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.

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. Darlis Wood

    I can't believe that anybody thinks Ann Romney knows anythng about being an average mom..?? seriously folks? I worked through raising 3 children, and had to be a mom and hold down a full time with no maids, no nannies.. I am happy for any woman who can make the choice to stay at home with their children.. I'ts hell to leave your children and have to go to work every day.. Ann Romney didn't have to make that choice.. She's privileged and she's no heroine. give that to the millions of women who have to work AND raise their children, without enough money, with no one heralding them for their "choice"... Ms. Rosen spoke the truth and I truly believe that it is the Romneys who are out of touch with the real world.. Ms. Rosen, I salute you and you should not need to apologize.

    April 16, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  2. Al-NY,NY

    the "out of touch" couple just keep piling it on. With every idiotic statement they make, the people realize that they cannot be trusted to help anyone who isn't in their income bracket

    April 16, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Do wealthy people even have a mortgage on their second home? Elimination of that deduction would only hurt people in the middle class.

    April 16, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  4. Tim C

    That this "news story" is still being talked about is proof positive that the conservatives are completely desperate when it comes to trying to appeal to average Americans, especially women. Rosen has no real ties to the party, she's a talking head. Joan is correct it is backfiring on the Republicans. Ann Romney is about as close to being an average housewife as she is to being from Mars. Rosen had no need to apologize. That she did was kind of sad. She stated a fact.

    April 16, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  5. Gurgyl

    Hillary Rosen we love you for telling truth.

    April 16, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    Ann, please stay out of this inane discussion. You've never worked OUTSIDE the home. Period. You know, and I know, and we ALL know (including the President, whose comments were meant to diffuse rather than apologize) what Rosen meant, and that she was right. Don't get caught up so that we don't turn our FULL attention to you as well.

    April 16, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  7. Renee

    To bad Poor women you are not rich.

    April 16, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  8. Jill-IN

    a "present" – really? How sad, we are fodder for your political debate and whims.

    April 16, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  9. SaraBeth

    Ummm....Mrs. Romney?

    Your FAKE outrage has just lost you any high ground you thought you had. You are a privileged spoil brat who looks down on the rest of the world's women. WE have known what you are even before you said this...you just confirmed what we suspected...

    Between you and your FAKE outrage, and your husband's insistence that women should work outside the home... without realizing that most of us DO NOT have the CHOICES that you yourself made to stay at home and raise our children. WE have been working all of this time...sometimes two or three minimum wage jobs just to feed our kids and keep a roof over their heads. With all of that, you have pretty much lost the women voters...

    Good job Ann... don't quit your day job.

    April 16, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Is this Ann Romney's expert opinion on the economy and job creation that Mitt has been bragging about?

    April 16, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  11. Natalie

    Ann Romney has no clue what it's really like to raise kids as a "working", yes, I said WORKING mom. Poster Darlis is right, leaving your children is not easy, but it's a luxury to be able to stay home while one spouse or partner brings home the paycheck. Yes, Ann, Rosen's comment is truly a "gift" as you say, but not for the reason you think. It's a gift for those who support a candidate who understands and fights for the middle class, Obama. Now, go ride your $200,000 Dutch Warmblood horses while I saddle up my middle class American Quarter Horse to go work some cattle. Obama's only fault, by the way, is for apologizing for Rosen. Quit being wimps when the GOP gets their panties in a wad, Dems!

    April 16, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  12. Anonymous

    "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."

    "the presumptive Republican presidential nominee floated the possibility of eliminating or restructuring certain government agencies, saying he was tossing out ideas, not unveiling policy."

    Get back to us when you have concrete ideas, OK – Mitt? Otherwise you're just shaking your golden Etch A Sketch of double speak.
    ---------------------------------
    "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."

    I was a mother AND and a outside the home wage earner during my children's growing up years, Ann. Raising a point you have yet to address - the struggles of women working outside the home while being a "mom" too.

    April 16, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    Well, I suppose after all the gifts her husband has been handing the Democrats, it was only fair she get one in exchange: too bad that it won't change the gender gap amongst Independent women. Mitt has made too many contradictory comments and decisionover the last 18-19 years he has been running ( largely unsuccessfully) for public office, so one can only conclude this "gift" Ann refers to is to help her husband shore up support amongst a conservative base that is morbidly suspicious of him. His stewardship of MA was characterized by an increase in fees as well as cuts to vital services that are anathema to conservatives, so, like the coward he is, he runs from his record of taxing everything in sight, just like his GOP predecessors in the state house. He is a convert to conservatism ONLY because he knows thats what he needs to do to win the nomination, and he will cheerfully drop those principles if elected. His lack of principles is the gift that keeps on giving.

    April 16, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  14. GI Joe

    He likes to fire people, so he'll definitely be cutting some civil service workers out of their income.

    Great guy - unless you work for a living or to take care of your own family.

    Then they'll complain about the unemployment rate right after he cuts hundreds of thousands of jobs (like W_did).

    April 16, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  15. Namryan

    Multimillion dollars houses are usually bought cash (to avoid the interest payments) or through personal companies (for tax purposes). So to Mr. Romney and to people buying very expensive houses deductions on mortgage payments are not that important.
    Of course the Rosen controversy was a gift... but I wonder (and hope it will turn out to be) if it was more of a Trojan horse!

    April 16, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  16. vic , nashville ,tn

    Today middle class women like Hilary Rosen, she express their pain to rich woman

    Mitt Romney and Ann Romney voices of RICH only

    April 16, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  17. Rudy NYC

    "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."
    ------------------
    Those changes to property would dramatically raise the effective tax rates on the middle class. Most of the middle class could be paying 40%, or more, of their incomes towards taxes of one form or another.

    April 16, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  18. Lynda/Minnesota

    With all due respect to Ann Romney's choices, I make no apologies for having been a mom who worked outside the home during my children's growing up years. It was a help bring in an income or watch my children go hungry situation, Ann. I choose to work.

    April 16, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  19. Wake up people

    I just bet it was a present Missy Anne(character in Roots), it took the focus off the fact that your husband is a bold faced lying predator, and the person behind Obamacare. I can't wait until November when Mittens and Missy Anne gets those smirks wiped straight off their lying faces.

    April 16, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  20. asdf

    Ann Romney's version of motherhood would be unrecognizable to a real mother, even one that doesn't work. She wasn't clipping coupons, she wasn't even going to the store! I would love to know how many helpers divided up Ann Romney's hard work of being a mother while not having to worry about anything ever.

    April 16, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  21. Tex71

    Mitt Romney expressed himself very clearly: being a stay-at-home mother and raising children is work if you are rich – as in the case of Ann Romney – but it is NOT work if you are poor, as in the welfare mothers he criticized publicly for "not working". So I guess once again, in the conservative mind, just being rich is hard work. Poor, poor little rich people. If it is so much of a burden, I guess there are plenty of us who would be happy to help carry the load.

    April 16, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  22. 1twinsfan

    I knew the Romney campaign would not be smart enough to let this issue die after day one. The more they milk, the more it reminds people that Ann had no money issues while she was able to stay at home with the boys.

    April 16, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  23. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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."

    "the presumptive Republican presidential nominee floated the possibility of eliminating or restructuring certain government agencies, saying he was tossing out ideas, not unveiling policy."

    Get back to us when you have concrete ideas, OK – Mitt? Otherwise you're just shaking your golden Etch A Sketch of double speak.
    -----------
    "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."

    I was a mother AND and a outside the home wage earner during my children's growing up years, Ann. Raising a point you have yet to address – the struggles of women working outside the home while being a "mom" too.

    April 16, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  24. Rudy NYC

    Still waiting some of the sound advice Mitt's been getting direct from the horse's mouth.

    April 16, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  25. Jon

    I'm glad he's finally getting into the details of tax reform. Second-home mortgage interest and state/local taxes are a good start on eliminating deductions.

    April 16, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
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