(CNN) – Ann Romney has a message for her husband's conservative critics: try walking a mile in her husband's shoes.
"Stop it. This is hard. You want to try it? Get in the ring," she said in a Thursday interview with Radio Iowa.
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Several high-profile conservative commentators have criticized Romney's recent campaign tactics, topping off a tough week for the Republican presidential nominee. Earlier in the week, a left-leaning magazine released secretly recorded clips of Mitt Romney speaking at a May fundraiser which dominated the week's political news coverage. Last week, the Romney campaign struggled in its response to violence in several Arab countries with left the American ambassador to Libya and several others dead.
Peggy Noonan, whose conservative columns appear in The Wall Street Journal, hit Romney's campaign, calling it "incompetent." In another column published after Ann Romney's Radio Iowa interview, Noonan stood by her comments and dealt another blistering blow, saying her word choice was "only because I was being polite. I really meant 'rolling calamity.'"
And Bill Kristol, editor of the conservative publication The Weekly Standard, likened Barack Obama and Mitt Romney as "two presidential candidates who - when they thought they were speaking privately to their fellow 1 percenters - have shown contempt for fellow Americans."
In his comments at the secretly recorded event, Romney said 47% of the electorate viewed themselves as victims and were dependent upon government support, and therefore would vote for Obama.
In her Thursday interview, Ann Romney said she does not let the criticism "sink in."
"You hear it and then you just let it go right by; you are used to it," she said. "Honestly, at this point, I'm not surprised by anything."
Romney said the election this year is important and "it is time for all Americans to realize how significant this election is and how lucky we are to have someone with Mitt's qualifications and experience and know-how to be able to have the opportunity to run this country."