Romney floats new proposals, Ann Romney calls Rosen controversy a 'present'
April 16th, 2012
09:33 AM ET
9 years ago

Romney floats new proposals, Ann Romney calls Rosen controversy a 'present'

(CNN) – A Mitt Romney campaign official responded Monday to reports the presumptive Republican presidential nominee floated the possibility of eliminating or restructuring certain government agencies, saying he was tossing out ideas, not unveiling policy.

At a fundraiser in Palm Beach Florida on Sunday, Romney included the elimination of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and a restructuring of the Department of Education among his ideas aimed at reforming Washington, according to reports from NBC News and The Wall Street Journal.

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"I'm going to take a lot of departments in Washington, and agencies, and combine them. Some eliminate," Romney said.

Romney suggested he might eliminate HUD, which his late father George Romney once headed, and either consolidate or reduce the size of the Education Department.

The frontrunner also detailed how he would maintain the progressive tax code while implementing his 20% across-the-board tax cut, according to NBC.

"I'm going to probably eliminate for high income people the second home mortgage deduction," Romney said, adding he would likely do away with deductions for state income and property taxes.

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul responded to the comments, saying her candidate is tackling bold issues while President Barack Obama is "interested only in offering excuses and blaming others for his failures."

"Governor Romney has also laid out a bold set of proposals that will grow our economy, cut spending, and get our massive debt under control," Saul said.

Ben LaBolt, press secretary for the president's re-election effort, said Romney's comments prove the candidate would "make deep cuts in programs essential to the middle class like education and housing."

Discussing recent campaign headlines, Romney and his wife Ann characterized the critical comments from Democratic strategist and CNN contributor Hilary Rosen last week as a "gift" and "present."

The former Massachusetts governor said the remark, in which Rosen said Ann had "never worked a day in her life," allowed his campaign to show contrast with Democrats at the start of the general election with Obama.

Ann, the mother of five whose birthday is Monday, said the exchange was an early present.

"It was my early birthday present from someone to be critical of me as a mother, and that was really a defining moment, and I loved it," she said.

Ann Romney engaged Rosen, following the initial remark on CNN, in her inaugural tweet on Thursday. A media firestorm followed.

Also see:

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McCain: I agree with Ann Romney

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    What a disgusting, entitled, desperate couple.

    April 16, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  2. Sandy

    Great birthday present...LOL
    Mitt Romney: Mothers Should Be Required To Work Outside Home Or Lose Benefits..

    April 16, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |

    Willard is making up things as he goes along. As far as Ann and her fake outrage goes, get a REAL job!

    April 16, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  4. Randy, San Francisco

    Smoke and mirrors. Romney's ideas won't get pass the Tea Party extremists in his own party.

    April 16, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  5. Really?

    And these are the folks some people would like to see in the white house? Our country has sunken to a new low. SMH.

    April 16, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  6. lyn

    Ann Ronmey, Hilary Rosen is right , you never have to worry where the next meal will come from, you don't care a dan about us the poor STOP pretending that you care, we are not STUPID.

    April 16, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  7. Chumlee

    Isn't this guy past the time where he should be "throwing out ideas".

    Obviously, Mittens is as lost today as he has always been.

    Yep, the GOP really knows its stuff here with this guy.

    April 16, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  8. Bill

    A present? Well, enjoy your gift becasue you will never be FLOTUS.

    April 16, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  9. Namejkane fl live from teapublican moon base no taxes, no regulation no health care, free gas.

    Ann romney never worked a day in her life out side the homes after she married her thief husband and can't relate to the average American family , anyway Dem landslide coming in Nov , try again in 2016 and take another loss .

    April 16, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  10. chuck weidemann

    So let's do away with the deduction for property tax and state income tax....great now every middle income earner will pay the money the ultra rich don't have to because republicans won't pass the Buffet law. It's already started and Romney isn't even president. No more DOE or HUD! Wow who loses there? Come on people use your brains....

    April 16, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  11. GI Joe

    Hey you people that worked 40 years to pay off your house - he's gonna take away your property tax deduction (as the taxes go up in your own state). Can you say "stealing more" from the workers to give to the wealthiest in lower taxes? CORPORATIST AMERICA (Fascism=Corporatism).

    Think about it.

    April 16, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  12. king

    Ann has no experience how to change a diaper, take out trash, breast feed, bath the kids, and take them to school and soccer practice like a working class or a middle class soccer mom does. She has no clue of being a stay at home mom, so of course she is happy that Rosen was trying to class her as regular stay at home moms.

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

    The only way these two will see the inside of the White House is on a tour.

    April 16, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  14. Marvin Harris

    Wow, he wants to get rid of HUD. He really is out of touch with the poor.

    April 16, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  15. Wolf needs to go

    Eliminate deductions for high income and state taxes... so he is wanting to raise taxes? Combine agencies... but not eliminate... I think we call that smoke and mirror tactics... you still have the agency and all it's employee's, you just put them under a different name.

    Why doesn't he just come out and say it... he wants to tear government agencies apart... cut everyones wages... get rid of regulations so his investors make more money... and then leave office knowing he destroyed the middle class.

    April 16, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  16. Joi Gibson

    With all due respect to Mrs. Romney, no matter how badly worded Ms. Rosen's comments were, the fact of the matter is Mrs. Romeny does not worry about the things the average woman does, i.e., not being able to afford healthcare, trading off which bills to pay and which not, daycare because the woman HAS to work. Mrs. Romney simply has no frame of reference for these issues. Lucky for her, they are wealthy and more power to her. But please do not act like Mrs. Romney is an everyday working mother who HAS to work. And why does she "report" to Williard. He is running for president, shouldn't he know these things. I am so over Willard. The guy is an opportunist. He just comes off as very fake. Even his laugh does not sound sincere.

    April 16, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  17. Larry L

    My mother raised four kids as a working mom. She would be both disgusted and amused that Ann Romney thinks her job is hard. We worried about having enough food to eat and dreaded the possibility of an injury or illness. She went to work when she was sick because nobody else paid the bills.

    We didn't worry about managing the cooks, wait staff, the maids, the gardeners, or the pool boys. American does not need this elitist group making decisions for working people.

    April 16, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  18. GI Joe

    Raise taxes on the middle class that managed through years of hard work to get their house paid for, then give his buddies tax cuts. Combine agencies and lay off more WORKING AMERICANS. Maybe he will outsource our government to the country that give him the most cash. Who knows? He'll definitely say something totally different tomorrow - just don't know which direction that will be.

    April 16, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  19. Anthony

    Mitt Romney said this January that women who stay at home to raise their children should be given federal assistance for child care so that they can enter the job market and "have the dignity of work." Clearly Ann Romney does not need the "dignity of work."

    Mitt Romney: the gift that keeps on giving. There should be an investigation of Obama. No one should be this lucky in his political opponents.

    April 16, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  20. Joan

    Unfortunately Mrs. Romney's comment about the "Hilary Rosen/Moms at home" controversy being a gift to her shows just how insincere she really is about the issue. She is obviously using it totally for political reasons, all the while criticizing the Democrats for their policies on women's rights and saying they are just political. Mrs. Romney's indignation about the comments and pretending she really understands how millions of middle class, financially struggling mothers feel is getting pretty thin. She is a lovely lady but she in no way represents the regular stay at home, working or single moms. That is just a fact. This issue is now starting to backfire on the Republicans because it is shedding the spotlight on Mrs. Romney and showing another example of how diffferent and out of touch this couple really are.

    April 16, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  21. SkyKing

    Talk about radical!
    This guy Romney is a nut job.
    With money. Lots of it. Money to buy the votes of the barely literate in an attempt to buy the White House.
    He and the rest of the crop make me embarrassed to be a Republican.

    April 16, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  22. Babyboomer

    Of course they would consider this fake controversy a gift, for a losing campaign that is... Hillary Rosen was right, Ann Romney has no idea what working poor and middle class mothers go thru everyday, stay at home or otherwise. Her life experience is one of "Unearned Privilege". The Romneys are clueless when it comes to hardworking Americans. Their desire to get to the White House has nothing to do with wanting to help the 99%.

    April 16, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |

    Poor women who stay at home to raise their children should be given
    federal assistance for child care so that they can enter the job market
    and "have the dignity of work," Mitt Romney said in January,
    undercutting the sense of extreme umbrage he showed when Democratic
    strategist Hilary Rosen quipped last week that Ann Romney had not
    "worked a day in her life."I wanted to increase the work requirement," said Romney. "I said, for
    instance, that even if you have a child 2 years of age, you need to go
    to work. And people said, 'Well that's heartless.' And I said, 'No, no,
    I'm willing to spend more giving day care to allow those parents to go
    back to work. It'll cost the state more providing that daycare, but I
    want the individuals to have the dignity of work.'"Romney's January view echoes a remark he made in 1994 during his failed Senate campaign. "This is a different world than it was in the 1960s
    when I was growing up, when you used to have Mom at home and Dad at work

    April 16, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  24. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Ann's children are in their upper 20's and 30's. They have been out of the complex, so Ann could have joined the workforce any time over the last 12 years, but evidently, they did not need the money, insurance, or social security.

    April 16, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  25. Rudy NYC

    "I like firing people."

    You can add the middle class to that list of people that Mitt Romney is planning to fire.

    April 16, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
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