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. Jariv

    JUDE – You are stupid. If you only met them. They know money is not the answer to everything. They are very humbled. Only stupid people will vote for Obama. Now that is a true accurate statement.

    April 12, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  2. Debbie B

    The apology WAS needed. She comes from the Bill Mahr school of, "Don't apologize."
    Not sure how sincere the apology was, but I accept it. She probably was pressured from the higher-ups to put this fire out.

    Over the years I've voted on both sides of the isle, and been a stay at home mom- and a work outside the home mom.
    I found her comment offensive, judgmental, and insensitive. You can do better Ann. Yes, let's move forward.

    April 12, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  3. TJ

    So here you have a representative of the Democratic Party and President Obama clearly articulating that women who stay at home to raise their children are "out of touch" with the American people.

    This fight against wealth is really disturbing. As an American, you should not envy someone who makes more money than you – you should try your best to make that much for yourself one day. Use common sense, and understand that all actions have consequences. If you try your best and learn from mistakes, you will have no trouble succeeding in this country. If you spend too much time complaining about people making money then you are doing nothing to deserve the benefits that you're protesting for.

    April 12, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    And if you don't understand why the Mittens/GOP overreach on this backfires...

    Rosen wasn't voicing words Obama gave her. She was voicing what thousands and thousands of struggling mothers thought in their heads when Ann RMoney started pretending to be able to relate to them, their struggles, their concerns and daily battles, etc. "What the heck does this woman know about trying to make ends meet alone for 3 children on a secretary's salary?" It's two peas in the out-of-touch pod in Mittensland and yes, it's an uncomfortable, inconvenient truth for him that probably didn't bear speaking about because his wife is not the one running and should be off limits, but don't be fooled by the hot garbage about Rosen's comments being untrue or baseless...there's just some truths you don't need to or shouldn't talk about out loud.

    April 12, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  5. Thorne

    @Sherry – "old feminist welfare state viewpoint" Exactly what viewpoint is that Sherry? So far you've thrown together some catch phrases that mean nothing without explanation. Fantastic. Care to elaborate?
    Rosen shouldn't have apologized. Anyone with a few braincells knew what she meant by the comment "Ann Romney never worked a day in her life". The blathering from the Right is just purposeful ignorance. (And I can tell from Rosen's response that she's all, "fine, fine have your damn cookie, now can we get to the issue at hand please?")
    Who other than Newt Gingrich is going to claim that being a stay at home mom or a working mom isn't hard work? Give me a break. Faux outrage indeed.
    Here's the truth... Ann Romney, who seems like a lovely woman and I will not lower myself to attack her the way the Republicans have attacked Michelle, hasn't had the normal stay at home mom experience. She hasn't lived the life my mother did, raising four kids on one salary and having to pinch pennies to keep food on the table and clothes on our backs all while suffering from debilitating RA. To claim that Ann has any real knowledge of what it is like to be a "Stay At Home Mom" for the majority of SAHMs is ridiculous. Just answer the darn question Mitt don't expect your respected wife you cover for you.

    April 12, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  6. Jason

    Too all of the folks here who "wouldn't be surprised if she had staff at home", where is your research on this? How can you judge how hard someone did or didn't work in the past based on their current financial status? If SherryMAZ's business became wildly successful to the point where she could hire someone to clean her house, would that negate her ability to know what hard work is like?

    April 12, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  7. Goose66

    How can she apologize now after the scathing tongue lashing she gave her critics this morning where she stood behind the remarks. "I'm sorry if I offended anyone." No she's not - she made that clear in her piece on CNN's website this morning.

    April 12, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  8. Collin

    Well, except they can hire nanny's, servants, etc. to do all the day to day stuff – must still be difficult being a parent when you have gobs of money like that.

    April 12, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  9. pmn

    I agree with everyone's point as Rosen and Ann Romney do not have clue what an "average woman" represents. I also agree Rosen has nothing apologize for she just should have reinstated her point. Both these women do not struggle at all. All I have to say is walk a day in our shoes then you would understand (maybe).

    April 12, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  10. lucy

    Rosen is a huge part of Obama's team. She has been to the White House 35 times!! She is no way sorry. This is just part of the low life, uderhanded, lying ways of the Democrates and their leaders. They cannot run on their success, they attack on personal issues. After 3 years of this, there is noway I will ever vote for a Democrate.

    April 12, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  11. Spock101

    I agree with the comments Hillary made. Mrs. Romney made the choice to stay home and home school her children with the financial means to do it. There are other American mothers who do it without the means, living on a fixed income while trying to make ends meet. There is a big difference .....

    April 12, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  12. Republican that WORKS - start the conversation***

    It’s a luxury to be a stay at home mom – YOU CHOSE THAT LIFESTYLE!

    Also, the dynamics of the “the boss mother” vs the “woman working outside the home” are not the same.
    At home the mother is the boss vs a woman working & reporting to a boss.

    I had my x’s kids – I was in a position of authority.
    And yes, at a REAL job you have to report to a superior, have performance reviews and have the chance of being fired or layed off.

    Not if you CHOOSE to stay at home & live on your husbands earnings!

    If you get divorced & have kids the courts can order alimony & child support – but then your have to go out & get a “real” job since what money you’ll receive will not be enough to cover family expense or the husband will not pay what the court judgement has decreed.

    Ron Paul is looking real good right now!!

    April 12, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  13. gr8usa

    @ChicagoMom, you think Ann Romney handles the family finances? Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha!

    There is a BIG difference between a working class/middle class stay at home mom and a uber-wealthy stay at home mom. One does everything by herself and the other has housekeepers, nannies, a team who handles the finances, multiple vacation homes, etc...

    April 12, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  14. pmn

    Exactly John 3:16!

    April 12, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  15. TrueIndependent

    "There declare peace in the phony war"???? That's a weak apology! Even the Obama's saw this as an attack on women. I see people commenting on "Ann Romney doesn't know my troubles" Do you honestly think that Rosen is struggling to pay her bills????? Come on people! I'm middle class and my wife is staying home to raise our 6 children and we were both offended, period. Come November it's time to say "NEXT!" and if Romney doesn't perform I will vote against him in 4 more years. If they don't stick to their promises we have to hold them accountable. (don't let them wait until they have more flexibility as the president put it)

    April 12, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  16. anon

    The Romney's were not BORN wealthy. They both struggled in their early years, including living in a tiny apartment with very little. She supported her husband emotionally and struggled alongside him in those early years. Kept the home fires burning, so to speak. If a married man doesn't have a good, decent, hardworking, and virtuous woman backing him up, then he just won't make it too far. They BOTH earned what they got. The nannies, and cadillacs and crap all came later and was simply the harvest of what they BOTH chose to sow. If anything, she should be applauded that much more for having the good sense, and brains in making the right choices in her life on who she would marry and allow to father her children, which is more then I can say for MANY struggling, single working moms.

    April 12, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  17. HDNKR

    Wow....Listen to the haters.....BTW.....OBAMA HAS NEVER HAD A JOB EITHER!

    April 12, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  18. ug

    A gay and a lesbian talking to each other...how quaint...

    April 12, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  19. Zenfire

    Rosen is quick to judge mom's who work hard in the home.

    April 12, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  20. Aries

    Sounds like a faux apology to me...

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

    I have to agree with the comment of Blake as to the lack of sincerity of Ms. Rosen apology. It is most unfortunate that the Democratic elite think so little of the women of America that do not work out of the home.

    April 12, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  22. Greg C.

    Keep it up...Aaron and others...you are only showing your ignorance...and digging a further hole against a much larger voting block then you could ever imagine...I have worked alongside both women in the workplace, single moms, and those that chose to make a personal sacrifice and stay home working 7x24x365. Anyone that minimizes a woman's role, because they choose to stay home and rear their family, speaks from another orifice other than their mouth. Frankly, the job is much harder, not only on the woman but has a financial impact to the family as well. These stay-at-home mothers toil over the same tasks over and over and over again, not nearly enough praise, and far underpaid for the hours they put in. I know of many women that tell me they couldn't take it and went back to work and chose to farm out their kids to daycare even when they didn't need the income. So before show your ignorance, know what you are talking about. As for Ann or any other woman with means, to imply that they don't have a brain, aren't empathetic to other women's causes or issues further shows how out of touch you really are or perhaps how myopic you way of thinking really is...

    April 12, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  23. Catzie53

    We're going to hear more of these kind of attacks, mainly from the left! Say whatever they want and then apologize, don't matter because the 'seed' has been planted in the minds of people. By the way, do a google on michelle obama and you'll see she didn't come from the ghettos!

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

    I'm sure the crew of nannies tasked with watching over the Romney kids appreciate the apology.

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

    How old are Ms.Romney's sons? They are grown men so what is her excuse for not working now? Answer: She doesn't have to since they are well off financially. How can she relate to working moms now???

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