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. Pat

    Who cares? She's right. Don't put your wife out there as your economic expert when she has no real experience with it other than spending money someone else earned.

    April 12, 2012 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  2. jalle15lsu

    My wife is a stay at home mom of three kids, and she works much harder than me. In fact she took a part time job for a few nights a week, not because we needed it, but because she wanted a break. THis lady is pointing out a speck in someone's eye, when she has a glaring plank in her own.

    April 12, 2012 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  3. -Sn

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

    Having that "Choice" in and of itself is somewhat "out of touch" with average folks. By no means do I down play the importance of home making and parenting... but folks without millions of dallors, do these things while working, often two jobs... and frankly, regarding "economic" issues she would be less in tune with what women are concerned about though the country. The Romney's haven't had "economic issues"... she's a nice lady... that's all, she's not off limits and she is likely as out of touch as mitt is. They will not win by "connecting" emotionally or feigning empathy...

    April 12, 2012 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  4. Tom

    She doesn't know what it's like to be out in the workforce looking for a job, she is contributing to overpopulation, and I'm pretty sure she had a nanny and domestic help. After all, her husbands job was to rob from the poor and give to the rich

    April 12, 2012 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  5. james

    It kind of seems pretty accurate... if she's busy with 5 children, with more money at her finger tips than most anyone, how the hell would she know about the economic struggles of woman? Let's not get all hyper sensitive now.

    April 12, 2012 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  6. Marcus14006

    Hmm-sounds like Ann Romney never had to work a day in her life for $$$. Conclusion: marry rich and stay home and raise your kids-not a bad deal compared to the modern women of today.

    April 12, 2012 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  7. Ian

    I guarantee she had nannies for those boys

    April 12, 2012 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  8. Brhino

    Typical liberal snobbery and hatred. God I can't wait for a new administration. I honestly believed the president when he was running that he would try to bring this country together. Since then it's been non stop class social race gender warfare and I am sIck of it. Prez O better let go of the nasty Chicago politics, or he will lose!

    April 12, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  9. k.

    I personally know of wealthy people who have a lot less money than the Romneys that have 1+ nannies for every child they have and go to parental support groups. This lifestyle is a lot different from most stay at home moms, working moms and single parent moms. That's great Ann Romney produced five children and stayed home to take care of them, but it still doesn't answer the question – did she actually work in her own home or did she delagate that work. How many nannies did she have? -k. (stay at home husband, no nannies)

    April 12, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  10. Clint

    I knew the Democrats and the News Media would wage a vicious "War on Romney" but this is one of the worst ever. Who is waging a War On Women ??? Ann Romney is a gracious women who raised 5 kids while battleing cancer and MS. SHAME on the Democrats. But, I'm sure NBC and CNN will us this again.

    April 12, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  11. Kenneth

    Romney interjected his wife into the campaign by stating, '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.' Once he crossed the road then her "perceptions and advice" are fair game. How can she speak for all women and what they want when she doesn't have their perspective? Stay at home mom is an honorable "choice" however, is it fair to assume that a majority of women even have that option in today's economy?

    April 12, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  12. Allysrave

    Rosen is so right. Not taken ANYTHING away from the Working Mothers of America! Sitting Home watching "The Days of our lives." Really isn't getting economic information on this world. Maybe her fantasy world. As for Romney if it wasn't for the Moron church financially backing him ( secretly) he would not be where he is.

    April 12, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  13. A.Rom

    Oh great, another partisan debate about nothing.

    April 12, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  14. Guest1

    I agree with Rosen. To raise children by yourself (like my mother did) AND earn a paycheck is the hardest thing in the world. It's not hard to stay home and have millions in the bank. Ann Romney that's a joke.

    April 12, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  15. linda schapiro

    hilary rosen was correct my sister raised five children and worked the whole time ann rommey is not the
    holy grail and chose to put herself out there a lot of women have had serious health issues and worked without
    the benefit of the rommey money what a load of platitudes

    April 12, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  16. Willie Floyd

    How hard did she work??? How much domestic help did she have?? She has no idea what it is like to raise children while working a full time job and without domestic help. Not to be critical of her as a person-but these things should be taken into consideration. I raised 2 boys while working and my husbands' job kept him away quite often.

    April 12, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  17. Craig Mellor

    And what is a political stratesgist? Someone who does noting but grab money and bad mouths people who don't act and believe exactly as they do..........Ms. Rosen needs to grow up!!!

    April 12, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  18. Tim

    Fine. She raised kids; it is work. However, in the sense of HAVING to get a job in the employment world, she still lacks and cannot fathom what it means to HAVE to work for a living. So get real about that, at least.

    April 12, 2012 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  19. Kris Kucera

    And stay-at-home dads? Chopped liver, yet again.

    April 12, 2012 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  20. fheal

    Once Mitt chose to use his wive as a talking point or reference, she indeed became fair game to critique. Such is the nature of point – counter point political banter. He or she says, and the other side replies to that rationale. To say Mitt's wive has a point of view, then invites a response. Whether the remark or rebuttal was a good one the public (or pundits) will decide. Irregardless she is now in this position, if only because her husband put her n play...

    April 12, 2012 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  21. CSMinDC

    It's okay. Rosen is a liberal democrat. She gets a pass. Only conservatives are blasted for asinine comments.

    April 12, 2012 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  22. Webster

    How many houses do the Romeny's have? How many cars? How much is his income that allows her to choose to stay home to raise her children?
    The "attack" here is not on the choice to stay home. The point is that the Romney's do NOT represent the vast majority of Americans who have no choice but to be two income households.
    Try working a full job PLUS raising 5 children, which is also a full time job. *That* is hard. Not doing one or the other. Ann Romeny has no clue.

    April 12, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  23. Sunken Ship

    Uh oh Hilary Rosen....are you sinking???

    April 12, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  24. Steve

    The Democrats better be careful, here.

    April 12, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  25. WilmaWonka

    Terribly worded comment. I understand what Rosen was trying to say, she just did a very poor job of conveying it. Stay at home moms usually make a choice to do so. Some have had employment prior to staying home; some don't. Ann Romney appears to have never have been in the workforce so it would be difficult for her to understand some of the challenges facing women in the workforce. This does not diminish the value of stay at home moms it just means that employed women face different challenges that a non employed women may not be aware of.

    April 12, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
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