April 12th, 2012
02:43 AM ET
11 years ago

Democrat's comment about Ann Romney creates firestorm on Twitter

(CNN) - Democratic Strategist Hilary Rosen generated instant bipartisan criticism Wednesday night for her statement that Ann Romney has "actually never worked a day in her life."

The reaction on Twitter from high level politicos was instant and virtually unanimous: Rosen had gone too far.

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Rosen: Ann Romney and working moms

Rosen's comment also prompted Ann Romney herself to make her twitter debut.

"I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys," Romney tweeted. "Believe me, it was hard work."

Rosen, also a CNN political contributor and a working mother, made her comments on CNN's "AC360."

"What you have is Mitt Romney running around the country, saying, 'Well, you know, my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues, and when I listen to my wife, that's what I'm hearing.' Guess what? His wife has actually never worked a day in her life," Rosen said.

"She's never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing, in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school, and why do we worry about their future," Rosen continued, adding that Romney "just seems so old fashioned when it comes to women."

Her comments drew instant criticism on Twitter from campaign advisers on both sides of the aisle, as well as one of Romney's sons.

Josh Romney posted that his mother "is one of the smartest, hardest working woman I know. Could have done anything with her life, chose to raise me."

The senior adviser to President Barack Obama's reelection bid also took to Twitter to distance the campaign from the comments.

"Also Disappointed in Hilary Rosen's comments about Ann Romney," David Axelrod wrote. "They were inappropriate and offensive."

Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter posted, "Families must be off limits on campaigns, and I personally believe stay at home moms work harder than most of us do."

Several press aides to Romney's campaign - Andrea Saul, Ryan Williams, and Amanda Henneberg - posted links tying Obama to Rosen, such as her appointment as a DNC adviser and her appearance at a White House event.

Romney campaign strategist Eric Fehrnstrom wrote: "Obama adviser Hilary Rosen goes on #CNN to debut their new "kill Ann" strategy, and in the process insults hard-working moms."

Eric Erickson, a CNN political contributor and editor of a conservative website, appeared on the same panel as Rosen, and tweeted, "If raising 5 sons through breast cancer and MS isn't a real job, I'm not sure what is."

The comment drew criticism from a Republican member of Congress, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, who posted, "Wrong. Being a mom is a full-time job."

Rosen explained her comments in a post on the social networking site.

"When I said @AC360 Ann Romney never worked I meant she never had to care for her kids AND earn a paycheck like MOST American women! #Truth," she wrote.

She later posted a direct comment to Romney.

"Please know, I admire you. But your husband shouldn't say you are his expert on women and the economy."

Also see:

Romney on Santorum: 'This has been a good day for me'

Louisiana governor endorses Romney

Crossroads GPS to drop $1.7 million against Obama

Filed under: 2012 • Anderson Cooper 360 • Ann Romney
soundoff (237 Responses)
  1. Jean Sartre

    My Mom and our six other children grew up in a millionaire's home; Mom was always there, well, most of the time; yes, we did have a nanny and a cook, a groundskeeper and much help around the home. Still, in the final analysis, Mom did work very hard. You cannot raise three girls and three boys and not have it be hard work...

    That said, the vast majority of women do not have that luxury; they have to get ready for their out-of-home job every morning, actually go to work, come home and cook, clean, worry about where the money is going to come from for food, clothes, electricity, cable, toys, doctor visits, dentists and an entire host of other things that massively impact the family budget. My Mom never had to deal with any of these issues...

    The bulk of American women do...

    April 12, 2012 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  2. Terry

    Ann Romney made a choice to stay home and raise her family because her husband was wealthy. This is an acceptable decision, it just leaves Mrs. Romney out in the cold when she attempts to relate to working class mothers who are not afforded the lap of luxury.

    April 12, 2012 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  3. Tony

    Mitt Romney brought his wife into the campaign, she has been there all along.

    His comments were inappropriate, and Hilary Rosen did nothing but point that out. She didn't say the woman had an extra eye in the middle of her forehead, she said she hadn't held a job in her life, TRUE! While staying home and raising 5 boys is fulltime and admirable, it is not a J-O-B.

    Get real people, whatever happened to free speech? And who are all these so-called experts to judge that these comments, of all the horrible comments made in the campaign as "inappropriate".

    I find the car elevator in the beach house inappropriate.

    April 12, 2012 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  4. Mark1

    Hilary Rosen was right on. Romney made claims about his wife as an asset/advisor to his thinking and campaigning. Romney himself opened the door to commentary about his wife by doing this. It would be remiss to not challenge assertions that are clearly unfounded by reality. If Romney or his surrogates don't like the truth then then should not make his wife the target and then complain when she gets shot at.

    April 12, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  5. Where is the Fury

    Where is the fury of the press asking for her job? How about pulling sponsors from the show she was on? Oh that is only with the right.

    April 12, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  6. Name JK

    Really Rosen? Five boys cost an enormous amount of money to raise, especially during the adolescent years. Ann Romney had to balance a household budget to accommodate their needs. Just raising one boy is huge, as many who have children and/ or teach know; especially considering their activity level and listening abilities!

    April 12, 2012 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  7. Tom

    Ann Romney has NEVER worked a day in her life? What else is new except, NEITHER has her "vulture" hubby. Two peads in a pod.

    April 12, 2012 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  8. Doomsday D

    Hillary Rosen should have stayed home a little more to appreciate how much work raising 5 children is instead of dropping them off to have some one else do it for her. If there were more women who could or would stay at home then it would have a much more positive effect on children. i know how much I appreciated that kind of upbringing.

    April 12, 2012 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  9. jam

    Pretty petty and cheap but not surprising from a democrat that hates women that actually care for their family!!!!!!!!!! Staying home or working in the workforce is all work. Thank you Ann for stating the truth......Dems have nothing to do but gutter talk.

    April 12, 2012 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  10. NamePat

    Even though I don't have children, I believe KUDOS are in order for Mrs. Romney! To imply that raising a family isn't work is shocking! What was this woman thinking????? Foot in mouth disease..fire that nitwit.

    April 12, 2012 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  11. ArmyVet

    I agree Mitt Romney should not say his wife knows what women are thinking and say he listens to her advice. My wife works while raising our two girls. She had it tough supporting me in my career as a Soldier especially while I was deployed for a year. She had an infant and 3 yr old to care for while working. She took on my role of taking care of everything else.

    April 12, 2012 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  12. Suki Barnstorm

    Although I think that Rosen's choice of words allowed her to be misconstrued, I agree with her premise. Women who choose to stay home and raise their children work just as hard as women who work outside the home. What I think Rosen was trying to say is that it is disingenuous for Ann Romney to claim that she understands the economic issues that all women face, because she has never had to worry about money in her life. Also, the majority of working women have to work. It is not a choice. Ann Romney had a choice. She cannot and should not try to put herself in the role of understanding women's economic issues.

    April 12, 2012 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
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