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. Dan

    Politics is a quagmire. I try not to weigh into it. But I was left in shock by the backlash which Rosen has UNFAIRLY received. Before we even begin to discuss how hard Ann Romney has worked as mother or bill-payer in the family...we have two fundamental questions we need answered.
    1) Do the Romneys now have, or have they ever had, nannies? A mother does not have to work as hard, whether stay-at-home or one who has joined the workforce...if she has nannies. I honestly do not know about whether the Romneys have now, or have ever had, nannies. But many with their wealth, do.
    2) Does Ann Romney actually do the finances for the family? Or do the Romneys have accountants? Most people of their wealth have accountants. I don't know if they do or not...but before Rosen's detractors attack her...these are questions that need answers.
    Regardless of whether or not the Romneys have had nannies and/or accountants...the issue is merely about whether or not Ann Romney had a choice due to being born into wealth and marrying into wealth. Most women, black; white; or whatever do not have such a choice. They cannot simply just sell stocks to make ends meet while in college. If they get MS, they either die...or are economically and financially devestated attempting to pay for their treatment. Rosen was correct in her comments because Ann Romney is the last person who ought to be advising Romney on the wants, desires, and needs of THE AVERAGE AMERICAN WOMAN! Hillary Rosen, you have nothing to appologize for! Having said that, it is probably a good thing you did, so we can put this issue where it belongs...where it has always belonged...in the rearview mirror!

    April 12, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  2. happy

    Hilary Rosen seems like a very unpleasant person. How would you like her living in your neighborhood? She has some kind of anger deal going on.

    April 12, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  3. Red in Denver

    Rosen's tactic of trying to diminish Ann Romney for being a stay-at-home mom was a tactic that was used way back in the late 60's during the height of the feminist movement. It was quickly abandoned as being an attack against a large number of women who had, for their own reasons, made that choice.

    In resurrecting that argument, Hilary Rosen shows HERSELF to be the 'old fashioned' one. For DECADES now, most people have respected the right of a woman to make her own choice regarding working outside the home.

    April 12, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  4. Debra from Georgia

    Where is the apology to Mrs. Obama? Yes, I know – she wasn't born, white, rich and blonde

    Woman in California, you can say this again.

    April 12, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  5. michaelam

    No apology is needed! The majority of moms HAVE to work in order to put food on the table and a roof over their family's heads. Ann NEVER had to work, nor raise her own children, nor cook her family's meals, the laundry, shopping, etc...Ann and her husband, Bishop R-Money are completely out of touch with what American families deal with EVERYDAY!

    April 12, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  6. DanG

    Hillary Rosen is the hateful bitter one here – and flat out wrong and partisan. And has no class.
    What does wealth have to do with anything?
    If Ann Romney was wife of a RICH Democratic candidate, Rosen would be praising her strength and courage in raising a family while dealing with cancer and multiple sclerosis.
    Now tell me I'm wrong....

    April 12, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  7. Cindy

    Are blondes and fat women the only non-protected class anymore? I swear I see people saying stuff about blondes all the time, as if blondes are all evil racist stupid pigs. It's getting very annoying.

    April 12, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  8. Ed1

    Not to smart you speak volumes about how your party how it thinks about stay at home moms.

    Little late starting to sound like Biden open mouth insert foot again.

    April 12, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  9. oh well

    So sick of this back and forth petty banter between parties. Who cares what Ann Romney thinks? Give me a break.

    April 12, 2012 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  10. TeaBagTheTakers

    I would ask Miss Rosen in light of her comments, Is Ann Romney allowed to vote?

    April 12, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  11. Jim Mulligan

    Too bad Mitt could not secure ghost employment/no show job for Ann like the 300k hospital gig Michelle had.

    April 12, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  12. Howard

    What a bunch of B.S. !!! So ... Rosen is a lesbian career woman, who is raising her children with another lesbian, while criticizing Mrs. Romney for devoting ALL her time to raising her 5 children in a traditional home ??? Too bad we can't fast foward about 10 years, to see how screwed up Rosen's kids are going to turn out !!!

    April 12, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  13. Truth001

    My mother had five kids, my father didn't have the best job so we struggled. My mother used to work for a hospital not because she liked working in one but she had no choice. The truth is at one point in our life we needed social assistance. Ann Romney should apologize for playing the victim in which she certainly is not!

    April 12, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  14. Armando

    And Ms Rosen, you are right. If Ann Romney doesn't like the hit, she better get out of the Kitchen. I wonder if my mom can be a stay home mom and still drive a couple of Cadillacs. It is hard for her to fill the pain of those who are staying home after losing a job or that of working single moms. She can't argue that.

    April 12, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  15. Cindy

    Marie MD, you can't be serious. Do you really think 99% of all women must work to support their families? Must be part of the Occupy movement. There are many middle and lower class women who stay at home with the kids too, some because they believe a parent should be home with the kids and others because the cost of daycare would be more than their salaries. I stay at home and we sacrifice a lot for that choice, but we feel it's worth it.

    Not all rich people have in-house maids and nannies. My sister and her husband have money and a large house, and she does most of the cleaning, cooking, chauffering the kids around to various functions, checking homework, etc. She also struggles with money problems, just on a bigger scale. I know she doesn't have the same problems as me, but having money does not mean someone is living the high life and everything's coming up roses. I believe Ann Romney has struggled with breast cancer and MS. All the money in the world doesn't prevent that from happening. Just look at John Edwards' wife.

    April 12, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  16. CBR

    Ms. Rosen made a rookie mistake. The bait was out there to talk about Mrs. Romney and she took it. The whole issue has been blown so far afield that it will take days to get back to the real issues facing women today.

    If Governor Romney cannot find out what issue women face everyday on his own then he should not be President. He needs to go away from his conservative meetings and meet with real people who may differ from the conservative women on his team. Ms. Rosen needs to apologize without these explanations that make matters worse. I do not know Ms. Rosen but I believe she needs to think before she speaks.

    April 12, 2012 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  17. Itchy

    Nothing is more exciting than to see liberals make idiotic statements, almost everyday, then run for cover when the're called on it. Rosen, being a lesbian, doesn't even understand what a stay-at-home Mother is. She adopted twins and had her Nanny raise them, great prioritization. What were these kids to her, a fixture. Also, it's so nice that she visited the whitehouse over 35 times....great company the Annointed one keeps.

    April 12, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  18. sanchez brown

    I am curious how many servants, or helpers does Ann Romney have working for her? If she has at least one-then no she is not the best example for her Husbands' campaign to be using. She is a multi millionaire. Show me one middle class working mom that has multiple caddy trucks, and servants working for her.

    April 12, 2012 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  19. Vince

    Typical liberals..they have no loyalty. All the top Democraps threw this slob Hillary Rosen under the bus. It is in a lliberal's DNA. I give this fat pig RRosen some credit for 'ACTING' as if it does not bother her and that it is fair.

    April 12, 2012 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  20. AKsteve

    I will say this – you won't see a Republican admitting to their mistake and apologizing. Yes, the comments we off-base, but this woman shows class in her accountability and apology. I wish more politicians were this forthright.

    April 12, 2012 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  21. Dr. Fricke

    President Obama is anti-woman. His administration employs a very low percentage of women and they pay them demonstrably less. Its time to get President Obama's old-fashioned, chauvinistic policies out of the people's house.

    April 12, 2012 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  22. libertyjane

    I hope all you liberals know that Ms. Rosen is a lobbyist for SOPA.

    Care much?

    April 12, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  23. Crosscut

    Does this mean that Michelle is fair game? Seems like it. Afterall, it's not personal, it's just politics. Right?

    April 12, 2012 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    I totally agree with Hilary Rosen. Ann Romney has never had to worry about an electric bill, a water bill, or how she's going to put food on the table to feed her 5 boys. Well, my daughter has – she has 5 boys too – runs out of food before end of month – lights cut off every other month, and I just found out the boys took cold showers for nearly month this past winter – gas cut off. She told the boys not to tell anyone, I know due to pride – works 2 jobs. And she has a husband who was working 2 jobs too. My daughter chooses to stay home too, but she can't – but no complaints!!!

    All this hoopla is nothing but POLITICS – trying to win over women. And because all these new GOP laws put in place to stop supporting Plan Parenthood and Abortion Rights, poor women no longer have access health care, birth control, mammograms, etc. They are now forced to have babies that no GOP wants to feed – not even the State – because their cutting food stamps, which would help feed the kid – hell they're even trying to force hospitals to "STOP" giving free formula for the baby to take home (enough to last maybe 1-2days). Women "are" concerned about their HealthCare as well as the economy – its all one package – not either/or, but both! And it's not about Ann Romney's choice to stay home. Her husband injected her into this conversation – don't get mad when she's called out.

    Democrats please...stop going against your own party. Understand what Ms Rosen was trying to say and help expand the conversation – like the republicans do, when one of their commentators makes a gaff.

    April 12, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  25. Barbara

    Imagine if one of the woman candidates were in the running would there be a discussion about whether or not her husband was staying at home taking care of the kids or working and taking care of the home. When will real equality for women actually exist in the United States.

    April 12, 2012 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
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