April 24th, 2012
01:04 AM ET
6 years ago

Ann Romney defends her role as stay-at-home mom

Stamford, Connecticut (CNN) – Ann Romney, Monday night, defended her role as a stay-at-home mother and described herself and her presidential candidate husband as a couple in touch with women concerned about the economy.

Appearing at a GOP dinner in Connecticut, Romney acknowledged the controversy stirred up weeks ago by Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen who criticized the mother of five for having not "worked a day in her life."

"We are grateful for the response that we got from that and appreciative of recognizing that women have choices in life, and some choices are not all the same, but we value everyone's choice that they make in their profession," Romney said.

She added her husband, Mitt Romney, treats her as "an equal partner" and supports her role in their family.

"He would remind me all the time that my job was more important than his, that his job was temporary, that mine was going to bring forever happiness. And he believed it, he didn't just say it, he believed it," she said.

Romney appeared acutely aware of the perception fueled in part by Rosen's comments that she may be out of touch with American women.

"I didn't have help for many, many years. As a matter of fact, I didn't have any help at all until the fifth baby was born and I had emergency surgery when he was four months old and I was in bed and realized that I couldn't take care of five small boys with Mitt working so hard, I needed a little extra help," she said. "[I] know what it's like to get up early in the morning and to get them off to school and I know what it's like to get up in the middle of the night when they're sick, and I know what it's like to struggle and to have those concerns that all mothers have."

Romney shared anecdotes about being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and later with breast cancer. She described the solace she feels in receiving prayers from so many people on the campaign trail.

"And I can't tell you how much I appreciate that because the days are long, the road is hard. The trials are there and I never know when I have this little grey cloud that's over my head, when it's going to start raining on me again, and I do need everyone's prayers," she said.

Romney delivered her impassioned speech on the eve of a number of Republican primaries, including Connecticut, where she addressed the Prescott Bush Sr. Awards Dinner.

Filed under: 2012 • Ann Romney • Mitt Romney • Pennsylvania • Uncategorized
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. JerseyJeff

    Is this fake issue still being kicked around?

    So last week...

    April 24, 2012 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  2. John

    With the money you Romney have you most likely have a Maid. And there are million of Mother out there that don't have the Money Ann Romney and are worrying more about the Economy. With your money ,I don't really think you really think about It much. What you are saying Is just another Republican LIE.

    April 24, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  3. livingston

    No matter how hard they try to make this comment about the value of the "stay at home mom" – it never was. It was about putting out there as a spokeswoman a woman who never had to deal with the day to day stresses of a mom who is trying to raise a family while working outside the home. She can not speak for a woman who is trying to juggle raising a family with working full time at a job the the family needs to survive. She never had to decide what to do if her child was sick but the boss would fire her if she took anymore time off. She never had to decide what to do if the money ran out before the month did. She never had to cope with the fact that she knew she was being paid less then the man next to her for doing the same job. She never had to decide what to do as the spending value of the money her family earned went down as the prices skyrocketed. The list of reasons could go on and on. It is easier for them to take the comment out of context to incite their base then deal with the facts. It didn't work. Women have had to deal with way to much recently to be fooled by that. They are just to busy to tell you about it right now. But they will in November.

    April 24, 2012 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  4. Richard Miller

    Lady, you have drawn a line in the sand and now you will regret it. Because you opened you mouth, you have entered the stage when everything goes and all questions will be asked. Like any good old repuglician wife, you should have stayed home and kept your trap shut.

    April 24, 2012 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  5. Lisa

    ""I didn't have help for many, many years. As a matter of fact, I didn't have any help at all until the fifth baby was born" -Ann Romney

    Here's the thing Ann...you had plenty of help. Lying by omission is still lying. You had maids, housekeepers, groundskeepers, personal assistants, cooks, chauffeurs, chefs, house managers etc.Those are things 99% of people don't have help with. After the birth of your son you "officially" hired nannies. Not nanny, but nannies. Please stop pretending you relate in any way to the average mother raising her children by herself. You never have and you never will.

    April 24, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Give it up Ann. Your fake outrage is so last week. People of privilege seldom deserve sympathy.

    April 24, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  7. Talmonis

    And yet, you STILL have no idea what working women (Especially working mothers!) have to go through. You are STILL a spoiled housewife, who has never had to worry about how to make ends meet.

    April 24, 2012 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  8. Wake up people

    Oh come on Anne. That mess is over with. You and everyone else knows that Hilary wasn't talking about you being a stay at home mother. She was talking about the fact that you nor anyone in your family knows anything about the average person, especially the average woman that has no choice but to work and support her children. You have never had to miss a school play because you couldn't afford to miss work. Please stop with the phony outrage, remember you got your birthday present last week.

    OBAMA 2012!

    April 24, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  9. Dave

    Looks like the Romney campaign is going to milk this non-issue for all it's worth. I guess it's easier than Romney actually having to come up with a plan and a vision for anything.

    April 24, 2012 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  10. Kate Morrison

    I can't believe Anne Romney has to DEFEND the fact that she stayed home and raised her children. I am someone who has been on both sides of the fence, having worked a full-time job while raising my first two children, then staying home after the birth of the third simply because I didn't make enough money to make it worthwhile to pay for childcare for three children under the age of six. Yes, I had a husband with a decent job so that I was able to do this. It was a struggle at first losing that other income, but I've never been "high maintenance" and learned to do without some of the perks I enjoyed when working. I know there are women who would love to stay home, but simple economics forbids it. There are also women who, financially speaking, could stay home but prefer not to because of the fulfillment they get out of their careers. Still others work to maintain a certain lifestyle, and there is nothing wrong with that either. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it seems arrogant to assume that whatever life a woman leads, she is oblivious to the struggles that other women face.

    April 24, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  11. GI Joe

    Yeah – they're in touch with the women with 401Ks on Wall Street.

    Ask her to sit down in Southern West Virginia with a working mom (7 or 8 dollars an hour) trying to raise 2 or 3 kids, pay the rent, utilities, doctor bills, buy food and clothes. Her nose would REALLY snarl up at that. With no "household help", and probably a run-down place to live, I doubt she would even walk in the door much less sit down and chat. That's in touch people - that's America.

    April 24, 2012 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  12. SUBS 4 VOTES

    "[I] know what it's like to get up early in the morning and to get them off to school and I know what it's like to get up in the middle of the night when they're sick, and I know what it's like to struggle and to have those concerns that all mothers have."
    Oh! You do? How about trying to do that then having to work a REAL job. Millions of mothers across this country can juggle both responsibilities. Is this supposed to make me sympathetic towards Willard? This is only making me realize how out of touch his entire family is. A bunch of trust fund babies, a wife who doesn't work, and a vulture capitalst. Sounds like soap opera.

    Get a REAL job!!!

    April 24, 2012 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  13. Allen

    This lady really makes me angry. When a wealthy woman stays at home it's called a "choice." When a poor woman stays at home, she is called a welfare queen, and she is berated for not going out and getting a job that won't even pay for her childcare costs. My mom was a “stay at home” mom – raised five kids on a shoestring budget. She was frugal, cleaned her own house, donated to the church, and helped my dad with the yard work. She canned vegetables and baked to save money on food. She was miracle worker that got things done on her own. She had to make real choices like paying the mortgage or for a car or house repair (THAT is a tough choice). She barely gets buy on my fathers pension, and most of that is eaten up by health insurance and medicine because she has health issues related to all her years of hard work. Now Ann Romney is trying to compare herself to women like my mother? Her husband came from a wealthy powerful family. Even when they were a young couple they had the safety net of Father-in-laws money. It’s not that hard to stay at home when you have $250 million dollars tucked away in bank accounts in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands...or when you have half a dozen servants, eleven homes, and an elevator in your garage to service your "couple" of Cadillac’s. Ann Romney has no idea what a real poor or middle class woman’s life is really like. She will never be able to relate to the choice these woman have to make.

    April 24, 2012 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  14. racegirl1

    This women is as fake as her husband, she is using her cancer and MS fight to play on people's sympathies. This is pathetic and shows she will use anything for a vote. We have people who are fighting these conditions and not using them to benefit themselves in any way.

    April 24, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  15. TYpicalman

    It is not a choice to take care of the kids you brought into this world... It is a RESPONSIBILITY, not a CHOICE... Other women never had the choice to stay at home like you did. They had to go out there to make a living while taking care of their children at same time.

    April 24, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  16. Patty Reid

    Why does she keep using the term "choices" as though every woman who works full time AND raises the family does so by choice?

    April 24, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  17. clarke

    There is nothing wrong with being a stay at home Mom or Dad. I think this has gotten out of control and we just need to move on. All people have a cross to bare no matter who or what you are or what you do in your life. I have been both, you do what you have to do to get by and keep your kids safe and give them food, clothing and shelter and lots of love and guidance. Is it easy, at time No, it is worth it? yes, the rewards can be endless.

    April 24, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  18. GJGVT

    no help until the 5th kid except of course for the MILLIONS of dollars...

    April 24, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  19. Randy, San Francisco

    The story is old and cold. Ann Romney should drop it. Just move on.

    April 24, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  20. Primewonk

    So I guess according to the Romney's, being a stay at home mom is hard work, a full time job, and a good thing. As long as you're rich.

    Because Romney also said this about poor women, " “I wanted to increase the work requirement. I said, for instance, that even if you have a child two years of age, you need to go to work. And people said, ‘Well that’s heartless,’ and I said ‘No, no, I’m willing to spend more giving daycare to allow those parents to go back to work. It’ll cost the state more providing that daycare, but I want the individuals to have the dignity of work.” 

    April 24, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Ann Romney claims that she didn't have any help "for many, many years." Does she expect us to believe that no close relatives ever stopped by to help out? No one came to see her after the birth of #2, #3, or #4? Do you believe that? I don't.

    April 24, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  22. lyn

    Attention ANN ROMNEY, you can defend yourself all you want it not the same your see you never ever have to worry about where the next meal for your family will come from, so again thank God for people like HILARY ROSEN you were right for speaking up for us thank you HILARY.

    April 24, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  23. Lynda/Minnesota

    Ann, honey. This election isn't about you or your "mommy" struggles. It's about millions of everyday women who are also mommy's and hold down jobs outside the home in an effort to feed and clothe their own children. Perhaps when you get beyond the "woe is me" rhetoric, you'll eventually get to addressing the important role women play in all walks of life - not just the walk of the priviledged. I've held down both jobs at the same time. Not only do we (who are now or were at one point in our lives) working moms worry about our own children, we actually drag ourselves up out of bed and manage to get to our "other" job - that job which the entire family depends upon - the job with an income.

    I could care less whether or not Ann Romney had help being a mommy. Not my problem - never was. That she comes across as beyond oblivious to what happens to those not in her sphere of priviledge is her problem to come to grips with. Best to just shrug my sholders at her indifference.

    April 24, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
1 2