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. blanche

    Hillary Rosen is simply offensive, ignorant and a poor symbol for women. I was a career Mom. It was a choice that cost me in terms of an outside career, luxury, and extras. However, I was not able to leave my precious ones with women who were not adequately trained, paid, or invested in the children. Who better to nurture my children in childhood and push them off into the world with competence, confidence and security – only a person lovingly committed and trained. I have no regrets. I am easily replaced in the workplace, but not so at home for the children.

    April 12, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  2. WhatNow

    I understand the need for her to be politically correct, but she was still right. Ms. Romney's experience is not the norm for most US women. I will also admit that I do not understand nor can I relate to what it must be like to be that wealthy and have the option to stay home with my kids. Possibly, Mr. Romney needs to seek advice from additional sources.

    April 12, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  3. nc1965

    “Ann Romney has 'never worked a day in her life.'

    Well, this is true. This also can be said about her husband, the anti-christ.

    My mom had to work 2 jobs outside of home and raise kids. What does Ann Romney do. Sit at home and decide how to spend her husbands money on designer clothes for her kids.

    And the anti-christ (Mitt), the most work he has done is lifting a pen and signing bankrupt notices for businesses so that he can fill his pockets with profits to give to his wife to spend.

    April 12, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  4. Floyd Last

    Let's compare spouses, Michelle Obama is a stay at home mom only in the sense that she doesn't "work" . . She has a large staff to wait on her. She sends her daughter to Mexico all with her entire class, guarded bythe secret service. She lys all oer the country to promote her coauses on the taxpayer's dime.

    April 12, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. Dan

    Ms. Rosen wears her ignorance like a badge honor. Her comments are in insult to Mother's everywhere!

    April 12, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. Whynot11

    Being a stay-at-home mom, is a full time job... especially for stay at home moms worth their salt.

    What I would like to point out is there are not many parents that actually raise their children...or worse of all... are UNABLE to stay at home and raise their children.

    And I don't mean any of that Helicopter parenting BS I mean providing an ENVIRONMENT for children to flourish into respectable young men and women.

    April 12, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. Johnson

    I am sure Ann Romney had a full compliment of Staff to help her raise the five boys.

    April 12, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. saveg1

    This is just another distarction created by the great divider to avert attention away from the fact that he can not run on his record, Oh, But his wife is off limits right.. what a mistake this president turned out to be...

    April 12, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. Sandy

    Anne Romney and Mitt will never get it. They hob nob with the rich and famous and have no connection whatever with the poor and hard working middle class.

    April 12, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Rosen is right, stay at home moms know nothing about the economy, neither does the current president.

    April 12, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  11. Mike

    Sorry, let's put an end to this charade right here. Ann Romney is rich and as such has and has had all sorts of help raising her kids. She's doesn't have to worry about medical coverage or being denied medical coverage. She doesn't worry about bills; or medical bills. And, yes, I do not believe she has really worked a rea job in a very long time, if at all.
    My wife has MS, works a full-time job, and works through her pain to be an excellent mom to our child.
    Ann Romney's husband wants to put an end to the law that protects my wife from having her medical insurance company dump her for a preexisting condition. A law that is BASED ON her own husband's medical coverage law passed while he was governor of Massachusets!
    In truth I bear no ill will towards Ann Romney. I wish her well and I'm grateful she has such resources living with a terrible disease like MS.
    As for being a representative for women, or anyone in general, in the workplace? No. Sorry, I don't see it!

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

    Ann Romney has also done a lot for the community. Sorry she's not in a typical 9-5 job. From Wikipedia:

    "She has been involved in a number of children's charities, including being director of the inner city-oriented Best Friends.[17] She worked extensively with the Ten Point Coalition in Boston and with other groups that promoted better safety and opportunities for urban youths.[31] She was given the 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award from Salt Lake City-based Operation Kids.[32] She has also served as a board member for the United Way of America[17] and helped found United Way Faith and Action.[31]"

    April 12, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  13. Middle of the road

    She made a mistake and now wants to offer this "apology"!!! She like all the other media falsifiers need to be taken off soap boxes. Engage brain before opening mouth.

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

    Translation: "Ya, but I thought I would give it a shot in an attempt to hurt Romney and hey, I got it out there! So, I got caught being stupid so I will just ask for forgiveness cuz its easier than asking for permission!"

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

    I'm I to understand then that Rosen believes the brouhaha her ill considered statement instigated is "phony"? I'm guessing she'd rather both parents work outside the home so the state can "educate" our children and instill in them its socialist values. Sad, very sad. But on the other hand, we can see as events unfold elsewhere in the world, this simply isn't sustainable, and the pendulum will swing back to a pragmatic conservatism once again.

    April 12, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  16. GEdwards

    "Let's put the faux "war against stay at home moms" to rest once and for all.
    No problem.

    Just as soon as we also put the Dem-created faux "war against women" to rest once and for all.

    April 12, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  17. IronCelt

    This debate about working women vs. stay-at-home-moms helps no one. There are so many situations in which what is best for one woman isn't good for another or many others. E.g., what if a woman is married to someone with a stable job, can't have children, and would take a job in a job-scarce economy/geographic region just to "stay busy"? What of her neighbor with two kids who was a stay-at-home till the spouse was killed? Should the mom have worked so that she'd have a job in case the spouse died? Should the childless woman be in the workforce or let the widowed and single moms have the job?

    April 12, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  18. Is

    People really need more stuff to do in thier day then worry about this stupid stuff. I mean honestly people.....

    April 12, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  19. Mark Johnson FAIA

    In defense of stay at home moms. Historically, for better or for worse, stay at home moms have often been the ones leading local charities, church service projects, and various civic and school activities that strengthen our communities. Not unlike Hillary Clinton's vision in, It Takes a Village. For better or for worse, today's society and economy requires that almost everyone work, and for most, being a stay at home mom is no longer an option. This shift has left charities, churches, civic and school groups struggling to find people with the time and energy to fill in those needed volunteer hours. The remaining stay at home moms often provide countless hours for those groups and I've seen how exhausting that work can be, all for little or no compensation, except a thank you, and the satisfaction of helping others who could not pay for their services. The apology was deserved, if not for Ann Romney, then for the unsung stay at home moms who work so hard to keep the fabric of our society intact. We all do our part, whether in the work place or at home. All should be recognized and thanked for their hard work and contributions.

    April 12, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  20. cece

    Let's get to the heart of the matter, Rosen was trying to belittle the wife of a powerful, rich man running for President. It was not only a backfire it was a misfire too. At the same time she has belittled women who choose to raise their own children. With help if you are a rich man's wife and why not. Be practical. Rich men run for political office. She chose wisely both in the rich husband and in staying at home since she had the option. I took the opportunity to raise my own children. We sacrificed as a couple to do this, but it was important decision we made as a couple.We bought used cars and ate out only once a week. I learned how to make due. I received my reward. Children who are somewhat sane, no serious drug users among them, served their country and have responsible jobs and good educations and are grounded spiritually. People you would like to have as your next door neighbor, or boss or employee. Some women are wired to be stay at home mom's and some are not. As women we need to support each other in the decisions we make whether to have children or not, to be involved in a career or not. Rosen your good Jewish grandma is rolling over in her grave.

    April 12, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  21. denise

    It is ridiculous to pretend that the war on working moms is a faux war and it is insulting to hear Rosen speak of it as such. As a stay at home mother, I am offended that it is assumed we are only staying at home because we are wealthy and that we have not made sacrifices, both personal and financial. The media and Hollywood are quick to portray us as brainless and dependant. Sarah Jessica Parker's most recent movie, I Don't Know How She Does It, is a recent example. I will be volunteering for Romney, thanks for helping me make up my mind!

    April 12, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  22. rc33

    She's an embarrassing comedy act. "Let's put the faux war upon stay at home Mons to rest..."
    Well, as long as YOU say so. What a joke.
    Gonna be fun watching them fail miserably come November.
    I may never stop laughing.

    April 12, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  23. Tony C

    "This really isn’t about stay-at-home vs. working moms," Rosen says. "I have kids. It's the hardest job I've ever had. Romney has brought his wife into conversation. ... It's strategic to attack me rather than talk about the issues." My question is whether this lady suffers from short term memory loss.

    April 12, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  24. Kelcy

    I get what Rosen was saying and it`s true. Ann Romney is not one to comment on what women who work outside the home do or how they do it. I would say she is not in a position to comment about much pertaining to women just because she has the same parts. It is tough work to raise kids but I am betting she had a whole bunch of household help to do it so I`m not sure she gets to comment on stay at home women either. She wasn`t running after the kids, cleaning house, going grocery shopping, fixing dinner, etcetera. I`m not begrudging that she was born into and has lived a wealthy life but that means she really does not relate to 99 percent of women in America. She hasn`t had to worry about how the kids are doing while she works, worry about losing her job and losing health insurance (assuming she had any from the job), whether to use contraception or not, and if so what kind, because having another mouth to feed would push her and her family further into poverty. I could go on but you get my drift.

    Thank you to Mrs Obama for sticking up for her though. That was kind of her.

    April 12, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  25. Veteran Woman for Obama

    This is what upsets the Republican party, really? Ann Romney is a woman of privilege always has been always will be. Remember her husband is worth 250 million dollars, her cars have garages so please give me a break. I totally agree with Ms. Rosen 100%, nothing here to see.

    April 12, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
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