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. ThePastaSauce

    Its never pretty when politicians stray off their talking points and tell people just what they are thinking...

    April 12, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  2. Holly in CA

    There is no such thing as the "average" woman in America. Women are so varied, from their ethnicity, age, background, marital status, number of children, working vs. stay-at-home, various health issues, various education levels, living in a house vs. apartment vs. on the street, etc. No one, not even Hillary Rosen or Ann Romney can understand an "average" woman that doesn't exist.

    April 12, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  3. Tashy Ross

    As a mother and grandmother, I consider raising 5 children pretty difficult work. Five cheers for Ann Romney's choice!

    April 12, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. LaLa

    She shouldn't have apologized.

    April 12, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. Logic N LA

    OK – this is crazy. ann romney probably had a stff at her home. I'm sure she is a good mother but she is not the "average" housewife or has a clue how to relate to a working mother.
    The hardest part of the job is that there is never a day off, not the raising a family. My mother worked-no dad in the house. I has siblings 10 years younger than me. cleaned the house (Ann?), took care of them ( Ann?), did laundry (Ann?), prepared meals (Ann?), even did our yard work( Ann?) and still had time to watch TV and take care of other kids in the neighborhood. Rosen's comment was not out of line.

    April 12, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. Bill, NY

    She had nothing to apologize for. Mrs. Romney is trying to make it seem like she was at home slaving over hot pots and changing diapers, but the reality is that she had(has) maids and nannies the whole way(Hey I've got two car elevators in my house). Just like those phoney balony Romneys trying to connect only to disconnect even more.

    April 12, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. Eric of Reseda

    I was watching Rosen. and while she erred saying Romeny hasn't worked, her larger point was that Ann Roney hasn't a clue what it's like to struggle to pay the bills and put food on the tabnle, and therefore hasn't a clue as to the true impact of economical decisions and policies on working women, or for that matter, stay-at-home mom's who share the struggles of the husband. She is absolutely right. You can't have multiple homes and a fleet of Caddies and possibly understand...

    April 12, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  8. SherryMAZ

    Sorry, I don't buy that Ann Romney is a hard working mom. I would be very surprised if she didn't have housekeepers, maids, cooks, nannies and tutors galore. I've raised children. I stayed at home, and worked. I even started a business while raising a teenager. I'm pretty sure Ann worked in her own way, being a person who strikes me (from a very long distance) as a concientious person. But the idea that she might know what the average American woman cares about is pretty laughable to me, and that does come from working outside the home in an arena that doesn't include people just like you – rich.

    April 12, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  9. Sherry

    Rosen's comment reflect the old feminist welfare state viewpoint which is so out of touch with today's American working woman, including working woman who work at home! I've been on both sides of the issue as a working Mom, and stay at home Mom and I can promise you, both have extreme challenges.

    April 12, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. Zil Zerimar

    Why shoud you apologize for saying the truth.

    April 12, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. Joy

    Did both jobs, stayed at home and worked while raising 4 children, both jobs are HARD....to undermine either is disrespectful and shows a lack of class.

    April 12, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  12. EliteConservative

    Why are people upset? Rosen is absolutely right. There is nothing wrong with it either. The Romney's are loaded and that is great. They made money. So. People are simply jealous of them for it. I am sick of poor people being upset at someone who has money because they are lazy.

    April 12, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  13. Lee

    @Thomas Fren
    The Romney's did not have maids and cooks etc. Many Mormons with large families do not get maids, cooks, nannies, gardeners etc. even if they can aford to hire help. They teach there kids to work by giving them chores.

    April 12, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  14. BeckOla

    Hillary Rosen’s comments were poorly conveyed, however, she did have a valid point. Ann Romney seems like a wonderful wife and mother.

    She’s smart, well spoken and seems far more comfortable in her own skin that her husband. However, Ann Romney has never had to worry about the financial hardships that almost all other mothers have to face on a daily basis. My mother also raised 5 children but she never had the luxury of being wealthy. She never had the luxury of knowing that if all else fails she can still pay her bills. That one factor changes the equation quite a bit.

    To say that Ann Romney has never worked a day in her life is a harsh and totally incorrect statement. However, when Rosen says that Ann Romney “has 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," – she’s 100% correct.

    April 12, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  15. Dayle Ash

    I am not only outraged by Hilary Rosen's comments, but even more so by her total lack of sincerity in her apology.

    Until you have walked in someone's shoes don't judge how hard they have worked. How any children have you raised? Ever been the spouse of a politician? What health issues have you dealt with? Having had some health issues, I can tell you that completely life's duties with health issues is hard work! I would put Ann's work ethic against anyone, including Hilary Rosen.

    April 12, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  16. hotmomof4

    Please stop referring to the choice of staying home with children as a luxury. For most stay at home moms, like myself, it is a sacrifice. I have chosen to give up on real luxuries that my income might afford so that I can stay at home with my children. Not all SAHM have millionaire husbands and that is why her comments and President Obama's (in which he referred to it as a luxury) are very inconsiderate and out of touch.

    April 12, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  17. xeno

    UGH! One of the things that makes me so angry about Democrats! Grow a pair! Your statement was a statement of fact. DO NOT APOLOGIZE for stating facts!

    April 12, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  18. Jules

    Womens rights is all about freedom to choose. Rosen was out of line because she violated the first credo in being a political spokesperson – do not give your boss another headache. Instead, she should have concentrated on Romney's opposition to the Lily Ledbetter Act. And even if she did want to talk about Ann Romney she should have said that unlike the majority of women, Ann Romney has never had a bill go unpaid because the family ran out of money, or that she never had to plan out meals carefully so the food in the house would last to the next paycheck, or that she never had to decide to try and make the old clunker hold out for another year because the family couldn't afford a car payment. These are all legitimate but that Mrs. Romney didn't work because she didn't have a paying job – not so much.

    April 12, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  19. Aggie m

    I think this strikes a nerve with a lot of working moms. In large part because while they work, choice or not, someone else is raising their kids. That must be a bitter pill to swallow.

    April 12, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  20. TommyDeluge

    Yes, stay at home moms do work hard BUT so do single moms who have to both provide and be the parent. How is this fact escaping the politicians?? You can't compare a woman who married a multimillionaire (WHO HAS FOUR MAIDS BY THE WAY!) and raised five kids to a woman who works two jobs and supports three kids, and can't save for her families future. Stop being so PC. It's OK to call it like it is.

    April 12, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  21. gr8usa

    That was a better apology than the one Rush gave to the college student he attacked mercilessly for testifying to congress about what her fellow students (not even herself) had experienced because of the contraception ban at her law school. If you were so quick to move on after Rush's apology, then you should be okey dokey with this one, too. Moving on, nothing to see here.

    April 12, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  22. Lydia

    I'm with Rosen, she did not lie about Mrs. Ann Romney not working and I don't think she meant anything negative, it was simple the truth. That's the thing with most folks, the don't like the truth. She was just trying to make a point about Mitt Romney trying to use his wife, when it came to the economy because she probably has never had to worry about buying food or paying the bills for her kids because they got money. So give me a break, I don't think she needed to apologize for speaking the truth. No one made the Rep. from Iowa apologize to the President for calling the President stupid. We are in such a mixed-up world. Double standard...

    April 12, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. natfka

    This not some phony war, this is a substancial issue of how many people look down at moms who decide to stay and take care of their children. Its ok to let other people do it for them, as long as you realize its a choice. Its a great sacrifice that many Moms and some Dads take to raise responsible children in this hostile enviroment.

    April 12, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  24. GMAN-64

    Oh, she's sorry....so everything should be forgiven right???

    Just like Rush was forgiven by the left wing media?

    Keep showing your true colors Dems....November is coming.

    April 12, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  25. John_in_Westchester

    What is Ms Rosen apologizing for? Her comment about Ann Romney is right on. Ann Romney is not the kind of middle class working woman Mitt Romney should be using as a yardstick.

    This is why I am tired of democrats. They say the right thing and the next day they are out there apologizing. Grow a back bone, folks! Stand your ground, democrats. You are the only ones making sense this political season.

    April 12, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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