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. Rich

    you know why i like ann romney? because she's proud of her country regardless of whether or not her husband gets elected to the presidency....

    April 12, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  2. p. bergerson

    i think someone should check into how many nannies and housekeepers they employed during that period. after all they did hire illegals to do their lawn care as Mitt admitted during one of the debates.all that money and they have to hire cheap labor.

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

    She has long outlived her usefulness – I hope she stays on Obama's staff. With advisors like that who needs enemies 🙂

    April 12, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  4. debo

    I imagine Ann Romney is a wonderful person.. but she has no idea what it is like to face the kind of diagnosis she has with no insurance, no savings account, no stocks or bonds, 3 children. trying to hang on to your home... trying to keep a job when you have to miss work.. and your husband works 2 jobs to keep food on the table.. When I hear about how much money is spent on those TV attack ads and I think how much help that could provide me or my children just a tiny fraction of what they spend a day on those campaigns... really

    April 12, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  5. Tea Party

    @ireuel Please...Democrats usually ALWAYS fold an say they are wrong, if anyone disagrees with them. Try an get a republican to apologize.

    An your not an independent if you vote based on what people say on cnn comment boards...Your just an idiot if u do that.

    April 12, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  6. LIP

    Her apology was" let's declare peace ion this phony war and go back to focus on the substance". How about apologizing about the reference to the "phony war", which she started.
    Democrats will do all they can to create race wars, the poor against the rich wars and now the women who work and women who don't work, according to them.
    What I would like to know is will taxing the rich an extra 15% or so get us out of the hole the democtrats have placed us in...it won't even make a dent.

    April 12, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. marineace

    Rosen is as mean-spirited as ever.....

    April 12, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  8. Common Sense

    I'm hoping ireuel is a troll or is at least getting the help he needs, but its a sad day in America when the stay-at-home mother no longer garners any respect. I would not be nearly as successful today if not for my mother who was always there for me.

    April 12, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  9. sg0302

    Staying home and raising kids is absolutely a hard job. However, it would have been nice if Mrs. Romney could have answered back that she had a career and worked before she decided to be a stay-at-home mom. But she couldn't! Women all over the world manage to work outside of the home and still find time to raise their kids and do a good job. I don't think Rosen meant it in a mean, nasty way.

    April 12, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  10. Rightwing Winner

    What a bunch of Left Wing Whiners all of you are. Rosen was so incorrect to state what she did and should be fired from any public facing post she holds because of it. The country does not need left wing idiots opining on what their narrow little mind is thinking and wonder allowed why everyone is so surprised and upset about what they said. So typical of the Left Wing to target someone, call them names, tell us how bad they are and then are aghast and appalled and turn on their own when the majority speaks out. Amazing that we still have Americans that think Socialism is the way to go. Sad really.

    April 12, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  11. CTStorm

    Kudos to Michelle Obama for chiming in and supporting Ann Romney in this. That was smart and classy. At least SOME liberal women are able to GET IT.

    April 12, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  12. fern

    I am glad Rosen is sorry for her remark, as I don't believe stay-at-home-moms-and-dads are necessarily less educated than people who have workplaces outside of their homes. Other than that I think the remark should neither be damaging to Obama, nor of advantage to Mr. Romney. The faux pas is a personal matter between Rosen and Mrs. Romney, and as such not part of any presidential campaign.

    April 12, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  13. steve

    I'm not a rommey supporter but the woman gives weak apologies. I hope to be able to provide for my family so they don't have to work as any husband or wife should.

    April 12, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  14. Tiffany Sayers

    Rosen is mean spirited for sure with her words and obviously has not had to perform the stay at home with the at work mom. I had my children but then once they were old enough I went back out into the workforce to work with my husbands business that I assisted in starting before children. If it wasn't for my involvement afterwards we would not have been nearly as successful. Yes, me a simple women, helping to grow the business to multi-million dollar status. I am acceptable to you now Ms. Rosen because as a mom caring for my children it is clear I was not for you then.

    April 12, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. Jackie

    It is the Republican Party that has a war on women and that is a fact. It is time to bring out the tape to discuss legislative laws about women initiated by the Republican Party across 28 states!!!!

    April 12, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  16. NC Mom

    Maybe it was an unfortunate choice of words, but Ann Romney really doesn't have a clue as to what most working moms have to deal with. We work full time and more and raise children with no household help and very limited budgets. We struggle to get a meal on the table and are exhausted from all the juggling. We wish we could have more quality time with our children. Sure being a mother can be a full time job for some, but it's absolutely an unaffordable luxury for others. I'm sorry that she's been ill, but she could pay all the money in the world for healthcare and a support network to assist her through the hard times...unlike many working moms coping with the same illnesses.

    April 12, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  17. brian in dc

    As she realizes that it was and EPIC FAIL on her part and didn't bode well for the Dems she walked it back, begrudgingly I can assure you. Having spoken with her and her gay snooty male personal assistant, she is an elitist and condescending snob.

    April 12, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  18. Jodey

    Rosen does have a point, and I wish she haadn't apologized. How could Ann Romney truly know anything about women in the workplace when she's never actually had a job? It doesn't matter that she was a stay-at-home mom with nannies to help her.

    April 12, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  19. Bob

    It's clear that most of the posters here did not even see the full interview/comment. In no way did Hilary diminish women who stay at home. She merely said Ann Romney doesn't have the actual experience to be Romney's advisor on women-focused-economics.

    April 12, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  20. Marty

    Just because someone is wealthy has no bearing on how good a president will be. What do you people want a poor person to run the country that does not know how to make money. The people that say for a fact that Ann Romney doesnt do anything in the house. What are you a physic or something? Do yourself a favor if you dont know what you are saying than simply dont say anything at all.

    April 12, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  21. sue

    I have two comments. The first refers to Ms. Rosen's comment and the second to her apology.

    The entire context of the statement by Ms. Rosen appears to be true. If Mr. Romney is truly concerned about the "plight" of women, then ask those who are trying to raise their children at the poverty level. No disrespect is meant to Mrs. Romney, but it appears she has not had to worry about the economy to the same extent that many women have. I believe she had to know that when she got up in the morning, her children would be fed and clothed and bused to school. I don't believe she worried about how her children were going to pay for their college. That is not a "luxury" that people in general have.

    Honestly, I have less respect for Ms. Rosen now that she has apologized.This society that we live in today has become over-sensitive. We pick apart every comment, trying to come up with a meaning that rarely has a resemblance to what the speaker was saying. We all need to 'lighten" up a little. Since when is it a crime to express your opinion, whether right or wrong?

    April 12, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  22. Blue Sky

    Ms. Rosen, I believe it was you who began the "phony" war in the first place. Shame on you for not furthering intelligent, civil dialogue, AND for offering a phony apology.

    April 12, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  23. theandy59

    Reading the comments to this story reaffirms my belief that there's no hope for this country. The writer didn't slam stay-at-home mom's, she correctly pointed out that Mrs. Romney has no idea about what the pressures are for the majority of women in this country, for it is that majority that doesn't have the luxury of choosing to be a stay-at-home mom. They do all that Mrs. Romney does, without the benefit of domestic staff, and also hold down jobs outside the home. Because of the partisan divide in this country, one that's encouraged by leadership on both sides, rational debate never takes place. This is exactly what the power brokers want – a divided America consumed with stupid and pointless arguments, name calling, and assigning blame based on party lines – allowing them to continue to push agenda's that are contrary to the interests of the nation. What a shame.

    April 12, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  24. joamerican

    There is no more important job in the world then being a mother.
    The major problems with society today are directly due to the fact that families are falling apart.
    and parents do not know how to parent and raise their own children.
    If more women were like Ann Romney, our country would be better off.

    April 12, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  25. Bob Brown

    Her "more fulsome view" eh? She's pretty smart, so I guess she knows fulsome means "excessive or insincere, especially in an offensive or distasteful way." Conclusion: she thinks WE aren't smart enough or educated enough to know that. Wotta maroon!

    April 12, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
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