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. Mike Mayo

    We all know what Hilary Rosen meant when she commented on Mrs. Romney's job history. We also know that, for what it's worth, Hilary Rosen is absolutely and undeniably correct.

    April 12, 2012 05:15 am at 5:15 am |
  2. royboy

    A stay at home mom that has millions of dollars compared to a hard working mom that raises 2 kids ummmmmmmm?

    April 12, 2012 05:18 am at 5:18 am |
  3. Peachykeen

    It's common knowledge that Mormon married women are stepford wives......little robots.

    April 12, 2012 05:19 am at 5:19 am |
  4. Blindersoff

    Well she hasn't worked a day in her life and probably had a nanny watching her kids. The truth is the truth . . . and if families are off limits, keep them away from the campaign, commenting on political issues. Period.

    April 12, 2012 05:20 am at 5:20 am |
  5. Mike Mayo

    We all know what Hilary Rosen meant when she commented on Ann Romney's job history. We also know that, for what it's worth, Rosen's comment is absolutely and undeniably correct.

    April 12, 2012 05:21 am at 5:21 am |
  6. greyfel

    I agree with Rosen....I may admire Ann Romney for raising 5 great men, for overcoming her health problems, for being a great wife and mom.
    However, when Ann Romney can tell me that she has had the electricity turned off, or written a bad check the day before payday for groceries, or had to choose between paying the water bill or buying groceries, or having to forego dental work and doctors visits for herself so that she can take care of her boys, then she can be an "expert" on the economy.
    I have had to make those decisions and many other women have also. I have had to go to work when my child was sick and I had to scramble for someone to take care of her. Ann Romney has lived a privileged life as the wife of a wealthy man. She rode Dressage horses, not a cheap hobby. She drives Cadillacs,, not used ones I'm sure. She dresses beautifully and I'm sure she has never had to worry about health insurance, retirement accounts or anything else to do with money. The biggest decision she has had to make was which of their several homes she will live in that month.
    Ms. Rosen was correct when she said that Ann Romney has no credentials when it comes to the economy.

    April 12, 2012 05:23 am at 5:23 am |
  7. GEdwards

    More elitist attitude from the hateful left. Seems like she and Bill Maher would get along just fine.

    April 12, 2012 05:23 am at 5:23 am |
  8. j

    Yeah.. I can imagine how difficult it was for her and the kids, what with all the servants, nannies, private daycare, private jet field trips, while daddy was out crushing the little guy's spirit for a quick dollar.

    Romney's kids were the only ones in their district that owned sports teams, instead of played on sports teams.

    April 12, 2012 05:23 am at 5:23 am |
  9. Please Grow Up

    The Romney campaign is right to jump on every word spoken. The Obama campaign certainly will. No one really misunderstands the idea that Mrs. Romney "has never worked a day in her life" means working for a salary at an impersonal job. No one really doubts that raising five kids is a big, big job. However, Mrs. Romney did not have to raise those five kids while working at a minimum wage job where she could be fired, or have to raise those five kids while being called a "welfare mom" by the very people who are now holding their noses and voting for Mr. Romney. An apology for the words used is appropriate; an apology for the idea that Mrs. Romney is a good barometer for the feelings and needs of working mothers is not.

    April 12, 2012 05:24 am at 5:24 am |
  10. ABO Twentytwelve

    Raising five boys, while fighting breast cancer and Multiple Sclerosis isn't work? Wow! Way to distance Obama from every mother on the planet! So, are candidate's families on the table now? Does she really want to subject Obama's daughters to the negativity that is out there?

    April 12, 2012 05:25 am at 5:25 am |
  11. Superwoman

    Kudos to Ann Romney for being able to stay at home and raise her children; however, she does not represent me. I completed multiple degrees, worked full time & raised my children by myself. She does not represent me, nor many other American women.

    April 12, 2012 05:27 am at 5:27 am |
  12. Mr

    Time for Rosen to shut up. Obama better distance himself fast from idiots like her who have no sense

    April 12, 2012 05:31 am at 5:31 am |
  13. Realitybites

    The context of Rosen's statement was spot on. To suggest Romney's wife understands the stresses of middle class or lower women, to include housewives, is ridiculous.

    April 12, 2012 05:45 am at 5:45 am |
  14. Richter Scale

    This country has gotten more and more bitterly divided. I can't believe that the violent crime rate has been reducing since its highs in the Reagan and GHW Bush eras. People seem to hate each other more than ever before, I can only hope that its because of the media and the fact we can hear more opinions that things seem that way.

    April 12, 2012 05:46 am at 5:46 am |
  15. Jay in NC

    Rosen's job is to spread hate in the world.

    April 12, 2012 05:52 am at 5:52 am |
  16. Henrystar

    I don't understand. Isn't what she said true? And isn't it relevant? I don't see anything offensive about it. Sheesh!

    April 12, 2012 05:52 am at 5:52 am |
  17. Angie

    The democrats say they LOVE women but they mean only LIBERAL women, everyone else they feel a need to destroy...

    April 12, 2012 05:54 am at 5:54 am |
  18. Democrat Teen

    Ugh. Can all parties, Republican and Democrat included, respectfully shut up if the only thing they can say will shoot their party in the foot? Between this and everything else, no wonder the parties are in a neverending catfight.

    April 12, 2012 05:55 am at 5:55 am |
  19. say_teo

    cry me a river when they can tell me how much a gallon of milk is then i will believe them but till then niether of them know about the economy............

    April 12, 2012 05:55 am at 5:55 am |
  20. where did i put that oxy?

    ann romney also doesn't feel wealthy. go figure.

    April 12, 2012 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  21. jon

    Like every other comment made by Democrats it just demonstrates the hypocracy, it has also come to light that Obama pays women in his administration less than their male counterparts

    April 12, 2012 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  22. Darrell Birck

    If not working a day in their life is a crime...then arrest Obama...

    April 12, 2012 06:06 am at 6:06 am |
  23. bob

    Staying home and raising kids, and with just 20 million a year! What a saint.

    April 12, 2012 06:07 am at 6:07 am |
  24. Bob Baird

    She is alsom insinuating that people with money have no problems. Research would say that is not correct. Money and Happiness are two different things. Rosen is truly an incredibly insensitive person.

    April 12, 2012 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  25. onlyfacts61

    5 kids at school from 8am to 3pm, 5 days a week, for over 12 years. Sounds like a nice vacation.

    April 12, 2012 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
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