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. Proud Liberal

    I cannot see much wrong in what Ms. Rosen said. Mrs. Romney never has had to work, never has worked, and probably never will work. My mother had to return to work when my sister and I were toddlers, and believe me, there is no comparison between having to get up and out of the house every day, work a full time job, raise children, and maintain a home. Mrs. Romney and her ilk have zero understanding of what our lives have been like. Mrs. Romney does not have a clue and does not want one.

    April 12, 2012 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  2. jj

    Rosen is simply jealous................

    April 12, 2012 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  3. Beanne

    Seems it is the Obama's people who want to war on women and are out of touch with "REAL" women. There are many many women who choose to stay at home and raise their kids.This is the best and hardest job in the world. You know that old saying, "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world" I quess Mrs Romney must be one who rules the world. Look at the results. She raised 5 fine young men who are going to be assets to their community. They will be tax paying citizens and give to charity and also raise outstanding children. I am an RN, have 3 children and worked all my life. I wish I could have stayed home with my kids and I admire those that do cause it too is a scarifice.

    April 12, 2012 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  4. Crystal Plummer

    Being able to make the choice to stay at home and raise your children is a priviledge and a luxury that the vast majority of American moms do not have. I'm not saying that it is not work but how many of us would have loved to have had the option? I know I sure would have. I HAD to work – still do.

    April 12, 2012 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  5. pvadakkemadam

    Absolutely,working as a Democratic Strategist is really hard work trying to figure out how to squander $800 billion for so called shovel ready Solyndra like waste and socially distribute our hard earned tax money.She can work for GSA.Now that the treasury has been emptied,next hard work can begin on looting private money of millionaires and billioners

    April 12, 2012 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  6. MA

    Wow! Look at how the Republicans pounced. Mothers who stay home and do not have to worry how to pay the bills each month do not know what working mothers who also raise children deal with. That is a fact. No matter how much mothers who stay at home harp about how hard a job they have raising their children while not working they really have no idea how hard it is to go to work at a real job and then at the same time do the job they say is so hard to do. Ann Romney has led a privileged life and that is also a fact. This has nothing to do with whether she is a nice person or not. She does not represent a working mother.

    April 12, 2012 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  7. john working dad

    Most of the moms in this country are not only raising a family, but are also working full time to support their family. I know my wife and my mother would both have enjoyed the privileged life of those moms who never have to get a job. As a father who is lucky to have a full time job, I also wish I didn't have to endure back breaking labor for slightly more than minimum wage. I know how difficult changing diapers, cleaning house, and taking my kids to the playground is, as I have two. If I had a choice between a job and raising children, I'd stay home with the kids. Raising your own kids is not a job, it's a luxury.

    April 12, 2012 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  8. Robert

    So Romney brings his wife into the discussion and then claims wives are off limits? Where have I seen this before, Oh yeah, Palin in 2008.

    April 12, 2012 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  9. Milton K. Wiah

    How can Mitt Romney look his wife on economic issues. And Rosen is right, she never had a job
    how could she know about even when people get pay let alone economy of a country.

    April 12, 2012 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  10. Norman Autrey

    Yeah, but it's true. They had so much money that they had nannies and house keepers to do the work that most mothers do. My mother was a stay at home mom, actually raised 4 children, cooked three meals a day and dealt with never having enough money to go around. These folks from wealthy families, who's money is old and passed down, really don't know how the rest of us have lived. I'm not just talking about one side or the other, I'm talking about all of them.

    April 12, 2012 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  11. Geoff

    While it's understandable that everyone in politics will "distance" themselves from such a statement, I think it's a pretty valid point to make that there is a difference between wealthy stay-at-home moms and the vast majority of working moms who are working to survive and put food on the table, PLUS raising kids. I've never raised kids, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume that it might be just a little easier if I was worth $200 million and didn't have to work. And gee, think there was ever any nannies around? Private tutors? Drivers?

    April 12, 2012 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  12. TypicalLiberals

    Of course she attacked Romney's wife.It's taboo to raise children in the eyes of the left.They prefer no parental guidance.Their communities reflect this year after year.This is why more people watch judge Joe Brown re runs than CNN.CNN is completely out of touch with reality.

    April 12, 2012 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  13. longtooth

    Another gift to the republican campaign, a poorly thought out comment that will be brought up constantly because the republicans are searching for something solid to attack with. The intent doesn't matter. The appearance does.

    April 12, 2012 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  14. jnpa

    I agree with one thing – Ann Romney was never in the workplace so I doubt she actually knows alot about working women and the economic strifes they endure while trying to also raise a family. But give a break, staying home raising 5 kids with a husband who makes millions might be hard work, but it in no way makes her an authority on anything but maybe raising 5 kids.

    April 12, 2012 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  15. Julia Frugoli

    Many working women would have given anything to be able to make the choice Ann Romney did-to stay home. But we can't. The people shouting in the wings have missed the point-Ann Romney is a 1%-er. She has NO CLUE what most hard working women, stay at home and working, go through on a day to day basis.

    April 12, 2012 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  16. WWRRD

    This is the type of misspeak that really unveils liberals true intentions. Feminist liberals despise women that embrace traditional gender roles. Managing a household and raising a family is critically important. However, Feminists really aren't interested in solid family life. They think they can live on their own , raise a kid on their own, and work full time on their own.
    An Romney never did anything to Rosen. If she has pent up feminist frustrations and guilt, she should work them out on her own.

    April 12, 2012 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  17. Bruce

    I admire Rosen for her courage to say it like it actually is.

    April 12, 2012 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  18. sandy poindexter

    i agree with rosen..yes raising kids is full time but she has never had to work cause they r billionaires..they have cooks..nannies..dont worry bout if they can afford food pay bills..they r able to pay for pvt schools..buy gas..there is a big difference btween a working mom and stay at home mom..i wish i could have been a stay at home mom..until u r able to relate to the working class struggling to make ends meet noone can relate to our problems..im 65 taking care of 2 great grandkids and cant afford to get my car fixed..just retired but have to go back to work and worry bout who is going to take care of babies..can i afford the gas to drive back and fort..can a billionaire relate to my issues..hell no

    April 12, 2012 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  19. BS

    Yeah whatever dude.

    April 12, 2012 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  20. Mike

    My mom didn't GET to stay home and raise us, and my wife and I don't GET to have children because we can't afford it and we refuse to take a handout.
    These people were born into privilege and have lived like royalty– which is awesome for lots of reasons. But it makes Mitt Romney particularly unqualified for the office of the president. I'd rather have a used car dealer, and we're fortunate to already have a genuine, self-made man with centrist leanings who will continue to work for the working/middle class.

    April 12, 2012 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  21. Anonymous

    Let's not resurrect the"war" between stay-at-home Moms and working Moms, please. The Romneys are obviously interpreting Rosen's remarks in the classic, and stereotypical, manner that stay-at-home Moms lack intelligence and don't care about what goes on beyond their homes. Then the stay-at-home types fire back with the opposite stereotypical opinion that working Moms are greedy and don't care about their children. Enough of this ignorance!

    It's wonderful that Ann Romney and so many other women have a choice to stay home rather than work. Many more of us don't have that choice. I could have quit my job to raise my children but that would have reduced our family income by 60% and we'd have no health insurance. Many of these "decisions" are financially based and choosing to provide health insurance and a decent lifestyle for the family doesn't mean these women are greedy. Certainly there are women who can afford to quit working to raise children and choose not to - they don't deserve to be vilified any more than the rest of us. .

    My interpretation of Rosen's comments are that Ann Romney had a choice and, being very wealthy, didn't have financial issues to deal with. While that shouldn't be interpreted to mean that she didn't care about the same things as most every other mother on the planet, the real point is that the economy looks a whole lot different when you're one of the 1%.

    April 12, 2012 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  22. clarke

    Being a stay at home mom is a full time job and makes you an expert on the economy just in buying clothing, food, activities for the kids, the list is long. Being a stay at home mom doesn't bring home a pay check, but if you had to pay stay at home Mom's you could not afford it. Bringing home a pay check doesn't make you an expert on anything and it doesn't mean you are smart either. Don't go there regarding stay at home Mom's or Dad's, it is the most important job there is. No, I was not a stay at home Mom. I find the comment out of line and not very bright, maybe you should stay home and learn a thing or two.

    April 12, 2012 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  23. Howard

    Although Rosen may have gone too far with making those comments on AC360, she does have a point in some matter. Ann must be a strong woman to stay home and raise her children with what her body was going through, but the point is that with her husband, she was able to do so. She doesn't know what it means for most mothers to struggle with home, finances, balancing a budget to make sure to buy gas and food for the family and to do all of that while working a job or maybe two. All mothers are the salt of the Earth and should be respected in all cases, but just to be clear. Rosen may have been out of place for saying it in the manner that she did, however, with maids and other help at the house, Rosen does have a point

    April 12, 2012 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  24. rs1201

    Hilary Rosen doesn't know what she's talking about and the democrats better put a muzzle on that woman. Raising five kids, having breast cancer and MS is more than any woman alive could bear. Ann Romney had to be at 100% to raise her kids while wondering whether she would even be alive to see her sons grow up to be men. She's a woman to be admired and emulated. I raised two sons while being totally healthy and I can't even imagine what it is to raise 5 sons...while having to deal with chemo, radiation, and the hardship that MS brings. Rosen should be ashamed of herself and so should the democrats. Attacking Ann Romney is despicable and disgusting!

    April 12, 2012 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  25. Rosalie

    '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's right. Ann Romney is a multi-millionaire "stay-at-home" mom with multiple staff and nanny's that Romney pays for, not Ann. She has no idea what actual working moms who raise kids and work another job without being millionaires or having tons of paid staff go through economically.

    April 12, 2012 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
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