April 12th, 2012
01:54 PM ET
11 years ago

Rosen apologizes over comments against Ann Romney

(CNN) - Hilary Rosen offered an apology Thursday after her comments about Ann Romney sparked an uproar and a debate over women and the economy.

"I apologize to Ann Romney and anyone else who was offended," Rosen, a top Democratic strategist and CNN contributor, said in a statement. "Let's declare peace in this phony war and go back to focus on the substance."

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The previous day, Rosen argued Ann Romney could not understand the struggles of women in the sluggish workforce because she "never worked a day in her life" as a stay-at-home mother.

Her comments quickly set off a spiraling controversy, as high-profile leaders on both sides of the aisle rushed to the defense of Ann Romney and that of women opting not to pursue their careers to solely focus on raising their children.

Read the full statement below:

"Let's put the faux 'war against stay at home moms' to rest once and for all. As a mom I know that raising children is the hardest job there is. As a pundit, I know my words on CNN last night were poorly chosen. In response to Mitt Romney on the campaign trail referring to his wife as a better person to answer questions about women than he is, I was discussing his lack of a record on the plight of women's financial struggles. Here is my more fulsome view of the issues. As a partner in a firm full of women who work outside of the home as well as stay at home mothers, all with plenty of children, gender equality is not a talking point for me. It is an issue I live every day. I apologize to Ann Romney and anyone else who was offended. Let's declare peace in this phony war and go back to focus on the substance."

Filed under: 2012 • Ann Romney • Economy
soundoff (595 Responses)
  1. Gale

    If Mrs. Romney would have worked outside of the home, she would have been accused of taking a job from a less fortunate woman. When people like Rosen (disrespect intended) make sweeping comments like she does, it makes one think of the "B" word!

    April 12, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  2. Woman In California

    So no one can say anything about Queen Ann unless of course it smells of roses?

    Give me a break. If she can't take the heat then she should go riding on one of her expensive horses.

    April 12, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  3. Woman In California

    This is one of the best things that could have happened because there are a lot of single moms such as myself that will come out and vote in droves AGAINST Ann Romney and her stinking, stuckup attitude.

    April 12, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Let's see where this goes now. My crystal ball says the right wing isn't finished with it yet. Never mind all of the horrible things that some in the right wing media have said about Michelle Obama, and there was no outrage, apologies nor remorse. The only reaction has been to hear the insults again and again. It must be tough being a black American.

    April 12, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  5. Jakcie Smith

    The interesting thing is that Rosen is a lesbian feminist who hates the heterosexual couple. Things are starting to come out and questioning Rosen's deep self hatred might just explain things.

    April 12, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  6. Natalie

    Typical Democrat, apologizing for something that she shouldn't have. Is it because they have more class? The GOP takes swings at Michelle Obama all the time; where are the apologies? As a woman, I realize the difference between working professional and mom or dad working at home raising children. They are different; very different...so deal with it. I've done both. My professional job was much more challenging, no question! Today, it is a luxury to to have one parent be able to stay home with kids. Life has changed for the average American; it's not the 50's. At least one person needs to make a very good income if they are the sole earners.

    April 12, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  7. Thomas Fren

    Ms. Rosen, I see nothing wrong with your comments. Most women have to raise a family plus work on the outside. The comment in reply that raising 5 boys was difficult would have greater if she did not have a cook,housekeeper, and gardener to help her out.

    April 12, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  8. Ruthlee Barton

    Hilary Rosen, Please take back that apology. there can be no comparison between working lower to middle class women,l and women who are married to multi-millionairs. Know, Willard's wife is not cleaning the toilets, doing the shopping, making dinner, and running the kids all over town. Please. No apologies for speaking the truth. No buckling to the G.O.P. spin machine. It lends credence to "Spew". Thanks.

    April 12, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  9. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Tempest in a Teapot!

    April 12, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  10. Natalie

    Actually, it's harder to work professionally as a mom because we generally still have all the duties at home waiting for us. We often have to take time off from jobs to shuttle kids to activiites, shop, do the laundry, etc. And then there are single moms who must do it all. Sorry, Ann, I'm sure you're a nice person, just not a lot of empathy here.

    April 12, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  11. RealityBites

    Rosen, a top Democratic strategist and CNN contributor...

    April 12, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  12. joyce small

    I am sure Ann Romney raised those boys but she probably had more
    help then a poor or middle-class mother has. The life of
    a rich person is very different then your average American.
    I am sure that the Romneys have housekeepers for all their
    houses. Sometimes the truth hurts.

    April 12, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  13. Just Say No to Flipper

    So Rosen apologized and Ms. Obama has come out to defend Ann. Ms. Rosen's poor choice of words does not, however, excuse Ann from claiming to understand the experiences of average women when Ann has not lived any sort of normal woman's life and neither she or Flipper Rmoney can relate to the average person because they are way out of touch with Main St. America. Full stop.

    April 12, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  14. T. Keiling

    I agree and understood your point; this has nothing to do with stay at home moms.

    April 12, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  15. Alex

    You mean hiring five nannies imported from Indonesia for 5k a year – one for each kid is considered a full-time job?

    April 12, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. Niko_in_Richmond

    While I applaud Hilary Rosen apologzing if she offended Ann Romney, I see nothing wrong with the comment that was made. Because she married a very rich man, Ann Romney had a choice that most American women don't have: be a stay-at-home-mom OR one who raises her children AND holds a job at the same time. The fact that Mitt Romney wants to use her as a barometer for the issues that faces women only addresses one side of the plight of women–those experienced by stay at home moms. The issues faced by working women who also raise families may be a bit more burdensome and could not possibly be explained by someone who has never held a job a day in her life. That is just the truth. Someone with the luxury of staying home does not experience the same stressors as one who does not have that option and should not be asked to explain the issues faced by women collectively when they don't fully understand them. That would be like asking me as a Black man to explain all men. While we are all men, Black men have a different experience in American than White, Asian or Hispanic men. We cannot and should not try to speak for them.

    April 12, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  17. dreamer96

    Ann Romney sure is lucky she was not a single mother..then she would have had two jobs, raising a family and earning a living...Whew that is really hard...

    April 12, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  18. HunterPSU

    PHony war is right. B.O. and his surrogates only good at dividing. Driving wedges between people is their specialty. Once in awhile it backfires because they push it to far. B.O. and his style of "leadership" is not good for our country.

    April 12, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  19. Debbie

    Rosen should not have apologized. Ann cannot relate. Staying at home raising children is not a career. It is a choice to not work. Raising children is a responsibility of those who bring them into the world. Male and female and working or not working. Ann's comment basically is saying that parents who are working are not really raising their children. Ann: raising children is not a career it is a choice to not work. Ann: while you can have compassion for people who stuggle financially you cannot have empathy as you have never walked in their shoes, therefore a majority of women do not relate to you socially or economically. Rosen should not have apologized.

    April 12, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. Middle class not part of the 99%ers

    At least she is not blowing the tax payers money on personal vacations for her and her kids constantly. They have a lot of nerve bringing this up when Michelle is living like a queen off of our money. I have always leaned towards democrats but not this year for sure. Sick of paying for Michelle and the kids to live how the rest of us can't. Maybe she should take some of the 400k she was making a year and spend their own money on vacations....

    April 12, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  21. rickhurts

    Ann's oldest turned 18 back in the 20th Century.She's not a stay at home mom, she's a stay at home grandmom.
    What she does with her days is decorate her homes, and pick out colors for her cars.

    April 12, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  22. liz

    It might be tough being a rich wife and a rich stay at home mother raising trust fund babies but it also means that your parenting experience has nothing in common with the rest of us who wouldn't know what to go with a maid, gardener and dressage horses. That's not to say Ann Romney doesn't love her kids but it does mean that her husband gets no political point from this particular fight.

    April 12, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  23. BBZ

    A snotty little liberal isn't she? I think this Rosen woman is full of hogwash...interesting that she's being given the time of day. Let's move past the rhetoric of insignificant ramblers.

    April 12, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  24. Karen

    Most mothers actually take the easy way out after having babies and stick their kids in daycare to head back to comfortable work full-time (shorters hours, and less work than raising kids). Some mothers actually RAISE their children sacrificing their TIME like Ann has done. Don't listen to these liberal women Ann...they are just from the 60's and think mothers who stay at home to raise their children are "oppressed" in some way. Disgusting.

    April 12, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  25. Typical Democrat Weakness

    Apologized? For stating a fact? Pathetic

    April 12, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
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