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. ljhays

    How many times do we have to hear, "What I meant was..." from people in politics? Taking a little more time to figure out what they mean before they say it would go a long way toward improving political "discourse."

    April 12, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  2. Gurgyl

    With five caddilacs she has no clue. Shame for all. Bain-capital.

    April 12, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  3. bravado in boston

    Look, in many ways, they both are right. But, a stay-at-home mom, while working very hard, does not have it as hard as a mom of five, who has to go out each and every day to WORK at a job, AND work at home raising her kids. That is the difference. Stay-at-home moms have "one job." Single Working Moms have at least two jobs...sometimes three. So in reality, there is no argument here. Stay-at-home moms have it easy compared to those working moms who have to schlep every day to put food on the table.

    Plain and simple...regardless of your political affiliation.

    Now back off, and get a real topic worth pandering about.

    April 12, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  4. M.A.

    Hilary Rosen should lay off Mrs. Romney! She must be doing her "job" expertly otherwise, her husband would have swept right in to one of his attorney's offices and fired Ann.

    April 12, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  5. rick

    raising children is hard but is not a "job". what was said was true. the republicans are seeking any issue whatsoever and appear desperate. it won't work.

    April 12, 2012 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  6. hawt dawgs

    In the context of what she said, Rosen is completely correct. Ann Romney does not actually have any experience when it comes to the life and economy of an average American woman. Just like Mitt doesn't have any experience as an average American man.

    April 12, 2012 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  7. Tim

    I'm sure Rosen's children are raised by a fine daycare while she jet sets with her big mouth.

    She will get hers when her kids are grown and want nothing to do with her.

    April 12, 2012 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  8. Jason Glugla

    The truth really can be upsetting at times. I am sure many women who are just trying to scrape by would like to stay at home with their husbands paying 15% taxes but unfortunately rising prices and lower wages along with taxes much higher than that 15% won't allow it.

    April 12, 2012 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  9. tom

    unfortunetely she is correct

    April 12, 2012 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  10. sonnie3

    Just a dingy democrat dig that was uncalled for and unwarranted. Rosen needs to engage the brain before speaking on cnn or any other place. We know what her aim was and it was a real low shot.

    April 12, 2012 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  11. Cfrench

    I'm sorry, but she is what she is. She is a "kept" woman who most likely got whatever she wanted whenever she wanted it. I really don't think she has any qualifications to make any comments or judgements regarding the economy. .

    April 12, 2012 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  12. cajuntide

    If she thinks being a stay at home mom is easy she should try it someday. I lost my job so im a stay at home dad and i tell my wife everyday i cant wait to get back to work so i can rest.

    April 12, 2012 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  13. augustghost

    awww did princess romney get her feelings hurt?

    April 12, 2012 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  14. dd

    i would love to get paid the big bucks to be an idiot too.....where do i apply?

    April 12, 2012 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  15. PTBarnumboy

    I think most normal people understand what she was saying. Here we go again with the media trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill.

    April 12, 2012 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  16. Scott

    I would go one step further with Ms. Rosen, not even attacking on the "mom-full time job" lane. Ms. Rosen has no idea what intelligence or insights Ms. Romney may have about the economy. That's like saying "just because you don't hold a job in the real world you are an idiot." Would she say that to any welfare mom's, who also don't work? The fact that Ms. Romney lives in this world and sees how others suffer gives her some credibility. The fact that she helps make financial decisions within her own family gives her some credibility as well. You don't know what kinds of advice Ms. Romney has giving to Mitt that could have been wise and prudent financial ventures for their family...so back off.

    April 12, 2012 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  17. James PDX

    Families are not off limit, especially when Romney brought his wife up and made her a defacto campaign advisor. And Rosen wasn't knocking her for not working, she was pointing out that Mrs. Romney was a bad source of info on what the average woman wants because she has never had to face the problems that the average woman does, which is indisputable. My God, our politicians are stupid. Sadly, we continue to vote for them which says little favorable about us.

    April 12, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  18. Mom to 3

    I am also currently a stay-at-home Mom and I am not offended at all by Rosen's comment. It was OBVIOUS she meant working in the context of HAVING to earn money/having to be concerned about finances. This is a common saying about someone who has always been wealthy. "Never worked a day in his/her life" often refers to someone who was born into a wealthy family and never "had" to work. This is true of Mrs. Romney. I am sure Rosen wishes she had chosen her words more carefully because now she has people taking her words way out of context. The fact is that Mrs. Romney DOESN'T know what it is like not to have enough money to fix something around your house that needs fixing or to not have enough money to take a family vacation. Mrs. Romney never had to make sacrifices like those in order to stay home with her kids. Many of us do.

    April 12, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  19. tony

    It is the truth so what's the matter guys?

    April 12, 2012 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  20. O.T.

    American Liberalism: A political philosophy that fights for abortion and denigrates motherhood.

    April 12, 2012 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  21. Ricardo

    That's what I don't like politics. Politics make smart people acting dumb. They take Rosen comment out context

    April 12, 2012 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  22. Marti58

    Hilary Rosen was right. Of course raising 5 children was hard work, but it helped she didn't have to hold down two jobs to support them like many financially strapped single moms accross the country were doing.. Talking about family members should be off limit during the campaign, but it was Romney who "asked his wife"..thank you

    April 12, 2012 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  23. TXJim

    Changing diapers, reading stories, pushing them in a swing is called BABYSITTING and you pay twelve year old girls to do that. Grown women who's function in life is to babysit do not actually work. They are nothing but kept women.

    April 12, 2012 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  24. pen

    Why is Obama not in good books with woman voters? Now i get the reason.

    April 12, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  25. Suleiman the Magnificent

    Why all the fuss? Rosen meant never had a job outside of home. Have we become so stupid that if you say a pair it no longer means 2? Spare me all the horse hockey Victorian indignation. Of course what Romney did was work, no one is denying that. Her economic acumen was resumed in "Things were so hard at college that we almost sold stocks from our portfolio". This is a non issue. OK Rosen was not the brightest light up there, but to make such ado about nothing? We've got serious issues to solve, back to work, people

    April 12, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
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