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. ThinkAgain

    The Repubs will never declare peace in this phony war, because they've got NOTHING to offer our country except the same-old, same-old economic, military and foreign policies that are all PROVEN FAILURES.

    So get used to it, folks. This "I'm rubber, you're glue" tactic of attributing to Democrats the Repubs' own failings will continue through election day, in the hopes that they can once again convince enough people to vote against their own self-interest, return to power and implement their failed ideas, taking our country down the tubes again.

    Don't let that happen. Vote Obama/Biden 2012

    April 12, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  2. leelanau

    I am astounded at the visciousness by the lefty haters on this site. What did this woman ever do to you? Nice sarcastic apology BTW, Hilary Rosen. I wouldn't have expected anything more from you or your caustic kind.

    April 12, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  3. Jim Bob

    The LAST thing the GOP ever does is declare peace. They always want pieces...

    April 12, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  4. tra

    Hard working people can relate to people who work. There are families where both parents work hard to provide for there children and they know struggle and strive. Apparently Ann romney doesnt know what providing for a family means. If you have the money to make a descision like that then thats fine but dont act like you know about working and struggle

    April 12, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. BDMOD

    To Peggy – I doubt being diagnoses with Multiple Sclerosis and cancer wasn't Mrs. Romney's choice. You're rather pretentious to pretend you know that her decision to stay home was just a 'choice.'

    April 12, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  6. denise

    There is nothing wrong with growing up rich or even having the priviledge to choose whether or not to stay at home with the children. But when a candidate tries to convince those struggling financially that they identify with those stuggles and that's why a candidate should receive their support as a leader, that's when it becomes offensive and manipulative.

    April 12, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  7. Fr33th1nk3r

    You can tell election season is coming, because the bickering is reaching a climax. This has to be one of the pettiest and most unimportant things to ever make headline news....

    "Political pundit claims stay-at-home mom knows nothing about being employed in teh American workforce."

    Well, duh. Who cares? Move on...

    April 12, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  8. Ed James

    Rosen is a pig and a bigot re: women.

    April 12, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  9. liz

    My mother was a stay at home who would have no idea what to do with a maid, gardner and dressage horses

    April 12, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  10. Norma Vessels

    To AZ Woman ... you mentioned in your first statement, that no matter how much money one has, it's still hard to
    raise five sons. What!? You said that the parents instilled in their five sons to work for what they have, and that
    they do not have their hand out, but work for what they've got. What!? I guess you don't realize just how much money
    all five boys have already gotten from their dad .. let's put it this way, you nor I will ever make that much in our life
    time! And yes, Ann Romney did have help raising those boys.

    April 12, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain

    @Golda Maier: "If the Jews think ..."

    First of all, if you're going to use a phony screen name, learn to spell it right.

    Second of all, you making Rosen's comments into an anti-semitic rant tells us volumes about your own ignorance and hatefulness.

    April 12, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. tra

    dont EVEN try to classify being a stay at home mom work..we all dont have the money froma rich husband to do that..damn republicans and there excuses

    April 12, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. kc

    A few points to consider. Yes, her words were poorly chosen, but if you are going to apologize do not be passive-agressive about it... faux war. This is not a war. Silly remark from a professional. Personally, I believe she spoke the truth in her poorly chosen words. A woman who is married to a multi-millionaire has no idea what a single working Mom or Dad goes through each and everyday. Maybe she has been heavily involved with possibly Junior League or PTA, both fine organizaitons, but until you walk in a single mother's shoes you can only have empathy, but no real sense of the everyday struggles. I am sure Mrs Romney is a fine woman with a big heart and I would be interested in hearing her platform if she were the next first lady, especially if she immediately engaged in conversations with working women of all income levels.

    April 12, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  14. Anne in KC

    "Fulsome" is right – but I doubt it's what Ms. Rosen meant. Somebody buy her a dictionary!

    April 12, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  15. Two Cadillacs

    Ann Romney's only ability to commiserate with middle class problems was that while they were in college, they considered selling stock to get some cash. How many middle class college kids have stock?

    Hint: rhymes with hero.

    April 12, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  16. ed

    All of you saying Mrs. Romney didn't raise her kids and instead used hired help should learn a little bit more about the Romneys before you make those assumptions. The bigger question is this: what relevance do this issue have to who leads this country? Do you think Mrs. Obama better understands the plight of the "average" woman? That's what I thought. Who was the last first lady or candidate first lady who fit this mold? Precisely...

    April 12, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  17. starman

    Its true isn't it? She doesn't work... Why are people upset? Mormons are quite proud of the fact that their wives don't work and many stay home to home school their kid (ug, another mindless generation). When someone says this, people get upset?

    April 12, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  18. Aaron

    It's amazing how many people slough these comments off..... but at the same time, when Komen choses to withdraw funds from PP there's no apology for the slander incured – despite the fact Komen's contribution presented only a fraction of PP's annual income and whose decision did not deny access of care to anyone.

    April 12, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  19. ThinkAgain

    As a mom, I know how hard we work (I can especially relate to raising all boys: Ann Romney has five, I have three).

    What I can't relate to is having a mega-millionaire husband; two cadillacs to tool around in (one each at my two houses; only two, since we sold our main home in Belmont and ski house in Utah); $20 million trust fund for each of my kids;
    and all the cooking, cleaning, yard maintenance, chauffeuring and any other help I need.

    So while Ann Romney has worked a day in her life, in NO WAY can she relate to the every day challenges of most working Americans.

    Give it up, Mittens – you guys are out of touch.

    April 12, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  20. LydiaMae

    Damage control! Damage control Get Michelle in there – STAT!

    April 12, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  21. Richard

    Ms.Rosen was simply trying to do her best in making "women" the issue to mask the real issue which is the economy. I have watched her spew her liberal rant on CNN, she is a paid media democrat to which no one should pay attention.

    April 12, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  22. Marta

    To "John P. Tarver": If your comment about the smell in the White House alludes to the race of the current President, it says more about you than I ever could.

    I think that all women in the world–rich, poor, caring for the home full-time or part-time, mothers or not, Western or Eastern or in between–share a certain womanness that binds us. We all are worthy of honor and respect. We all live with the potential for rape or abuse. We all bleed as women, and not just physically. We all desire, even if in the hidden recesses of our spirits, to be cherished and loved. We are women. Our individual external packaging cannot change that.

    The apology was appropriate because it addressed Mrs. Romney as a woman/person, not a political figure, and that is where we have to at least start with one another.

    April 12, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  23. Jim

    In case the point has been forgotten, Ann Romney has never worked a day in her life.

    April 12, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  24. Majestic

    At RC133: Nope, John Kerry alone is worth around 600,000-1.8 million dollars. Not even close to Mitt Romney's cash!

    April 12, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  25. Jeff

    Yeah, Ann Romney worked soooo hard. It was hard work. Painful, back breaking work. And then she went to one of her multiple mansions and played with her horsies. Poor baby.

    April 12, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
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