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. CypressSteve

    I am somewhat surprised and dismayed at the majority of comments on here. NO ONE should be required to justify the life choice to be a SAHM and it should NEVER be implied that a SAHM cannot possibly understand how other women work and think. And for all of you who look at the Romneys and believe that they've always had life handed to them, look a little harder. You'll find that Ann Romney has worked tirelessly, not just for her family, but for others as well.

    Of course, you have all done your homework and you know that President Obama and his wife "couldn't afford for Michelle to be a SAHM" on a paltry few hundred thousand dollars a year, right? Does that sound like someone who relates to the plight of single mothers and working women? Give me a break! You are being led to believe that Romney and his wife are "out-of-touch" with average Americans because they're wealthy. News flash: Even by his own stated standards, Obama is a wealthy ivy-leager who has NEVER faced what the majority of people in this country have faced. He has never worried about having a job, feeding his kids, putting them through college, etc. Does that make him "out-of-touch" and does it disqualify him to be president? Of course not!

    Rosen and her cadre of cohorts have created a logical fallacy that if you haven't lived exactly like someone else, you cannot understand their plight. She got caught in the crossfire her own "faux" war and now wants a truce. If she is sincere, where is the real demonstration that she understands that Ann Romney is as qualified, if not more so, than she is to understand the plight of women AND men in this country.

    April 12, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. Bootstomper

    I forgot,how many Cadillacs does poor Ann have?

    April 12, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. Billie

    That was a pretty lame apology. Sounds like when you're mean to your sibling as a kid and your mother makes you apologize. Once more with feeling, please.

    April 12, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  4. nell ryan

    Hilary Rosen knows exactly what she's talking about in regard to women and the economy, as well as women's issues in general. She shouldn't have to apologize for the truth. She didn't concoct the truth. It just is. There is no way in the world a woman in the upper economic bracket can have the slightest knowledge of the unrelenting challenges a working mother must cope with - financially, emotionally, socially, physically and mentally.

    April 12, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  5. linda

    I thought this was over long ago! Women who happen to be Democrats are the harshest critics of any woman who happens to be a Republican. Enough already. I want Hilary to get a clue that women who are Republicans think, work and care about this world just as much as Democrats. If you are really for women's rights, you will allow women to think for themselves and not disparage us any more because we think and choose differently from you.

    April 12, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  6. liz

    My mother is a stay at home Mom who has no idea what to do with a dressage horse

    April 12, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. Reality Check

    I sense a great deal of hatred from women jealous that they were unable to have any children let alone five kids. The reality is most women in America would LOVE to be able to live the life that Ms. Romney does. So you can:
    1. Marry someone with money.
    2. Become successful in your own right.
    3. Stop hating people who are prettier, thinner, richer or better educated.
    4. Stop blaming rich or wealthy people for your own failures in life or ability to get ahead.

    April 12, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  8. Joe from Ohio

    Amazing how one low level Dem strategist making an opinion about Romney's wife is FRONT PAGE HEADLINE news all DAY on the FOX/GOP channel. They are grasping at straws for this election for sure!

    April 12, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  9. Jim970

    My "stay at home" wife worked plenty hard taking care of me, the house, and two kids. I cannot imagine the work involved to care for 5 children. I would say she has worked plenty!

    April 12, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  10. beevee

    I admire Mrs. Romney. She seems like a very decent person which I can't say of her husband at this time. The remark of Ms. Rosen about her may be a bit uncalled for, but if you set emotions aside and think with a calmer mind, it may be that Mrs. Romeny was indeed a stay-at-home mom taking care of her children which is a full time job, but she definitely has a lot of help in doing that job. Many middle class mother taking care of their children and working do not have that luxury. I think Mitt Romney is hiding behind her skirt on this one.

    April 12, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  11. Bruce

    I am a strong democrat. This was wrong! Unless politicians wives are engaged in politics, actively debating issues, if their actions were prior to their political activities, whether they worked or not, is out of bounds. And frankly, it doesn't matter. Could Ann Romney have worked and contributed something to society? Perhaps. But it is her right not to, for whatever reason. even if it's being rich. If Ms. Rosen believes it is admirable to work, then that is HER opinion. But just as Republicans try to thrust their opinions and beliefs on Democrats, it is not right for Rosen to do the same.

    April 12, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  12. Emma

    I don't like the way Wolf Blitzer treated Hillary Rosen He was taking her to task as if she was a child I could see the blush in her face. She had to sit there and take it . What she said was true. One person said something all of a sudden it get turned against the democrates . Issues are what's important.

    April 12, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  13. Mark

    Rosen said nothing wrong. Romney said that his wife has real work experience and knows what other women go through. Rosen just pointed out that Mrs. Romney does NOT know how the average working mother feels. She might know how other super-rich, stay-at-home moms feel, but there aren't that many of them.

    April 12, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  14. joco

    Democrats bashing a stay at home mom! I love it. Keep apologizing oh you so called "Friends" of women.

    April 12, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. fghjrtr545

    Do you woman wading this "war" hate money? Do you want your kids on welfare? CNN turns to total garbage come election time!

    April 12, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. San Jose, CA

    Liberalism at its best. What a hypocrisy.
    Lefties claim they are the folks of inclusiveness.
    I believe they are the people of exclusivity. Moms like Ann Romney aren't welcome.
    Left Elites are the most fascist, unwelcoming bunch of them all.

    April 12, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    WOW a real horse woman. You women who get up go to work and put up with all of that and still have to come home and care for your kids – if you feel Ann Romney is a feel sorry for case – "You are so stupit" She has it all except maybe responsiblity, a job, a home to care for without maids, a taxi are rental when her car breaks down. OH NO she has two cars Mitt told us that..... remember...... Ann Romney does not know what the middle class is all about. She is rich and has been rich all her life. GET REAL women, this is why you get s.....d so badly all the time. Think like the men with your head sometimes. Or shut up and stop trying to make it worst for women who have to be everything to everyone and still have to put an asprin between because a so call "good old boy" wants you to be a mommy first. You can't have it both ways. Either you stand up and speak or someone will always speak for your.

    April 12, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    What Hilary said should not be surprising to those that pay attention. This is how the far left view women, especially women to whom they disagree with.

    April 12, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  19. coolheaded

    The Obama elite's prejudices backfire as they accidentally expose, then keep digging themselves deeper into their arrogant dismissal and mean spirited attacks. Ann Romney needs no credentials nor defense; she holds her own with ease against Rosen, Obama, and Axelrod.

    April 12, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  20. aertzc

    Too little, too late. The left has spent the last three months trying to frame the GOP as waging war on women and Hilary Rosen brought it all tumbling down with a few careless words.

    April 12, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  21. infraredted

    Hillary Rosen is a class act, an intelligent, politically savvy woman who is being unfairly pilloried for speaking the truth. Ann Romney is a woman of privilege who hasn't 'worked' a day in her life at a job outside the the home. True, she bore 5 children but I would suspect that a large portion of the heavy lifting was provided by help, be they nannies, cooks. housekeepers or whatever. I doubt that she (Romney) spent the day cooking, doing the laundry, menial household chores and the 100's of other daily tasks that most working class mothers perform. She smiled, looked good, and did all the perfunctory perfect things that wealthy women bestow upon their progeny along with the 'goodness' of Mormonism but as far as being a long suffering mother enduring the raising of five children, I don't buy it. The kids all look to be good little Mitt clones that popped out of the toaster oven. To even begin to equate the Romney household with the average American one is ludicrous. There have been people of wealth in political office in this country for the past two centuries but almost none with the high degree of disconnect as the Romney's and yes, I am including the Kennedy's in that equation. At least they had a populist streak which is something that's anathema to the Romney's and a large slice of the Republican higher echelon.

    April 12, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  22. Mark

    I am grateful that my mother who worked and took care of us did what she did. I thank her for it everytime I see her. But, lets be honest....Anne Romney has never worked a day in her life. If she has I wanna know what those jobs were. Hilary Rosen should not apologize for her comment unless it was incorrect. If it is correct than the Romney's should shut up and take it., The moment you decide to run for public office your life becomes an open book that is going to be scrutinize every minute. The job of a stay at home is a job but it does not compare to working in the work force and especially not when you are wealthy and have a nanny and housekeeper.

    April 12, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  23. Tim Strickland

    I wonder if the same comments were made about John Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline, would have met with the same easy out apology. Jackie was a stay-at-home mom... Does anyone honestly believe she had no clue about the concern of women just because she lived the life of a millionairess? That would be as ridiculous a statement for her as it is to believe the same about Ann Romney. You don't have to put your hand into a fire to know that it hurts... Geez people... More "class warfare" but now mixed with "the war on women". Can't you see what the democrats are doing here? Why give Rosen a pass that she doesn't deserve...

    April 12, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  24. M

    I disagree what Hilary said was true – that Mrs. Romney wouldn't understand what is important to women. True, she chose to be a stay at home mother however, this doesn't insolate her from understanding the issues and concerns women face. In addition, Mrs. Romney has been out on the campaign trail for a year – I'm sure she has heard from many women and men accross the country and what their concerns are. Why couldn't she be a resource for Mr Romney? She is listening to the people she meets, isn't that the first step to understanding. I think Hilary just dissed women everywhere by her biased comments.

    April 12, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  25. Scott

    Kind of a curious thought here. But would a mother who struggles to balance a full time job, put food on the table, and keep a household be considered an expert. An expert would be someone who excels at something, which means a successful mother who can work, put food on the table, and keep the house without a worry in the world...that would be an EXPERT on the issue. Anyone can comment on something, especially someone who has gone around and specifically talked to mothers that are having trouble...and she attributes their comments to the mothers that made them to her. The actual comments made were that Mitt had talked to his wife, Ann, who had been talking to mothers on what their concerns were over the economy...since she had talked to them, and gathered information...she is well qualified to then submit her observations to her husband on those meetings.

    April 12, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
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