April 12th, 2012
05:00 PM ET
2 years ago

Rosen: It's not personal, it's politics

(CNN) – Responding to a downpour of criticism over comments she made about Ann Romney, top Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen said Thursday she was not taking the heat too personally-even that coming from within her own party.

"I've clearly been on the other side where I've jumped on peoples' misstatements, so I'm not claiming victim here," Rosen said on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

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She continued: "When people go for their respective corners, I understand it. It's not personal."

Rosen, also a CNN contributor, sparked outrage among Republicans and Democrats alike when she said Wednesday night that Ann Romney, a former stay-at-home mom, had "never worked a day in her life."

Clarifying her point, Rosen apologized Thursday and said she meant Ann Romney was not the best example for her husband to use on the campaign trail as a woman who understands the struggles of working class moms.

While Republicans had quickly seized on her original remarks, top Democrats–including first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz–also railed against her remarks.

Asked about the flurry of attacks from her own party, Rosen said she was "comfortable" with the resulting firestorm and understood their concerns.

"People who know me know that I didn't intend that. But my words were not very good, you know, if they want to play politics with it, that's fine," she said.

Rosen added she's had supportive calls from friends, but wasted no time commenting on the lighting fast pace of an election season.

"The modern-day campaign and the swiftness of the charges and the counter charges and the intensity of it is enormously frightening for campaign professionals and for consultants and for candidates alike," she said. "This is going to be an ugly campaign season and if this ends up being the start to it, so be it."

Apologizing again, Rosen said she saw no need to meet with Ann Romney face-to-face to discuss the issue.

"I hope Ms. Romney knows that I didn't mean it personally," she said. "I was trying to talk about economic issues."

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Filed under: 2012 • Ann Romney • Economy • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. Maxx

    Well Ann, have you ever worked a day in your life? The answer would be no so what's all the indignity about.

    April 12, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    I guess Rosen is the bigger person. This should end the tempest in the teapot.

    I still haven't seen a GOP/Teatroll apology for all the legislation intended to control women's hoohoos. Promise we'll forgive you if you do it though, GOPers. We'll wait right here.

    April 12, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    How about a story on how the right wingnut social conservatives are now attacking Rosen for being a lesbian who adopted children to raise with her partner? C'mon, CNN, you can do it...it's not like you haven't gone silly over this thing already. What's it gonna hurt to expose the GOP base's hate one more time?

    April 12, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  4. lyn

    Similar to Sarah Palin, she used her family for her purposes, but screamed when someone else had a derogatory comment about them. Ann Romney is a woman of means, never had to scrub a toilet or wash windows in her life. If she did, it's her own fault, the Romney's could afford household help and child care. So why is Ann screaming foul when the truth is she is married to a very wealthy man from day one and never held a paying job.

    April 12, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  5. Two and the door for House Republicans!!!

    Oh please go ask Ann how hard is it to tell the nannies and maids what to do!!! I mean really do anyone think Ann had it hard working at home? If you do I have some swamp land I will sell you!!!

    April 12, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  6. Debbie

    Rosen should not have apologized. Ann should apologize to every woman who chose a career and accepts the responsibility of raising her children. Ann chose to stay home to raise her children. That is not a career choice but a choice to not work. Had Ann not married into money and chose to stay home to raise her children the GOP would call her a welfare mother. Ann should apologize to every parent that takes the responsibility of raising their children if they choose to stay at home and not work or choose a career as a CEO. Raising children is not a career it is a responsibility.

    April 12, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  7. marcia suttenberg

    good grief HIlary Rosen is getting unduly attacked. She was talking about Ann Romney being a rich woman who cannot know what it means to be a working mom – and NOT something most of us can eaven contemplate choosing. She deserves support for saying this – not banishment!

    April 12, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  8. Gail

    Wonder if anyone will ever apologize for Rush calling FLOTUS "Moochelle". I'll bet not since the GOP hasnt the class.

    April 12, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Working in the home is work BUT when you are wealthy you don't worry about childcare, missing work when your child
    is sick, insurance for your child. There is no comparison between the two – working women and stay at home mom.

    April 12, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  10. Al

    We understand. Its only personal if is Michelle Obama. And to Maxx I guess raising kids is not work – your probably such a slacker your wife has to work and earm more money than you, do homework with the kids, cook and massage your feet at night while you sit and drink beer on the couch.

    April 12, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  11. Marie MD

    Of course, it's not personal for the 99% of women who have to go to work because they don't have a millionaire husband.
    I wonder how many times poor little ann spent the night up with the babies and then had to drag herself to work. I wonder how many times she had to call work praying (I guess she prays) that she wouldn't be fired because her child had a fever and couldn't go to school. I wonder how much work little ann did at home having nannies helping out, never having to worry about insurance (she is NOT the only human being with cancer).
    The rich really shouldn't be so worthy of what they take for granted and the rest of us have to work our behinds off.
    It's okay ann flipper you can go work with those contractors after November when your husband loses the presidency to make sure that car elevator works for you and your millionaire family.

    April 12, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  12. arale norimaki

    Hilary Rosen? You mean the former head of the RIAA from 1987 to 2003? The woman that thought it was okay to sue grandparents for downloading stuff they didn't download? Gotcha! Not a Romney fan, but damn I don't need reminders of why I can't stand Hilary Rosen.

    April 12, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  13. Samantha

    Work hard and someday you might have those options instead of sounding so bitter.

    April 12, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Another textbook example of the first rule in politics: never tell the truth. And, please don't be brutally honest about it.

    April 12, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  15. Myviewis

    Michelle Obama chose to work and had her mother raise her daughters, she even had her mother move into the White House to look after her kids and I don't see anyone criticizing Michelle for her choice so why criticize Mrs. Romney for her choice just because her husband is wealthy and could afford it?

    April 12, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  16. bcwong0

    Don't many (most) welfare moms fit Rosen's narrative?

    April 12, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  17. Myviewis

    Oh I forgot, Michelle Obama's mother was a full time homemaker until Michelle went to high school, so I guess Michelle's mom's opinion in economics is no good according to Hilary Rosen.

    April 12, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  18. Woman In California

    Apologizing again, Rosen said she saw no need to meet with Ann Romney face-to-face to discuss the issue.

    And neither do I. If Ann can't take the heat then she shouldn't open her BIG, wealthy, inexperienced mouth.

    Where is the apology to Mrs. Obama? Yes, I know – she wasn't born, white, rich and blonde.

    April 12, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  19. Darla (Edmonton, Canada)

    Oh Lord ... in this day and age, when the words "women" and "work" are used in the same statement ... I would guess that most women of my generation automatically infer that "work" means outside of the home (housework, parenting, taxi service for soccer games, etc.) This teapot hurricane is ridiculous!

    April 12, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Of course, it's politics. Conservatives are simply trying to drown out the uproar over Rep. West's remarks.

    April 12, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  21. BigTBone

    OK, I get it now.
    Community Organizer = not a real job- it doesn't involve a paycheck/corporate structure.

    Millionaire Housewife = the most real job there is- also doesn't involve a paycheck/corporate structure.

    "I was for stay at home moms before I was against them."

    April 12, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  22. Name Jolee

    As a single working mom & grandma, I do wonder how a woman with multiple million dollar mansions can presume to speak for me.

    April 12, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  23. judy

    Do you really believe that Ann is a hands on house wife. Give it a rest. Why would mitt ask his wife what women think she doesn;t have a clue. When was the last time she ran to the store for milk or ironed her husbands shirt? The repos have jumped all over Rosen and called her all kinds of names but not said one word about the congressman that says 80 or 90 democrats in congress are communist. Give us all a break republican party and just shut up. Tired of your stupid games. No one was disrespecting women. Most do it all and with out the maids and nannies and they have tro worry about the bills and send their kids to public schools. And they dont have two cars to drive. Can you tell me Ann is doing it all on her own . ? Oh and she has good health insurance too. Obama 2012

    April 12, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  24. Clem

    My wife chose to stay home because we both viewed our kids as the most important job we would ever do. We had a $480 house payment that seemed like a huge check ever month. But in the end it was worth every sacrifice we made because my wife brought out the very best in our children. Its pathetic that people stoop to this level.

    April 12, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  25. JoyceAGB

    Ann never punched a time clock, had to wait until break to use the bathroom, asked permission to go to lunch, missed family events because she couldn't get the day off – give me a break. She had maids, butlers, cooks, drivers, nannies, yardmen – so just what was so hard about raising those 5 boys? Why all the fake outrage because Rosen told the truth about Richie Rich and her life of ease.

    April 12, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
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