Pretty in pink and for a cause
October 17th, 2012
02:32 PM ET
6 years ago

Pretty in pink and for a cause

(CNN) - Michelle Obama and Ann Romney's dresses drew attention at Tuesday's presidential debate first for their color, and second for the statement they may have made.

While their husbands clashed spectacularly onstage, Obama's and Romney's dresses bore more in common than one might expect of people with their two last names.

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Both showed up in vibrant pink - which is the color of the breast cancer awareness effort, and October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

President Barack Obama may have been in on the occasion, too. His suit was black, shirt was white, and tie was red, but tucked up his right sleeve was a pink wristband. He wore the wristband at a campaign event on Wednesday, and in early October, issued a proclamation saying in October "we honor those we have lost, lend our strength to those who carry on the fight, and pledge to educate ourselves and our loved ones about this tragic disease."

Michelle Obama wore her knee and sleeved length pink dress with a matching pink jacket and a pearl necklace. An Obama campaign official said the color was in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Ann Romney topped her short-sleeved dress with an emerald necklace. She is a survivor of early stage breast cancer.

A spokeswoman for Romney's campaign did not return CNN's request for comment on whether Ann Romney's wardrobe selections were a nod to Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

But some on social media weighed in regardless.

Anisa Cottrell Willis wrote on Facebook, "Among the scandals of last night....the First Lady and Ms Romney in the exact same color Barbie pink dresses."

Will the two spouses sport similar shades in the same room again? They'll have an opportunity next Monday, at the third presidential debate in Boca Raton, Florida.

- CNN's Kevin Liptak and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report

Filed under: 2012 • Ann Romney • Michelle Obama
soundoff (117 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    'I'm presuming that this reference is somewhat above your understanding,"

    Says the guy who got the psychological process wrong when trying to snark about the first stage being denial.

    October 17, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  2. jrw1jrw2

    The new Republican/Mormon definition of "marriage": 1 man and 1 binder of women.

    October 17, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  3. Critical Thinking

    @sniffit, I think your handle pretty much tells us what your lifestyle is like. A brain is a terrible thing to waste, try rehab.

    October 17, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  4. Marie MD

    Pink for breast cancer month.
    Once again, Mrs. Obama looked fabulous. Not so much the other one. That little kiss from that Katz woman who had an "undecided" question was priceless. Couldn't wait until you spoke later?
    Nothing from the guy who asked about Lybia. He stunk of rethug.

    October 17, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "@sniffit, I think your handle pretty much tells us what your lifestyle is like. A brain is a terrible thing to waste, try rehab."

    Sniff it. If it smells like BS, then it IS BS. Whats hard to understand about that? You, by the way, have been sniffed and found wanting. Pew 🙂

    October 17, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. Richie Rich

    Jessie P. I completely agree with you. I however do agree with some others who have said that the President hasn't laid out a plan for the next four years. But, then again, I just don't believe that I can trust Mitt Romney as far as I could possibly throw him. He seems to be a wiser and more savvy Sarah Palin, whom has a severe disconnect with your average american. In all honesty, all politicians spin just about everything they say, and, it seems like the American people are just used to politicians being full of as Joe Biden says, "malarchy." At what point do you decide as an American citizen to be more informed and stand up for real values and moral beliefs and tie these guys down to real answers?

    I didn't vote last election, but , I trust that Barack is more honest in his person, presence and purpose.
    I'm voting Obama

    October 17, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  7. Cheryl

    I agree that Ann Romney seems snobbish but some of the comments here are far too harsh. On the subject of the pink dresses I preferred Mrs Obama's because it seemed more tailored and stylish and I think the bright color suits her dark complexion. Mrs Romney's dress was fine but I didn't think it went well with the patterned shawl and I didn't care for the green beads.

    October 17, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  8. LacrosseMom

    Both women are beautiful. I just prefer Pres. Obama over the bishop.

    October 17, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  9. CB FL

    I wonder how Priness ANN would want to move into the White House after a Afircan American couple lived there. It would cost the American people millions to clean up after taking the trash out.

    October 17, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  10. rae sunners

    Michelle will look particularly lovely, from the back, as she leaves the white house and the door hits her in her big rear end.

    October 17, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  11. connieb

    I love your comments always. Please never stop.

    October 17, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  12. jj

    I did notice the same color – thanks for letting us know what is was for.

    October 17, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  13. Ysen

    Both women deserve applause. Both are strong. The Obama's just spend more of our money, without any accountability. Seriously, the day of the debate, another Obama-sponsored "new energy" battery company went belly-up to the tune of 250 billion of our dollars, and it's not the first one to do so. Michelle Obama has 16 paid staff which cost the American taxpayers $1,256,700. (By comparison, Laura Bush had 10 paid staff which cost the American taxpayers $764,900. A difference of $491,800 (about 1/2 million dollars. ) I'd be willing to bet AR will be a more financially conservative First Lady. But I thank them both for their tribute to breast cancer awareness.

    October 17, 2012 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  14. Judi

    I can not believe some of the things I am reading here. Is it ok to say mean things about a person's gender or their color? I don't think so. I am disappointed in some of the country's citizens. We are suppose to be an enlightened nation but some of the comments here don't sound like it.
    I still don't know who I am voting for but I agree with President Obama on one thing. How dare Gov. Romney question a sitting President about Lybia and what happened there. He was not the one meeting those coffins and talking to the family. An answer could have caused serious harm to our security if they are trying to track the murderers.

    October 17, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  15. Tammy

    Good for the President for wearing the pink bracelet. He connects more with me, a middle class woman, than Mittens the flipflopper. And that he would wear that little pink bracelet to a debate watched by millions only makes me respect him more.

    October 17, 2012 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  16. Cougarblu

    I am agog that there is an entire article devoted to what the female spouses wore at the debate in 2012, not on the entertainment or fashion page, even if was to support a worthy cause. An entire frickin' article. In 2012. Good grief.

    October 17, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  17. becky

    It is hardly necessary to be snarky about either of these ladies. Those who must write in this way should find another outlet for their anger. The comments about Princess Ann, the White House and its occupants tells us that people are story harboring hatred for people of color. I am really sorry that CNN chose to include these. It would be most appropriate for people to speak up about these comments. Just remember that it could be you next. We have seen this all before and the prejudices have not disappeared.

    Both ladies wore pink for breast cancer. It is not necessary to comment on their dress as neither one spoke at the debate.

    October 17, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  18. hypatia

    Apparently, one of them was playing power-fashion games. Gee, wonder which one that was.....esp. Considering that basic etiquette would indicate that the First Lady come first, whatever the social occassion. Another not- so-subtle form of disrespect that is the hallmark of these "pilars of society" .

    October 17, 2012 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  19. browney

    Why not wear a pink tie? Instead of this silly red vs blue ties.

    October 17, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  20. clarke

    Wow, some of you folks on here need to get a life or grow up.

    October 17, 2012 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  21. PJ

    Both women looked nice although Ann Romney looked tired after the debate. I think we should try to be more polite in our comments. Even if we don't all agree, we don't have to be rude.

    October 17, 2012 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  22. Slightly Left of Center

    Funny. Had anyone asked me before I read this story, I would not have been able to tell what either one was wearing. Why? Because I don't get distracted by inconsequential things. While I appreciate they wore pink in support of breast cancer research, who cares who had the prettier dress or jewelry? They could have worn pink trash bags for all I care.

    Quite frankly, Queen Anne doesn't look comfortable in her own skin and no amount of high-priced clothing can fix that.

    October 17, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  23. Pat Riot

    Mrs Obama looked beautiful, Mrs Romney looked like Cruella DeVille.

    October 17, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  24. Kimberly

    Lets respect both ladies for wearing pink. I admire both since I'm a breast cancer survivor

    October 17, 2012 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  25. Kimberly

    Nice of them to show they care

    October 17, 2012 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
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