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. MarkJ

    Rosen is trying to split hairs here. She is being highly critical of Ann Romney. "Hasn't worked a day in her life..." What the hell is campaigning? raising children? fighting illness? working for and in behalf of numerous charities? Ann Romney hasn't had to be on a payroll with a time clock. Other than that clarification, work is what Ann Romney is all about. So, in the words of Hilary Rosen, "this is about politics" because Rosen MADE IT ABOUT POLITICS, politicizing the work ethic of Ann Romney. Keep it up Ann. You may well have Ann Romney as a first lady. I guess that isn't work either.

    April 12, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  2. Notalib

    You leftist, socialist, Marx and Hitler lovers are so predictable. Not one of you can think for yourself. You are the epitome of hypocrisy, intolerance, ignorance, ill mannered, uncouth and immoral. If your ideology was not so dangerous, you would be laughed at continually. No one with even just a little common sense takes you seriously. Do us all a favor, hold your breath for about half an hour

    April 12, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  3. Dan

    Thank you Samantha...you have just proven my point. The issue, which you either choose to ignore, or are totally unaware of...is that neither of the Romneys had to work to obtain the choice. They were born with it. The Obamas are actually really the example that shows a person born of lesser financial means can become rich with hard work and creativity. Both were born middle class (real middleclass, unlike the Romneys) and became millionaires based, not on their father being head of GM and Governor or Michigan (Mitt Romney), but based on a book written by POTUS and the salary of FLOTUS. Both Mitt and Ann were born into wealth, and therefore, did not have to work for the choices they currently have!

    April 12, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  4. The truth

    Hilary Rosen, SOPA lobbyist and shadow author.

    April 12, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  5. alvinjh

    The left will attack like this then–back off saying no harm intended–then rephrase the same sentiment a different way and continue the class warfare and politics of personal destruction. Its how they wage politics now. I can't wait to see this "Chicago" machine kicked to the curb. Very disgusted by the dems these days.

    April 12, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  6. iodiner

    White women....don't be fooled by obbama and the democrats. They're manufacturing "controversial" issues like contraception because they think they can bait you. But you can see by Hillary Rosen's comments about American motherhood – and obbama's response – how the left really views women. This administration already knows they've lost the white male vote – they've publicly acknowledged it – so don't betray your men by voting for this deceptive and hostile empty-suit.

    April 12, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  7. Perspective

    Rosen, dear.....we don't believe that the only people allowed to speak about or relate to an issue have to have lived it. Really. Think about it, if that were true, you would not be allowed to speak about much.

    April 12, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  8. ECH

    These kind of public comments by DNC staffers and strategists for Obama give us insight once again into their arrogance. It is also laughable that when Obama is targeting women, one of his no-brainer leftists blows it by
    prejudicial remarks that that typically come from intellectualist, faminist liberals, ever since they started beating
    up the family as some sub-standard calling for women, who 'deserve' more power, wealth and political authority.

    April 12, 2012 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  9. Another Day in the Idiot Mines

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

    No kidding! The thin-skinned righties and Rmoney Robot groupies ignore the near daily attacks on the First Lady by the rightwing media. Hypocrites all.

    April 12, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  10. taraneh

    The democrat war on women started long before their new attack on the front female GOP, Ann Romney. Did they forget about Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman and Nikkie Haley??

    Ann, you are an attractive, appealing, outspoken, smart, woman but also a Republican. So you scare the hell out of democraps. They will come after you like there is no tomorrow and so will their media machine journolistas. Grow a thick skin and remember your sisters in arms have your back.

    April 12, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  11. hammer

    Rosen is a hateful woman.Why does dem. women hate to see a repul. woman I'll never understand it.

    April 12, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  12. John

    Thanks Hillary Rosen for exposing the hypocrisy of the left.

    April 12, 2012 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  13. A Candid Look

    No she is right it is not personal... no wait the remarks were very direct and, one could say, almost vicious.... But that is just liberal politics... much like we see here....

    April 12, 2012 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  14. bradleyf

    The mere concept of BHO and HR implying that they are “like regular folks” is both condescending and ridiculous. How much does HR make? And here we have BHO saying that he and Michelle could not afford to live on one salary—heck, at one point Michelle was making over 300K at that sinecure job in Chicago. Why didn’t her husband stay home with the kids?

    So it’s backfiring class war, mixed with what sure smells like gender war.

    “Tone deaf” does not begin to describe it. And Romney is the one out of touch?

    good can come of it
    no work for Comm Consultant
    EPIC FAIL, Rosen!

    April 12, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  15. Jan930

    Rosen, you go girl. They can't stand the truth. I had four kids, went to work five days a week , sometimes six , cooked and cleaned my house. And still did all the things mothers with children have to do. I bet Ann has never changed a dirty diaper.

    April 12, 2012 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  16. A Candid Look

    It appears to be my name

    April 12, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  17. Essie

    OBAMA FOR WOMEN!!! ...I clearly undersood what Hillary was saying! She stated that Ann can not speak for Romney concerning economics because she never had to go out and work for a paycheck. So, Hillary did not say anything wrong! ...Back off her & Michelle you people that's talking nonsense!!! ~OBAMA 2012!!!

    April 12, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  18. Bill in STL

    trying using my original name

    April 12, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  19. Lee

    Rosen must feel all warm and fuzzy with the support she's received from Obama and team. Guess she's learned a valuable lesson – "they only like you when you're useful to them, otherwise watch out..."

    April 12, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  20. Polen Guillott

    While we are talking about who is out of touch with reality, how about those thousands of "Occupiers" who have not worked a day in their lives, the females are squirting out babies which Mrs. Romney, myself and others must pay for with the taxes we all pay from our EARNED income...It seems as though Ms. Rosen, Messrsr. Obama, Axelrod and other Democrats are declaring war on only Women who have made a place for themselves in the community and in society.
    It is personal Ms. Rosen . You and your political cal party should be ashamed. Do not bother to apologize. Just go away.

    April 12, 2012 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  21. AquaStar

    I wonder how many of you supporting Rosen's claims voted for the ever so rich Mr. Kerry whose wife played a significant role in his campaign (including bankrolling it). I never heard a peep about her tremendous wealth...far more than the Romney's enjoy which she married into and when her 1st husband died Kerry MARRIED into.

    Nor Jackie Kennedy or any of the other Kennedy wives who were the epitome of the wealthy politican's wife. Nor anyone of the fabulously wealthy Democrat donors who have trophy wives who are "not working".

    To Debbie specifically...yes it is a responsibility to be a parent and a privilege to stay home with them. But it IS work..the greatest job you can ever have and the most rewarding.

    Spoken from as a single mom who stayed home until my children got into school and I will never regret it.

    Everyone makes choices. Ann Romney is a woman of substance, courage (a cancer survivor) and someone who faces a dehibilitating disease with grace.

    Attacking her is a losing proposition...PERIOD.

    Move along...

    April 12, 2012 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  22. jlf

    all Hilary needed to do was add to the end of her statement "she never worked a day in her life TO EARN A PAYCHECK TO SUPPORT HER FAMILY" and this would not have been a story.

    April 12, 2012 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  23. Dianne Falls

    There are a lot of stay at home mothers but that does'nt mean every mother that stay at home has the responsibility to take care of their children. A lot of mothers that can afford the luxury of a live in maid usually has the luxury of that person taking care of the children too.

    April 12, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  24. kelo

    Dementocrats have managed during these most recent 20 days to soil their undies in so many ways that I've lost count. Thank Gawd they cannot control their drooling.

    April 12, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  25. Rota

    Why Rosen said that she is fine and agree with first day said that the lady raising children is correct but other are politics??? What is Rosen talking about???

    April 12, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
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