April 12th, 2012
02:43 AM ET
10 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. Nobodies Pon

    It is the truth just because she was a housewife is not a knock on Ann Romney. She was just not part of the workforce. More women work and earn more money than their husband and still raise kids at the sametime. Ann Romney knows how to work but no experience in the real world like many single mothers who struggle and fight to make ends meet. Raising five boys with considerable help is not the same. As rasinig five boys in the projects. My late aunt did that no comparison. The out of touch Romneys need to quit trying to relate with the common man and woman. Just state some facts and present solutions that will work for everyone in this country. Not just a select few.

    April 12, 2012 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  2. Nobodies Pon

    If Romney had a spin and stood up for women like a man. He wont need his wife to do any talking for him. Is this the way he would handle issues as president. Run and get his wife to speak for him. Hold on Korean Dictator my wife want to talk to you about the nuclear bomb yall got.

    April 12, 2012 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  3. thomas

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

    And all Her five sons avoided voluntary military service to our country. All those young men and woman who served understand what hard work is and how hard it is the be separated from there loved ones.

    Ask a mother whose son or daughter is in Afghanistan. Raising a child is hard work.

    April 12, 2012 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  4. ct

    republicans dont like the truth...

    April 12, 2012 03:14 am at 3:14 am |
  5. Florence

    You all know very well what "working for a living" means. I am a mother, a christian, and have chosen to stay at home and raise my boys. The question really is ANN have you ever worked for the likes someone like your husband at places like BAIN capital? Have you ever had to get his coffee, when you can barely afford your own? or sit hungry until he comes back from his 3 hour lunch so you can have your 30 mins break? Have you ever cried as you sorted out his lunch recipes and realize he spent for lunch what you spend every month for your rent? I have. It's a PRIVILEGE to be able to have the means to stay at home and care for your children not WORK.

    April 12, 2012 03:21 am at 3:21 am |
  6. Mk

    No surprises here. Another looney gone too far.

    April 12, 2012 03:25 am at 3:25 am |
  7. Name rebecca d

    What a fidiot!!! Who is she to tell Romney who her husband should consider as his expert on women n economics....open mouth insert foot much Rosen?

    April 12, 2012 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  8. John

    Housewives, of course, work hard in the home and should get recognition for it. But it's clear that Mrs. Romney has never held a job outside the family, and thus has little first-hand knowledge of economics and the business world. For Republican politicians and commentators to jump on such an innocuous remark shows how desperate they're all becoming trying to foist on the public a candidate so out of touch with ordinary people.

    April 12, 2012 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  9. Hellohowareyou

    Anyone who thinks it is easy should try it. I am a guy, I watch my kids in the day, work evenings, and can tell you that it is by far the hardest job I ever have had, and I only have 2 very energetic little ones. To do it right, takes tremendous knowledge and patience.

    April 12, 2012 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  10. Computer

    For someone who has never work in the U.S. industry, how do you go out there preaching what is wrong and what is right for the people or for the economy? How do you look at others and say "I'm a hard working mom at home raising 5 kids" when my mom has worked all her life and raised us 11 kids in the family? I totally agree with Rosen. If your the mom that stays at home and do nothing but preach about how bad the economy is then really just shut the fly trap. All you want to do is promote your husband campaign. It's very simple, the truth is out and someone is going to ask that smart question at Ann Romney, how do you stand up there and know what is best for this country when really this country has been spoon feeding you and your family for staying at home?

    April 12, 2012 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  11. retphxfire

    Sorry, Ms. Rosen, but as a proud liberal who supports women's issue, ALL women's issues, I think you stepped in this one. I'm not a fan of Romney and, yes, he is out of touch with 99% of Americans...but anyone who raised five children did work, just not outside the home. Granted, she had a choice, to work or not work, and that might not make her an authority on working owmen and their economic issues, however that doesn't qualify as 'not working'.

    April 12, 2012 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  12. Michael

    Give me a break. Ann Romney may have had 5 children as a good Mormon baby-factory mother should do. But she utilized tons of hired help to raise them. She and her family live like multi-millionaires and certainly have no idea about what middle- and work-class mothers have to go through to raise their families despite socio-economic hardships and health concerns.

    April 12, 2012 03:33 am at 3:33 am |
  13. Democrat

    We dont have to worry. His own party wont vote for him...

    April 12, 2012 03:34 am at 3:34 am |
  14. Democrat

    Ann Romney has two Cadillac she doesnt have to work. But you average middle class women sorry you have to....Maybe you can marry a robot, then u dont....

    April 12, 2012 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  15. David

    I wonder how many servants the average mom has do clean the house, do the dishes and to do the shopping. Lets look at the reality of today, the stay at home mom is becoming a thing of the past. Too many married couples are having to work more than one job to survive.

    April 12, 2012 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  16. AndyDaniel

    I'm a Democrat and support President Obama, but families of the President or of presidential candidates really aren't fair game outside of what they choose to say publicly. We aren't trying to elect Ann Romney or re-elect Michelle Obama.

    April 12, 2012 03:47 am at 3:47 am |
  17. Dr. Cole

    WOW...talk about stepping in the dung (dung...only so the moderators wouldn't pull the post)...even with Rosen's half heated apology, she still flings more bogus dung. I don't know about everyone else, but my wife is the expert in my life when it comes to how women see the world. Is she the only expert...no...just as CNN isn't the only place I get my news...but to blatantly go off on Ann Romney as not working a day in her life is uncalled for. Then to continue to slam on her during your apology is even worse. Ms. Rosen needs to take some time off and really think about what and how she is saying this idea that she is trying to get across.

    April 12, 2012 03:48 am at 3:48 am |
  18. rtbrno65

    That's a real cheap shot. It's painful to see how toxic the political discourse has become in this country.

    April 12, 2012 03:50 am at 3:50 am |
  19. Linda Ross

    I understand that people are offended when there is an implication that being a full -t me mom is not work. But that is not the issue. The issue is that Mr Romney's wife may not be the point of reference when it comes to the average working woman. Can she relate to me a single mom whose husband died when my children were young, working, raising children, and going to school to better our lives and dependent on the social programs that republicans want to cut?

    April 12, 2012 03:50 am at 3:50 am |
  20. JJinCVCA

    I agree that the "firestorm" over this comment is a complete and total distraction from the real issues, and President Obama's camp should distance itself from the veracity of Ms. Rosen's comments.

    However, Ms. Rosen is absolutely correct in recognizing that Mrs. Romney's experience as a stay at home mom is not representative of the vast majority of American mothers who work AND raise children at the very same time.

    Also, Mrs. Romney's experience as a stay at home mom does not lend Mr. Willard Romney any more gravitas or credence as a candidate as does Mrs. Obama's experience prior to becoming First Lady of the US lends President Obama more gravitas or credence to be president.

    The right's disingenuous outrage and feigned indignation over Ms. Rosen's comments about Ms. Romney are wholeheartedly shallow, transparent, and asinine, and cannot detract from the reality that Mr. Willard Romney is not qualified to be president of the United States.

    April 12, 2012 03:55 am at 3:55 am |
  21. Florence

    Getting to raise your children, and spend time with them is not a JOB. Your children can't fire you or do an annual review of how you did the previous year. When you are sick and rich you get to have people help you do your WORK. When you are middle class and get sick you get a pay cut.

    April 12, 2012 03:56 am at 3:56 am |
  22. mmi16

    A stay at home mother with a wealthy husband does not represent the bulk of adult women in the country today. The Ozzie & Harriet family model of the 50's is a statistical oddity in the 21st Century United States. A stay at home Mom such as Mrs. Romney can't comprehend the reality of working outside the home and raising a family, either with or without a husband in residence, that is the real world for most adult women of child bearing years.

    April 12, 2012 04:08 am at 4:08 am |
  23. Pk duster

    I know a lot of wifes who have several children and had to work to feed her family does ann romney know what it is like to go hungry

    April 12, 2012 04:17 am at 4:17 am |
  24. Pk duster

    Come on cnn be careful what you say gop woman amd men are rich snobs please do make the dems look bad the dems care about people

    April 12, 2012 04:24 am at 4:24 am |
  25. Jo

    Rosen's comments seems so off-colored and wrong. Raising children and supporting a family is not only tough, but you also worry about the economy and its effect on not only your husband, but how it affects your family directly! How can you say that stay-at-home moms are distanced from the economy?! They are directly impacted by it, and probably worry just as much, if not more, than any other working moms and dads!

    April 12, 2012 04:26 am at 4:26 am |
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