Obama weighs in on Rosen controversy
April 12th, 2012
05:52 PM ET
3 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.

Also see:

Obama ahead in New Jersey, even with Christie on ticket

Florida Rep labels congressional Democrats as Communists

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

    I wonder why he skipped over Rep. West's remarks.

    April 12, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  2. NVa Native

    President Obama is good, Romoney hasn't a chance. Bring on the debates!

    April 12, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  3. Data Driven

    We're all rich housewives now.

    Yawn.

    April 12, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  4. Dan J

    I'm glad Obama said this, but let's be honest, if it was effective, he'd be having his surrogates do this kind of dirty work for him continually. This is gonna be a nasty campaign.

    April 12, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  5. Dave

    i strongly believe family are off Limits, However In Ms Rosens defence, The Romneys never, never struggled like an average American family. That is what this Election is all about. The Fat Cats with the 300 Million & secret overseas accounts.VS the MIDDLE CLASS!! We all know damn well Romney is trying to buy this election by making it hard for The Elderly, The Poor , The Minoritie & The Hispanics & yes the DISABLED to vote. STICK THAT IN YOUR MAJIC UNDERWEAR BISHOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 12, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  6. Myviewis

    Thank you Mr. President, that also includes Michelle's mom who also was a stay home mom until Michelle went to high school.

    April 12, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  7. Gurgyl

    5 caddilacs. She does not know jobs.

    April 12, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  8. VA

    She spoke the truth she did not "Anybody who would argue otherwise" why are the DEMS so weak; at times the truth hurts. We understand that the POTUS wants to maintain his advantage on women votes, but he should not have have made this statement...I am a DEM but I feel at times we ACT so weak!!!

    April 12, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  9. Dave

    Look, Its 100 % true that Romney & Kochs & Rove are as we speak drawing new laws to SURPRESS the votes of AMERICANS. No WEST you are the COMMUNIST, You & all your GOP buddies along with Big Oil & ROMNEY yes in The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA are making it difficult for even the DISABLED to vote. Yea caus they be pullin all D,s. I aint backin down from this. So a Woman reporter exercised her right to freedom of speech against another woman. Man, this Country is gotta litin up!!! The real Story is that BISHOP ROMNEY is in Bed with the KOCHS & ROVE to steal this election like they do in IRAN & SYRIA & CHINA. Can a brother join up with COLOR OF CHANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 12, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  10. Kris Craig

    This guy really does know how to cut through the spin and set the right example. The Republican fake outrage machine won't be able to make much out of this thanks to the President's prompt and well-measured response.

    April 12, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  11. hicksticks2001

    I don't want him to get re-elected, but I really appreciate those Remarks. Thank you President Obama!

    April 12, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  12. Alex in Wisconsin

    Well that's President Highroad for ya. Good luck getting romney and PAC to play by the same rules.

    April 12, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  13. cali girl

    Family members should be off limits. However, if you take a public role in the election, meaning you speak at the stump, do your own politicing, speak to groups on behalf of the candidate, then it is fair game. Children of candidates should not be involved at all. Being seen behind their parent is fine, if they get the mike, then it will open them up to criticism, and that is unfortunate.

    April 12, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  14. VA DEM

    POTUS please don't appear so weak she spoke the truth nothing more nothing less; we understand that he wants to maintain his % with the women vote but right is right and somethings we have to stand up for the truth!!!

    April 12, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  15. Get Real

    Talk about "A War on Women"! I thought they said it was the Republicans who were attacking women but you see it's really the Democrats that are at war with women and anyone else who does not espouse their liberal policies that are destroying the country.

    April 12, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  16. Jack in Florida

    He is a class act, what more can be said!?!?!? Hilary Rosen on the other hand, is a real idiot. Why she would even go there is mind boggling!!!

    April 12, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  17. Dead-On-Arrival-Candidate

    Rosen insults a woman on staying at home and Obama says, "no tougher job than being a mom."

    Limbaugh insults a woman on contraceptives, and Romney says, "that's not the way I will put it."

    The difference is clear.

    April 12, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  18. Get Real

    BTW – Obama said he and Michelle didn't have the luxury of her staying at home but if you go back and look at their incomes when the children were born you will see they certainly could afford it. This aggravates me because I know plenty of women who were stay at home moms with a fraction of the money Obama's earned. To say they couldn't afford it is just another blatant lie.

    April 12, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  19. R.I.P. Damon

    Interesting choice of words on the part of the POTUS; sounding like he doesn't approve of Rosen's comments while not exactly admonishing them. If this is the kind of lukewarm response we can expect, what reason does anyone on either side of the aisle have to heed what he said?

    April 12, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  20. Dave

    Keep your head up Ms Rosen. Peace out

    April 12, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  21. estibaliz

    As if Barry knows anything.

    April 12, 2012 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  22. Another Day in the Idiot Mines

    Gotta love watching the poutraged righties and their lapdogs in the so-called "liberal" media yapping about the Rmoney "controversy" while missing the blatant hypocrisy as they speak not a word of condemnation when GOBP lunatic claims many Dems are communists.

    This is how our political and media elites control the masses. Focus on the trivial. Ignore what's important. Oh look, something shiny.

    April 12, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  23. vic , nashville ,tn

    Democrats took responsibility, but Romney kept silence when Sandra Fluke controversial broke

    April 12, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  24. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    but President Obama..the Romney campaign and some others on the right have already accused YOU for all of this. Now let's see if they come back and apologize but don't bet the houise money on it.

    April 12, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  25. EricMD

    This is part of Obama's strategy. Send out surrogates to mock the opponent. Let the media have fun for 24 hours and then have Obama and his wife come off as heroes and silence the chatter. They played the same game against Hillary Clinton.

    April 12, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
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