Romney floats new proposals, Ann Romney calls Rosen controversy a 'present'
April 16th, 2012
09:33 AM ET
3 years ago

Romney floats new proposals, Ann Romney calls Rosen controversy a 'present'

(CNN) - A Mitt Romney campaign official responded Monday to reports the presumptive Republican presidential nominee floated the possibility of eliminating or restructuring certain government agencies, saying he was tossing out ideas, not unveiling policy.

At a fundraiser in Palm Beach Florida on Sunday, Romney included the elimination of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and a restructuring of the Department of Education among his ideas aimed at reforming Washington, according to reports from NBC News and The Wall Street Journal.

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"I'm going to take a lot of departments in Washington, and agencies, and combine them. Some eliminate," Romney said.

Romney suggested he might eliminate HUD, which his late father George Romney once headed, and either consolidate or reduce the size of the Education Department.

The frontrunner also detailed how he would maintain the progressive tax code while implementing his 20% across-the-board tax cut, according to NBC.

"I'm going to probably eliminate for high income people the second home mortgage deduction," Romney said, adding he would likely do away with deductions for state income and property taxes.

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul responded to the comments, saying her candidate is tackling bold issues while President Barack Obama is "interested only in offering excuses and blaming others for his failures."

"Governor Romney has also laid out a bold set of proposals that will grow our economy, cut spending, and get our massive debt under control," Saul said.

Ben LaBolt, press secretary for the president's re-election effort, said Romney's comments prove the candidate would "make deep cuts in programs essential to the middle class like education and housing."

Discussing recent campaign headlines, Romney and his wife Ann characterized the critical comments from Democratic strategist and CNN contributor Hilary Rosen last week as a "gift" and "present."

The former Massachusetts governor said the remark, in which Rosen said Ann had "never worked a day in her life," allowed his campaign to show contrast with Democrats at the start of the general election with Obama.

Ann, the mother of five whose birthday is Monday, said the exchange was an early present.

"It was my early birthday present from someone to be critical of me as a mother, and that was really a defining moment, and I loved it," she said.

Ann Romney engaged Rosen, following the initial remark on CNN, in her inaugural tweet on Thursday. A media firestorm followed.

Also see:

Obama re-election team increases fundraising haul

Buffett Rule would barely dent debt but fits nicely into Obama's theme

McCain: I agree with Ann Romney


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. Bill from GA

    Gotta say, I love the comments showing how CNN responders see through the Romney garbage. If only the media were so intuitive.

    Some 'present', Ann. It may inspire the base, but it won't win over any independents. Even with Fox's constant rantings.

    April 16, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  2. American

    Saul,
    Please stop the continued lies of the Romney campaign. It is fact that Romney supports the Ryan scheme, which would actually increase deficits & US debt even more. It does not get our massive debt under control...Romney would unfortunately make it worse.

    April 16, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  3. Ngo

    I hope Ann Romey and the entire Romney clan will get a grip on this issue. There are reports trying to convience us she struggled during her husbands college years by selling stocks. She really has no clue what it is to be a working mother. Like Rosen said, she has never had a job, no matter how she spins it, he cannot know what the average American woman makes it work. She cannont know and she better get it now. She never lived the live and she cannot know.

    April 16, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  4. Jules

    Still waiting for an answer to my question – did Ann Romney, Mitt Romney's self proclaimed authority on women's economic issues, advise Mitt to oppose the Ledbetter Equal Pay for Equal Work Act?

    April 16, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  5. Marian

    ........to thank Rosen for an early birthday present is an insult to the intelligence of most women, who have worked outside the home while also working inside the home. I am quite certain logic tells me that Mrs Rommey hired help just as her husband did for lawn service, hopefully their nannies, maid service persons or sitters were tax paying Americans. My advice to Mrs Rommey you have losing class by opening this up any further to logically thinking women.

    April 16, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  6. Jules

    Dear Willard, You really don't have a clue about what you are going to do or what you are going to cut because until you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office, you do not have a clue about how these departments function and how people will be affected by eliminating them. Now, from previous comments you have made, you probably don't care about that, but trust me, the people will care if it affects them.

    April 16, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  7. bethjoyce

    A present? Really? I guess she doesn't really need anything material, she already has everything she wants. The Hillary Rosen present has already faded. Too bad Ann : ( Rosen never said anything about Queen Ann as a mother. She just said she never worked a day in her life--and she hasn't. If you want to know where the Republicans stand on working moms vs. stay at home moms, just look at their comments regarding poor or welfare mothers having to work outside the home to achieve dignity. In other words. it's OK for wealthy moms to stay home but not poor moms. How hypocritical is that!!

    April 16, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  8. Pat

    Totally agree with comment from rs. Very well put. In addition, Ms Rosen had nothing to apologize for. Her comments were right on point. Being able to be a stay-at-home mom is a blessing and a privledge that the majority of households can't afford. Ms Romney, this was no gift. The people outside your bubble of reality understood exactly what Ms Rosen said and meant.

    April 16, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  9. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    Ann should realize the polling that shows her husband has a very HIGH dislike rate among voters, and this phoney issue is not going to help move that meter very much. It didn't help that tapes show her husband saying that mothers need to up their children in daycare and go out and work either.

    April 16, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  10. mmad5camp

    Mrs. Romney, the supposed goto person on women's issue for Mitt Romney. It was only months ago, that your husband, was say that those on welfare needed to develop a work ethic. So those stay at home moms/dads must develop a work ethic, while those with a choice are hard working? Some how this seems to fit in the category or Flip/Flop. No one will deny that raising 5 boys can be hard. But to lump it in with those working single mothers that do not have your resources to make that same choice, Mrs. Romney is and outrage. I dare you to literally put yourself in the shoes of a working mother one raising a famly and working outside the home and see just how long you will say what you did is hard work.

    April 16, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  11. Anonymous

    Isnt that how romney made his millions and millions, restructuring and putting americans out of work.

    April 16, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  12. harvey 60

    Can't unveil a policy if you don't have one, Mitt. When will you have a policy, after the election? And as far as wifey is concerned, she's just your typical rich Republican bride, hanging out at the country club pool with the kiddies, playing the occasional game of tennis or round of golf, while single mothers work three jobs to get by and have to apply for food stamps. When's the last time, if ever, you and wifey walked through Crenshaw or Watts, Mister Wannabe President?

    April 16, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  13. Innkahoots

    The only Gift I see here is another tax break for the rich, At the expence of the poor (once again) struggling for housing and an education. Pay no attention to the woman behind the curtain.

    April 16, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  14. Achilles

    Im on board for someone who wants to actually do something about big government and cut the spending
    I'm also a working mom and am offended that someone would find a stay at home mom less intuitive then a working mom
    Don't want 4 more years of this divide and conquer

    April 16, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  15. Patrick in Minnesota

    Romney's true colors have been shown yet again. Gutting public housing while lowering taxes for his rich "billionaires who own NFL teams."

    April 16, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  16. Lolo

    Are these two for real??????????????? They have no idea about what common people go through to survive. And for them to think that people are jealous of them because of their money. We are jealous because you have all that money and no brains to think with. Please invest in a couple of brains for your sakes. To think that he went to Harvard. LOL!!!!!! The Mittens thinks that he is entitled to become president. They both are phony as three dollar bills.

    April 16, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  17. ST

    Sorry Mr. GOP Chairman (I have forgotten your hard name to spell and pronounce). You better spare your time and money for this election, unless you get another candidate. This couple can not sway anyone who is intelligent and knows what they want in a person to do to them. It is absurd of what we are hearing and continuing to hear from the Romneys.

    April 16, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  18. Marie MD

    Then again, palm beach??? A hotspot for the super rich. Maybe they should just have kept their filthy rich mouth shut until they went to another town that is more "real America".
    Did he fly to fhe Cayman Islands for a quick look at his money

    April 16, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  19. Rick 7809

    Rosen had a point, she did not say it well. For Mitt to go to his wife for women's input on the economy is laughable. While Ms. Romney has had challenges in her life and raising children is tough work, she has not had any economic problems that has kept her up nights, she has not had to make choices where her tight budget money needs to go, and she has not worried about getting laid off from a job when she knows they can't make it alone on her husbands salary. I would guess that she does not have very many opportunities to discuss these issues on a personal level with any buddy who does have these problems. People at her economic level just don't associate with the folks that need two salaries to make it in this country. We don't need a President from the "working middle class", just don't pretend that you have "been there" when you haven't.

    April 16, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  20. WatchDawg

    HEY...Mr and Mrs Mittens...without the help of your aids or GPS...where is the nearest grocery store...AND...how much does a loaf of bread, milk and dozen eggs cost...

    tic toc tic toc...aah...the sounds of a failed campaign...maybe in 2016 Mitt...

    April 16, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  21. Blue

    Mitt is hiding behind Ann's coattail. Ann is as silly as Mitt in thinking this is a early birthday gift. Rosen told the truth, and she should not have said, I'm sorry." We woman understand what Rosen was saying, and supprot her for being so brave.
    The GOP has nothing, so they jump on this silly statement.

    April 16, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  22. pprty

    The only thing Rosen did wrong was that she didn't say "work outside of home" which she meant. I respect the Romney's less for seeing that comment as a present to Ann Romney!

    April 16, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  23. Laverne

    Really, It is not that big of a deal and will surely blow over by the fall. They act if Hilary Rosen said something that was not true about Ann Romney and any woman who do not have the privilege of making a choice to stay at home and let the nanny raise the kids know exactly what Hilary meant. She is a fake just like that fake husband of hers. Women are not going to buy this phony controversy the Romney camp is trying to perpetuate!

    April 16, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  24. dan5404

    Typical Republican garbage...wanting to eliminate agencies that have regulations to protect people. The DOE ocersees atomic plants and the safety and health regulations involved are effective at controlling work conditions and accident/incident investigations not only protect workers, but also the public living nearby. The same is true of mining and oil drilling regulations. It's the same old argument that regulations cost these companies money. Ridiculous! These are companies that have huge profits and the cost of not having regulations is not just money, it is human lives and health. They do not have a valid argument, just more 1% vs, the rest of us,

    April 16, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  25. mk1

    They may think it a present but only for their diehard supporters in the first place. Every woman I know understands what Hillary Rosen was talking about. Ann Romney is a wonderful woman and it is great she was able to stay at home with her five boys and not work outside her home. For the vast majority of women out there, that is not the case and they do not have the option to stay at home to raise their children. Ann Romney comes from wealth and has lived in wealth her entire life and as I understand it, has never worked out side her home in her life. She does not know what it means to have to earn a paycheck just to be able to afford groceries, the rent, or anything else at all. Most women can not relate to her position and only in their dreams could they afford to be stay at home moms. The idea that Ann Romney can speak to the concerns of women in America is truly ludicrous as she is clueless to the real challenges that average Americans go through daily in their lives. The exact same can be said for her husband who was born into wealth and can not relate to average Americans and their needs. Americans hopefully are not stupid enough to fall for this fuax outrage by the right.

    April 16, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
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