April 13th, 2012
02:18 AM ET
10 years ago

Republican strategist slams Democrats’ response to Hilary Rosen

(CNN) – A Republican strategist is defending Hilary Rosen following her controversial comment that Ann Romney has "never worked a day in her life."

About 24 hours after Rosen made the comment, drawing the rebuke of Democrats and Republicans alike, Bay Buchanan has come to her rescue. Rosen has since apologized for the comment.

"In this business that we are in, this awful rotten business of politics, there's no reason why you can't understand that we, being humans, are going to make mistakes sometimes - and you distance yourself from the words," Buchanan said Thursday on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360."

But, she added, "You don't distance yourself from the person."

Rosen made the comment Wednesday on the program.

"What you have is Mitt Romney running around the country, saying, 'Well, you know, my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues, and when I listen to my wife, that's what I'm hearing,’ “ she said. “ Guess what? His wife has actually never worked a day in her life."

The comment drew criticism from President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday, as well as high profile political operatives.

Romney responded to the comment on Wednesday, tweeting, "I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work."

In a Thursday appearance on Fox News, she said, "We have to respect women in all those choices that they made."

Obama said "there is no tougher job than being a mom," and, "anybody who would argue otherwise, I think, probably, needs to rethink their statement." Biden said Rosen had "absolutely" overstepped, and called the language "outrageous" in an interview on MSNBC.

Republicans, including Romney advisers, sought to tie Rosen to the Democratic National Committee, Obama and the White House. They pointed to her name in White House visitor logs.

But Buchanan, who is also an adviser to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, said Democrats went too far.

"Hilary has been enormously loyal and committed to this president, and to have them, to spend a day just trying to distance themselves, say she's not an adviser, she's not this," Buchanan said. "That is unacceptable to me. She has been too good to them, for them to treat her this way."

Rosen said she appreciated Buchanan's comments, and suggested political rhetoric needed to be dialed down.

"I think that that's going to be our challenge over the next six or seven months, is to not do this to each other and to say, you know what, I know that person, I know that they didn't mean that," she said. "Or maybe they did mean it and they need to say that they - back it up with facts."

Having apologized for the Wednesday comments, Rosen suggested she was ready to move on.
"Tomorrow we're all going to wake up and I'm going to stay off TV," she said.

Filed under: 2012 • Ann Romney
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Malory Archer

    Romney responded to the comment on Wednesday, tweeting, "I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work."

    In a Thursday appearance on Fox News, she said, "We have to respect women in all those choices that they made."


    Some women don't really have a choice. They have to work because their spouse's employers pay them $#!+ wages with no bennies while while threatening to send their jobs overseas if they complain or attempt to unionize. Or they have to work because Mrs. Romney's husband bought the business that the spouse worked at, sold off everything he could to line his own pockets and tossed those workers into the street.

    That the rethugs are so offended by a true statement and then remain silent with their chins in their chests (or in come cases, double down on the comments) when an ELECTED OFFICIAL calls a large number of Democratic Congressmembers/Senators "card carrying communists" speaks volumes.

    April 13, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  2. Push

    there is a distinct difference between an average stay at home Mom and a stay at home mom that has $200mil

    April 13, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  3. Chipster

    Republicans are great at taking comments out of context and using them to divide us on gender, race, religion, and economic issues. In context, Rosen's comments were clearly stated that Romney claimed his wife was advising him on women's economic issues. Ann Romney has never worked outside the home – that's a fact. She has never had to work 2 or 3 part time jobs, the kind that offer no health benefits, in order to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. Rosen never disparaged Ann Romney or stay-at-home Mothers! It's simply a fact: If Ann Romney is Mitt Romney's economic adviser on women's economic issues, he is not getting a real picture of the struggles that many Mothers face. Anyone who has ever had a Mother knows how hard the majority of them work to raise their children.

    I'm so tired of Republicans dividing us with false impressions by cherry-picking words and pulling them out of context. It doesn't help our nation to be divided with misinformation and it's simply dishonest.

    April 13, 2012 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  4. Gurgyl

    Hillary we love u. No wrong.

    April 13, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  5. Joan

    The Republicans should rethink how they are exploiting this issue. Ms. Rosen's remarks were not that controversial when put into the whole context of her statement. This issue is now focussing on Mrs. Romney's actual life which everyone must admit has been pretty luxurious. She has had serious health problems but so do many American women and they may not have health care coverage if her husband gets in and repeals the health care act. Now millions of women who look into the whole matter may start to compare their lives to Mrs. Romney's and realize they are polar opposites. She does not and cannot represent everyday working or stay at home moms who are worried about paying for groceries and braces for the kids. She is a lovely lady but she does not represent millions of working class women across the country. That is just a fact.

    April 13, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  6. Dowgirl

    I think there are a lot of women who agree with Ms. Rosen...

    April 13, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  7. Out of Texas

    President Obama still has my vote.

    April 13, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  8. Puddin

    Since Ann Romney married well and has some health problems, it is doubtful she handled five children day in and day out on her own. I would imagine she had lots of household help including care-takers for the children, and power to her if that's the case, because running after children daily is a very tiring chore. I expect what Rosen meant was that Mrs. Romney had never worked outside the home along with being a mom and homemaker.like most women have had to do. However, everyone should take a deep breath and move on. But of course, the Repubs are using it to put the Dems down...what else is new?

    April 13, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  9. Mikey

    So this comment sucks the air out of an entire media cycle, while Allen West accuses about 80 unnamed members of Congress of being Communists and it barely gets a peep. His name has been put forward as a potential Veep nominee. Not only that, but another TP favorite of Congress, Michele Bachmann said essentially the same thing. I guess the take-away is that when you are a Teabaggie favorite, you're not expected to be rational, so you are held to a lower standard than Democrats?

    April 13, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  10. Ray E. (Georgia)

    One should be sure brain engaged before opening mouth. BUT, we forgive you Hillary! You know not what you do. It is a given for most democrats for at least 75 years! You know. Nearly 16 Trilloon dollars in debt. A lot of people are not working, no?

    April 13, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  11. Richard Miller

    Sorry, but raising five boys on a millionaires salary is NOT like raising five boys on twenty grand a year. Get over yourself Mrs. Romney for if you are going to open your pie hole to comment on the election you are opening yourself to the public spotlight and the comments that go along with it. Having lots of money doesn't make you any better than those that don't.

    April 13, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  12. Linda

    Face it Ann Romney may have been a stay at home mom and raised 5 boys, but I can't believe she didnt have the help of Nanny's, maids ( in their many million dollar homes) especially due to her illnesses that she didn't have the help that their money could buy. That is a bit different for single women or women in marriages that have struggled to work and some having to work and hold down 2 jobs to pay their bills, put food on their table, take care of their children and their homes and work at the same time, do all the stuff that mothers do in taking them to sports practices, lessons, and even trying to save for their childrens educations......Ann Romney didn't have to do all that.....I agree a stay at home mother works very hard at raising her family, I did it, I didn't work, but the women that do have to work to support their families and still do all the house work, cooking, taking care of their sick children, help them with homework after a full days work at the office, do a hell of a lot more.....and they don't get the same pay as a man..... that is very discouraging......that is what Rosen was trying to say.....Ann Romney hasn't worked outside of the home, so she doesn't have any idea how hard it is to run a home and family and at the same time hold down a full time job and come home and worry about the bills, education for their children, and putting food on the table.

    April 13, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  13. Tyrone

    Why it be when asked about Lilly Ledbetter Law, The Gop runs & hides under a rock? Why Dat Be ???

    April 13, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  14. Larry in Houston

    most people with 1/2 a brain knew what Hillary Rosen meant – but the republicans are going to spin this for awhile, like they typically do with everything. She wasn't talking about working at Home. She was talking about punching a time clock – or sliding a card key – getting Paid Once a week, or once every 2 weeks, and Actually Working for a Company, or some type of Boss, Outside the Home. ( not the way the republicans are putting the "spin" on this)

    April 13, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  15. Dan Cain

    This is so much about political spin and so little about substance. The facts remain, Ms. Romney has not worked a day in her life outside of the house. That is a choice she made. But it is a choice that can be made by a relative few women and most without the resources Ms. Romney had at her disposal. Most mothers would choose to stay at home with their children were there no economic downfall from doing so. And most who do stay at home don't have the access to things like nanny's, or expensive summer camps to give them a respite from their child rearing responsibilities. The point Rosen was making, that Ms. Romney, based upon her experience, was not a good spokesperson for the economic impact felt by the average American woman, working outside of the home or not, was and continues to be right on. Stop with the dog wagging!

    April 13, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  16. Chumlee

    Rosen is correct: Ann Romney has never worked outside her homes. In her homes she has the help of nannies,
    house cleaning, car cleaning, health care and other personnel to help her raise her 5 children – none of whom, in fact, have ever served their country.

    Really hard work to raise children with 24-hour attendants. Ann Romney does nothave a sense of the real world, and
    Ms. Rosen's point is correct.

    The Republicans need an issue like this to rally around. Seems there are much more important issues to deal with than
    a non-working stay-at-home mother.

    April 13, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  17. Paul

    Give me a break. Does Ann Romney come home to make dinner after driving the kids in a car pool to baseball or scouts? Does she drive herself or have someone else do it? Does she bake the cookies to take to school? Does she go shopping at the local market and know the price of milk? does she help the kids with the homework at night? Does she have people who work for her clean the house or cut the yard or does she do it herself? I kinda doubt she is a middle class stay at home Mom.

    April 13, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  18. Randy, San Francisco

    The GOP/Tea Party strategy is never say sorry for outrageous, false, and inflammatory statements.

    April 13, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
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