April 12th, 2012
05:00 PM ET
8 years ago

Rosen: It's not personal, it's politics

(CNN) - Responding to a downpour of criticism over comments she made about Ann Romney, top Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen said Thursday she was not taking the heat too personally-even that coming from within her own party.

"I've clearly been on the other side where I've jumped on peoples' misstatements, so I'm not claiming victim here," Rosen said on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

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She continued: "When people go for their respective corners, I understand it. It's not personal."

Rosen, also a CNN contributor, sparked outrage among Republicans and Democrats alike when she said Wednesday night that Ann Romney, a former stay-at-home mom, had "never worked a day in her life."

Clarifying her point, Rosen apologized Thursday and said she meant Ann Romney was not the best example for her husband to use on the campaign trail as a woman who understands the struggles of working class moms.

While Republicans had quickly seized on her original remarks, top Democrats–including first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz–also railed against her remarks.

Asked about the flurry of attacks from her own party, Rosen said she was "comfortable" with the resulting firestorm and understood their concerns.

"People who know me know that I didn't intend that. But my words were not very good, you know, if they want to play politics with it, that's fine," she said.

Rosen added she's had supportive calls from friends, but wasted no time commenting on the lighting fast pace of an election season.

"The modern-day campaign and the swiftness of the charges and the counter charges and the intensity of it is enormously frightening for campaign professionals and for consultants and for candidates alike," she said. "This is going to be an ugly campaign season and if this ends up being the start to it, so be it."

Apologizing again, Rosen said she saw no need to meet with Ann Romney face-to-face to discuss the issue.

"I hope Ms. Romney knows that I didn't mean it personally," she said. "I was trying to talk about economic issues."

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Filed under: 2012 • Ann Romney • Economy • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. clarke

    Well Ms. Rosen, I think politics is mean spirited.. That is why people don't have any respect for man kind, because you blame your disrespect on Politics and you think that is Okay. You people at CNN are to be above all that and have some class.

    April 12, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  2. Linda

    You went after stay at home Mom, who's next in your list Obama so the rest of us here in America can brace ourselves.

    April 12, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  3. Alex

    MichelleO had a private chef to cook and a live-in nanny, aka mama Robinson.

    First, Mitt was not born into money. His dad was self made. Mitt gave away his inheritance and made his money himself. When they wee going to school, and raising their 3 kids, they only had a baby sitter when Ann was attending classes. What a class envy we have here. Anne raised her 5 kids with dignity, battling ms and breast cancer. Yes her husband made money and he deserved every penny that he made. Anne was not born rich and blonde either. Actually Michell O was the one born into a well to do middle class family. Her dad was a union hack man.

    April 12, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  4. cRAIG

    Raising children is the hadest job ever. That's why obama wants the government to do it.

    April 12, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  5. Will Best

    The Romney's first child was born while they were still students, living in a basement apartment. Not exactly an order the maids around sort of position. Sure she ended up doing really well, but the Romneys wouldn't be where they are today without her efforts.

    Also its nonsense that MO had to work. I won't knock her choice to work, but BO made over $60,000 a year which is more than enough to raise a family on, even with the government taking $9-12k in taxes and payroll.

    April 12, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  6. ckainredstateusa

    Some really jealous, ignorant, mean-spirited, bitter comments about Ann Romney.

    Am amazed at how some respondents seem to know so much about what Ann Romney has done and does.

    April 12, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  7. Dutra

    The liberal bigots are out in force, protecting their errant kind. 'Woman in California' has an anger issue and a vitriolic opinion that nobody cares about.

    April 12, 2012 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  8. Blindersoff

    Who is this guy wolf and who do he think he is? She should have told him where to get off. Forcing her to say things to appease the republican cry babies. Mr. etch-a-ketch should not bring Anne Barbie Romney into the issues. Now she is fair game. Cat fight . . . now grab her by the hair! teehee!

    April 12, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  9. bob

    Ann Romney came from money and married into money. I wonder how many nannies and tutors raised her children? How many maids cleaned her house? How many accountants balanced her checkbook? She has NO IDEA what the average american woman is going through because she has never had to choose between paying the electricity bill and paying for food. She needs to shut up.

    April 12, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  10. Red in Denver

    It's clear from the tone of these blog comments that CNN has made NO PROGRESS AT ALL in their attempt to become less biased. While a large number of high-profile Democrats (including David Axelrod and Debbie Wasserman Schultz) are condemning Rosen's comments, a large percentage of people commenting here are deflecting blame, diminishing and making excuses for what Rosen said.

    VERY instructive as to the complete partisanship of the large majority of CNN viewers.

    April 12, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  11. donna

    Hilary Rosen's simple apology was lacking. She had a golden opportunity to save her political career by turning the statement around and focusing on Mrs. Obama as soon as her apology to Mrs. Romney was given.

    April 12, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  12. DJS_pt

    What would happen to me if I stood on the street with a big pair of bolt cutters and was cutting my fingers off my hands? Would I be able to hold people at bay by saying it's my body and I can do with it as I please? Would the liberals and supreme court pass laws to protect my rights? 50 years from now will the coming society condemn us, and see us as barbaric for our practice of killing unborn humans, and calling it women's health? Will they look back and see abortion as we today look back and see slavery? But most importantly how does God view abortion? Once we get over our pride – our self appointed superior intelligence – and look to God for answers.... what does He say about abortion? Or does it matter to you?

    April 12, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  13. Nedra

    From most of the comments re: this woman (Hillary) I should conclude that it is AOK to attack a woman if she is wealthy. I find that hard to believe. I am not wealthy and I know that women of all type of means experience the same emotions and distresses whether they are poor or rich. The jealousy of left-leaning women is truly something to behold. Such raw envy is coming out of them.
    As a woman who has worked most of her life, I am NOT envious of any woman just because she is wealthy. Please sisters, get off the envy train and use your heads for a change. You are not going to make the government your absent husband. It will not take care of your emotions or your loneliness. Try to be what you say you believe in....a strong woman who can make the most of her situation, no matter what it is. You can do it! You don't need the government to do it for you.

    April 12, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  14. expat

    As if Ms. Rosen represents or even understands the 'average' woman. The average woman earns less than her. If Ms. Rosen decides that you can speak on behalf of or represent only people like yourself, then Ms. Rosen doesn't understand the average woman either. And Mrs. Obama had the luxury of working. She and her husband earned enough to send kids to a private school and had her mother help with the children. Staying at home is not a luxury for most parents. It is a sacrifice.

    April 12, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  15. Lara

    First of all, Wolf, any thought that you might have beaten the same dead horse about 15 times here? She made a statement that, while true, opened the door for distraction and that was her mistake... she knows it. Any rational person can see it. It's not an attack on stay-at-home moms... hell!! most of us WANT to be stay-at-home moms... but that DOES NOT change the fact that MOST WOMAN IN THE US DO NOT HAVE THE CHOICE TO DO SO. Thus, perhaps Ann Romney is not the best barometer for knowing what woman in the US really need and care about and hopefully Mitt will make an effort to understand the 'average' U.S. woman.

    April 12, 2012 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  16. Monkeyman

    The hardest job in the world for anyone who loves their children is raising them. It is easier to go to a "job" every day especially for a lesbian like Ms.Rosen than to give all of yourself to a child let alone five children and sixteen grand children. Mrs.Romney also has battled breast cancer and has MS. Life is not all about 9 to 5 and it is a very true statement if you don't have your health you don't have anything. In Ms Rosens case I would say if you don't have your brain you get stuck in a job like a Democrat strategist blasting insults at nice people who support their husband. If anyone can't relate it is Ms Rosen as she sees hetero women like Ann Romney as nothing more than an empty headed breeders and herself as a worldly diverse progresses fish taco connoisseur.

    April 12, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  17. steve

    Wow! I guess CNN really is second only to MSNBC as the left wing mecca. Hilary Rosen should shut her yap about what it takes to be a mother. After all, how would she know given her proclivities?

    April 12, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  18. Whythehate

    I really don't understand why the Democratic base is so hateful towards everyone who may hold a different opinion from them. Ann Romney chose to stay at home and raise her children, by everything I can tell she did a good job. That's the CHOICE her and the Romney family made and it works for them. The Obamas CHOSE to have Michelle work and have her mother look after the kids, by everything I see that has worked out well too. Why are we critizing women for the way that they choose to run their lives? I believe that both women have raised good families and how or why they did it is nobody's business. Stop the hate!

    April 12, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  19. James

    Hey Rosen, there are millions of moms across the country that will disagree with you that raising a family and running a household isn't work...... I though even the feminist settled that years ago....
    But keep up the attacks on women Rosen..... yes it is politics...

    April 12, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  20. Sid in GA

    Rosen's just attacked her on a personal level and then tried to spin it as "about economics." Sorry – I don't see the rich as enemies... last I heard it was those who are successful who provide jobs for the working class...

    April 12, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  21. jml

    Come on. As if Obama "understands" Dude has a mansion in Hyde Park. They vacation in the most lavish of places.

    April 12, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  22. I've Done Both

    I have been a mom working outside of the home AND a full time mother of five. No, we didn't have the "luxury" of me staying home either Pres. Obama. We made a choice to live in a modest home, drive the cars until they gave up, wear hand-me down clothing, and homeschooled our kids rather sending them to private or public. I'm not criticizing women who make different choices but for someone to tell me I didn't work when I was home rearing my children is outrageous. Those who criticize Mrs. Romney are just jealous.

    April 12, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  23. Debra from Georgia

    Go Hillary Rosen you are Right, Ann Romney does not understand anyting about me.

    April 12, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  24. Niko_in_Richmond

    Myviewis – Rosen never said that her view was not good; she said that "Ann Romney was not the best example for her husband to use on the campaign trail as a woman who understands the struggles of working class moms." Working class meaning one who actually gets up every day and goes to a job to pay her bills or help with those of the family as well as raises her children. While the role of a stay-at-home mom should be and is respected, a woman like Ann Romney who has never held a job outside of her home would NOT be the best person to say what issues face those who do. It would be like me, as a Black man, trying to explain what life is like as a man. Even though I am a man, my experience in life has been drastically different from those of white, Asian or Hispanic men.

    April 12, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  25. oilmann

    Its okay for Barry's handlers to declare war on women. Nothing will be said but praise from the almighty Obama.

    April 12, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
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