April 12th, 2012
07:28 PM ET
10 years ago

Axelrod expresses no qualms at targeting Rosen, a 'friend'

(CNN) – David Axelrod, senior strategist for the president's re-election campaign, on Thursday stood by his criticism of longtime Democratic ally Hilary Rosen after she made a controversial comment about Ann Romney.

The campaign quickly distanced itself from Rosen when she argued Wednesday that Ann Romney is unable to relate to working mothers because she had been a stay-at-home mom and "never worked a day in her life."

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Axelrod called out the Democratic strategist on Twitter shortly after her remarks, and a snowball of criticism directed at Rosen soon followed.

"We have an obligation to speak out, not just when people say things we think are inappropriate who are on the other side of the aisle, but when people are on our side of the aisle, when our friends speak out," Axelrod said Thursday on CNN's "John King, USA."

Republicans and Democrats alike both piled on throughout the day, including President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Offering an apology Thursday, Rosen, also a CNN contributor, told CNN she misspoke but she was not taking the firestorm of attacks-even from her own friends-personally.

Romney's campaign, however, focused on the issue for much of the day, labeling Rosen as an "Obama adviser" and painting her statements as part of a new Democratic-backed "war on moms."

Axelrod reiterated that Rosen was "not and never has been" an operative of the Obama campaign, despite her close ties with many who have worked in the Obama White House and for the Democratic Party.

"Hilary has acknowledged that she misspoke and said something she regretted saying in the way that she said it," Axelrod said.

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Filed under: 2012 • Ann Romney • David Axelrod • Mitt Romney
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Ed1

    You tell them no room for someone that tells the Party truth.

    April 12, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  2. Niko_in_Richmond

    Politicians & political consultants have no issues with throwing people under the bus. It has happened before and will happen again. Hilary Rosen put it best: it's not personal, it's politics!

    April 12, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  3. Armand Winter

    Rosen was the Recording Industry Association of America’s chief executive from 1998 to 2003, where she was known for leading the group’s effort to force the shutdown of Napster, a music-sharing online site that ran afoul of U.S. copyright laws?

    Then she and Orrin Hatch would get along just great!

    Remember when Orrin got Fugee member John Forte a presidential pardon for smuggling 30 pounds of pharmaceutical grade liquid cocaine into Newark International?

    If Ann Romney would have had to of raised her children on her own, she would have been on disability and welfare.

    But, I have to give it to her, it's hard work hiring a maid, a nanny, tutors and a full time cook.

    Don't forget the Romney's illegal alien landscaping crew.

    April 12, 2012 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    I doubt Mrs. Romney had to worry about not having healthcare for her little boys. Or enough food to eat. I also doubt she cleaned her own house. Or did her own laundry.

    BIG DIFFERENCE between Mrs. Romney and the average female these days.

    April 12, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  5. PJ/TX

    Out of 11 stories on this page, 9 have been given to Hillary Rosen's comments.
    While Rosen could have worded it better, she was not vicious nor hateful.
    She is not connected to President Obama's campaign, and only gave her personal views, but is most certainly a
    Democrat. So What?
    When she reaches the level of Coulter or Michelle Malkin, then 9 out of 11 stories can dominate the conversation.
    Rosen apologized, unlike the vicious comments made by Republicans.
    So, get over it and move on.

    April 12, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  6. bj

    Rosen was RIGHT! She has not worked a day in her life. There are many women who have 5 or more children and have worked all of their adult years. They better, let the Republicans get their way no one would get any help. So Miss Ann has not worked and what was said about this individual was correct and I resent that The Dems and Prez Obama ran scared and tried to clean up something that was in fact the truth. She has no idea what it is like to get out there and make less and work harder and barely are able to feed your children and possibily buy second hand clothing. GIVE ME A Break! If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

    April 12, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain

    As a mom, I know how hard we work (I can especially relate to raising all boys: Ann Romney has five, I have three).

    What I can't relate to is having a mega-millionaire husband; two cadillacs to tool around in (one each at my two houses; only two, since we sold our main home in Belmont and ski house in Utah); $20 million trust fund for each of my kids; and all the cooking, cleaning, yard maintenance, chauffeuring and any other help I need.

    So while Ann Romney has worked a day in her life, in NO WAY can she relate to the every day challenges of most working Americans.

    Give it up, Mittens – you guys are out of touch.

    April 12, 2012 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  8. Randy, San Francisco

    Unlike GOP/Tea Party politicians and supporters, Democrats are willing to admit mistakes and apologize for them.

    April 12, 2012 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  9. Blindersoff

    And they are go under the bus, for the sake of the party! Talk about loyalty . . . Not!

    April 12, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  10. Gurgyl

    Hillary is 1000% correct. 5 caddilacs, Ann never work nor worked.

    April 12, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  11. Wolf needs to go

    Wolf Blitzers forces Rosen to give an apology to the camera??? Really Wolf.. did you learn that in Anita Bryant School of interviewing? Are you going to make them hug next? What a terrible... terrible ... terrible (Wolf likes saying that) interview. Learn to ask questions.. but don't attack.

    April 12, 2012 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  12. ccisco4

    What a slick way Republican West from Florida has in covering up the fact he is the real Communist.. by his calling a bunch of Democrats communist.ls.. You are the KGB agent in our mist Mr. West..

    April 12, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  13. Stephen in VA

    Good for Axelrod. But Rush Limbaugh rags on our current first lady all the time, and I have yet to see any (R)s calling him out on it.

    April 12, 2012 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  14. R A Serrano

    Ms. Rosen was grossly mischaracterized and wrongfully targeted by the Romney machine, and congratulations to her for handling the purely political fallout with class and integrity.

    April 12, 2012 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  15. Larry L

    Democrats need to avoid becoming Republicans in the midst of the election enthusiasm. Rosen's comment was a softball to the Republicans but reflected the feelings of many people who've heard enough about the "stay-at-home-mom's" tough life. I've seen female Soldiers with husbands deployed who managed numerous kids and served their country with dedication. Too many stay-at-home-moms are fugitives from reality and spend their time trying to compensate for the wages the family loses when they don't work. The women who stay at home while the children are very young have a great argument. When the kids are of school age the argument gets really weak. If your earning potential is high you could be staying home because you're lazy.

    April 12, 2012 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  16. Don

    So much for the war on woman. You let the mask slip.

    April 12, 2012 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  17. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    perhaps President Obama should have come out and said " those were not the words I would have used" seemed to work for Mitt when Rush made his asinine comments.

    April 13, 2012 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  18. fred ca

    Rosen has this dead right. It isn't personal. It is the Chicago thug style of politics. Use your friends and kill your enemies for power. We can all remember that axelrod devised a plan to discourage poor people from using Univ of Chicago medical facilities while playing the usual dem game of showing 'compassion' for the poor. The Chicago dem thug game...use people, get power, trample them to get more power. Rosen understands now that to these cheap and sleazy Michael Corleone wanna-be's...it's not personal. One piece of advise for Rosen...if axelrod offers to have 3 people drive you to the airport DO NOT sit in the front passenger seatm

    April 13, 2012 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  19. Tracy

    Ann never got up in the morning to go to work.

    April 13, 2012 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  20. Fair is Fair

    "Axelrod reiterated that Rosen was "not and never has been" an operative of the Obama campaign, despite her close ties with many who have worked in the Obama White House and for the Democratic Party. "
    If that's the case, Axlegrease, what's up with the 35 visits to the White House?

    April 13, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  21. Peace

    Watching some clips of what the late Mike Wallace did during the weekend, I thought the media learnt something how to be a good journalist. The way it looks now they haven't. I do not see how we can waste time discussing on something like: it was a job, oh no, it wasn't. How is that beneficial to people??? If this is the way we go forward, am afraid we will never move even one step.

    April 13, 2012 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  22. Another Day in the Idiot Mines

    Spare us the hot air, CNN, you run this story into the ground over a false narrative that Rosen somehow attacked stay at home moms (she did no such thing). This was merely a way overblown hissy fit from the Rmoneys and the GOBP cult because a few accurate words reminded America just how clueless and out of touch the Rmoneys are with the experiences and concerns of average Americans. When the hypocrites stop blustering (where's the condemnation for West or Rush?) two facts will remain: The GOBP is at war with women and Ann Romney has no clue at all what the average working mother OR stay at home mother goes through on a daily basis.

    April 13, 2012 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  23. Little Jimmy Truth

    Okay, Rosen will continue to insult and hurt more to innocent Republicans and non-Republicans. Also housewives.

    April 13, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  24. Amazing

    Will Mitt ever call out his buddies for inappropriate comments like Limbaugh or any Fox News host? i doubt it!

    April 13, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  25. Linda

    I agree women who choose to stay home and take care of their family is a job that is very hard and a lot of work and Ann Romney I am sure had her hands full raising 5 boys and with her illnesses it wasn't easy.....but she has NO idea what it was like for most women who hold down a full time job come home and have to do all the things a mother has to do to take care of her home and family that Ann Romney had all day to do......Most women also have the worry of managing a budget, paying the most important bills first and trying to catch up on bills that they couldn't pay the month before. Ann with her illnesses didn't have ot worry about whether she could go to the doctor or take her children to the doctors when they were sick, along with the work comes the worries a lot of women face in just keeping their heads above water.....Ann Romney never had to do that.....How many maids and Nanny's did Ann have to help her out in the many many million dollar homes they have, yes Ann stayed home and raised her boys and that wasn't an easy job and should not be taken lightly by anyone......but she still has no idea what the majority of working women face day to day in just providing for their families while they also have to take care of the homes, childrens homework, most can't even save a dime for emergencies much less their childrens college educations.....along with the hard work it takes to take care of a family and a home and a job is the worry that comes along with holding down a job and finacial worries, and health worries, Ann may have had her illnesses but Im sure she had good doctors and health insurance to help take care of her......may women have illnessess and their children and they don't have the healthcare to go to the doctors....so Ann never had to worry about that.........Sorry Ann Romney may have worked every day of her life at home and I salute her for that.....but she has no idea and neither does Mitt Romney what the working women in this country faces day in and day out........

    April 13, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
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