    thanks mr . president...good call...

    April 12, 2012 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  8. 1twinsfan

    If Romney's camp is wise (ha) they will be smart and leave this alone after today. The longer they go on about the comments Rosen made, the more people will question how much hands on was Ann Vs. having a household staff, nannies, tutors, private schools, etc. Did the Romneys have that? I don't know but it will leave people to wonder and ask.

    April 12, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  9. d

    Nice statement by our prez and i agree families should be off limits...and yes a poor choice of words by rosen...but the jist of her comment was right on.

    April 12, 2012 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  10. macrasta

    President Obama...A man of class... !

    April 12, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  11. Another Day in the Idiot Mines

    Once again the President took the high road rather than call the GOBP and the Rmoney robots on their blatant hypocrisy. The right wing media attacks the First Lady on a near daily basis and the hypocrites on the right don't say a word. GOBP cult lunatic West is another good current example, slandering Dems without a peep from GOBP "leaders."

    April 12, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  12. anthony78

    Ha ha ha. Once again, Obama proves to be the ONLY adult in the political room, and doesn't bother getting sucked into this drama. Cool-Hand Luke strikes again...

    And since Im not a politician, and just a person with an opinion, I still want to know exactly WHAT was wrong with what Rosen said?

    Didn't Mitt bring his WIFE into this by citing here expertise on the economics of working women?

    If so, then WHAT exactly is her expertise? Has she ever filled out a job application? EVER?
    And being a millionaire stay at home mom with 4 maid/nannies is NOT what i would call "understanding working women".

    Why do Republicans constantly parade their families out onto the political stage, use them for all the positive points, but cry foul when they become targets for the opposition? What is it?
    You can't have it both ways....

    Obama 12

    April 12, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  13. jlf

    all Hilary Rosen had to do was add to the end of her statement about Ann Romney not working a day in her life was to say"to earn a paycheck from an employer to support her family! evryone knows exactly what she meant but they just wanted to make this an issue taking the limelight away from Mitt's mispoken blunders for a while and he has made plenty that he didn;t apologize for!!!!

    April 12, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  14. clarke

    He couldn't of said it better. end of story.

    April 12, 2012 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  15. sally

    Pfui! We all know that in an economics/jobs context, to say someone has never worked means they have not gotten up at 5 am to get ready to leave the house to do a job for an employer, then come home after 5 pm, maybe stopping off at the grocery or picking up kids along the way. It in no way means that raising kids isn't work, but in this context it means employment. Ann Romney has not struggled with low wages or discrimination in he workplace. She hasn't worried about making ends meet. She cant possibly know what it means to be a woman in the workplace. And she probably has had a nanny, housekeeper, and cook to help her out with her work at home.

    April 12, 2012 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
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