April 12th, 2012
01:54 PM ET
10 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. Logic

    Can we really say she was a typical stay at home mom? No. Her family was very rich, she most likely had a housekeeper and or nannies. I doubt they had to pinch pennies in any case. Remark was not out of line in the context given.

    April 12, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. azr43l

    This is the same Rosen that was the head of the RIAA and fought a holy war to prevent legal online music sales after she went after Napster. Yeah, that's pretty much all you need to know that she's a complete and total hack.

    April 12, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. Nick San Diegon

    There was no reason for the apology. Everyone knows what Rosen meant and it is all true. Romney does not understand the working women nor the stay at home mom.
    One she never worked a real job and two she raised those children with PLENTY of help.
    Who really believes that Romney had to run from day care,to batting practice,then musical lessons and whatever the normal women have to do in this country.
    So lets get off this phoney argument

    April 12, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  4. Waddell

    Such crap ... defending those who "opt" out of work force to raise children. That only works for those who have financial support, not for the millions of us who had NO CHOICE but to work and raise children and run a household.
    I take offense at this SIMLPISTICdefense. They are the privileged (well to do or those who have someone supporting them).

    April 12, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Rosen is right! Mrs. Romney is not the average middle class housewife who has to take care of kids and work outside of the home. She should not feel offended. Stop the crying republicans!

    April 12, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  6. lib

    Neither Ann Romney nor her husband or sons really know the meaning of hard work. My mother worked two jobs for years after becoming a single parent. She stopped my grandmother from working and took care of all of us. And we are BLACK! Today, Mitt Romney and his other GOP are trying to take what little my mother and other seniors like her away from them. I am sick of the GOP criticizing the people who really made this country great. Not any GOP millionaire who has made money off of the hardworking Americans in this country and now want to criticize them for needing help. I would be willing to bet that most of the people in this country who were laid off would rather have their jobs back with decent pay instead of some lousy few hundred dollars from unemployment every month.

    April 12, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  7. Common sense grandma

    I did not like it when too much was made over some of Mitt Romney's remarks and this whole tempest is the same thing. I must say, however, that I doubt Mrs. Romney knows what it is like to feed a family with a pound of ground beef and some noodles so you can afford to pay the rent. THAT is what I think Hillary Rosen meant. THAT is what millions of women face each day.

    April 12, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  8. Blue

    I understand what Rosen was saying. The word that Ann used was choice, and most women do not have a choice. I know that I did not have a choice. I wanted to stay home with my babies, but my salary was needed for survival. The GOP will latch on to anything that they can at this time. But, remember women are not stupid. What the GOP and states have done to women is unforgiveable, and we will not forget.

    April 12, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  9. CTStorm

    "Phony War" .......Phony apology.

    Just another clear example of the fact that Democrats DO NOT SUPPORT WOMEN. They support LIBERALS.

    April 12, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  10. Ken

    Rosen was right and never, ever should have apologized for stating the truth. Raising children is hard work, but in Ann Romney's case, how much hired help did she have?

    April 12, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    How can a woman who never work a day in her life relate to working women. Please give me a break tell her to go get a job and take care of five boys without help from nannies. Then we all can relate.

    April 12, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  12. Citizen

    Ms. Rosen I am sorry that you were forced to back down. If people do not like to hear the obvious it is their problem.

    April 12, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  13. ohreally

    Everyone knows what she meant. The pundits had a slow week, so they are stirring up a story and nothing more. Ann Romney may have raised five kids , but she never worried a day about the economy. And if she is the expert on women and the economy for Romney. The he has problems. That was the point and everyone knows it.

    April 12, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  14. wyominguy

    You are known by the company you keep Mr. President.....Psst....your poor management skills are showing Again.

    April 12, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  15. Jackie

    Grasping for straws!!! Desperate to change the image of Romney of the way the American women see him. Rosen have nothing to do with Obama’s campaign and that is a fact. Rosen was only telling the truth and that is a fact. Rosen understand that there are stay at home moms and that is a fact. She (Rosen) was not trying to intentional hurt stay at home moms. The issues that affect women came from Romney's mouth not his wife that is a fact. Romney has no record of hiring women when he worked for Bain Capital not his wife that is a fact. Romney put his wife on the campaign trail to talk with women; and part of that conversation is women’s health. Romney is the one who pledge to shut down all of the Parent Planned Hood that is a fact. Mrs. Romney, as a woman should be able to understand health care needs for under privilege women, if she truly cares. Mrs. Romney has access to medical care verses the under privilege that needs Parent Planned Hood that is a fact. The American women have seen all of the lies and gaffes that came from Romney's mouth not his wife that is a fact. The American people will never forget about the legislative issue raised about women in 28 state from the Republican and Romney that will not change, that is a fact. I am a mother, and health care is my number one issue above anything and that is a fact. American women are not stupid that is a fact. As they say, “ you fool me once shame on you, you fool me twice shame on me.!!

    April 12, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  16. James Chapman

    3/4 of you clearly have zero mastery of the english language. Romney was clearly referencing what Ann Romney was told by others on the campaign trail, NOT her personal experiences anyway. Anns attacks are disgusting, her double downing is appalling, and her faux apology is hilarious.

    April 12, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  17. Ryan Evans

    In this guy's defense... being your average stay at home mom is a far cry from being a stay at home mom whose husband could buy a national chain of daycare centers if you needed a little help with the housework.

    April 12, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  18. shawky

    Her comments made perfect sense. Apology not necessary.

    April 12, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  19. grafixer

    Ann Romney's nanny, maid, chauffeur, cook, and social planner upset. That's the real headline. SURE this woman has worked to raise her kids... wondering how they will pay their bills... whether or not they can pay for the field trip at the public school... worried that they may have to scrimp and save – instead of buying a second yacht or a third Cadillac in order to pay for their children's clothing... or even worse... wondering if one of their million-dollar homes may be foreclosed on if they buy a new jet. I'm sure she's very aware of what 98% of Americans go through every day. I do applaud her for working at home to raise a family. However... WORK??? REALLY?? Maids. Chauffeurs. Nannies. Chefs. C'mon people. The Romneys have no idea how most Americans live – or what their daily tasks are like – much less how they will survive when they get old and can't work and have to depend on Social Security, Medicare and what they have been able to squirrel away while TAKING CARE OF THEIR CHILDREN. REALLY???? REALLY????????? ROFL.

    April 12, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  20. marctheduck

    Two things are for certain from this (regardless of your opinion about how Ann Romney did or did not work):
    1) libs are very mean spirited (the heart only bleeds for itself around here I guess)
    2) libs are very hypocritical... treating women with respect and dignity is quite optional and mainly useful only when it is self serving
    Argue those points my kind hearted liberals...

    April 12, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  21. dmferrigno

    It is a God given right to stay at home & raise the children that you brought into this world. That use to be a natural occurance, a given with childbirth. We are not suppose to judge others, so why insult a woman who is able to spend time raising her children. Some of us have to work, others choose to work and some choose to stay at home. It is the freedom in America to still be able to choose our destiny. Motherhood is the hardest of all careers. It is not an 8 hour a day job, it is full time, sacrifical and never ending. Hats off to all Mothers, stay at home Moms or working Moms. I thank my Mother for caring for me! A women is more than able to wear and converse on any & all issues of the day!

    April 12, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  22. CitizenAJ

    Please, everybody over reacted to Hilary Rosen's remarks. Truth be told, she was pointing out the fact that as a kept woman who COULD make the choice to stay home and have a very luxurious lifestyle, she is not a good candidate to speak about issues facing women who are Mothers and have careers outside the home. This in no way is "class warfare" or an attack on a wealthy woman. Hilary Rosen was pointing out a political fact. All this hoop-la, the Obama campaign apologizing and calling her comments offensive, is ridiculous. Romney got called out for being out of touch, AGAIN!!! That is all that Ms. Rosen did.

    April 12, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  23. joey

    This is a waste of web space CNN, although Fox made this (article) front page... SMH....

    April 12, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  24. david england

    just a typical progressive liberal comment.....what cha expect coming from a cnn reporter

    April 12, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Hmmm. I work full time at a job and full time at being a mother. She is married to one of the richest men in the country, making her one of the richest women, and has never worked at a job. No, she cannot relate to working women. I DO IT ALL.

    April 12, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
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