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.

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

    The Romney campaign is foolish by milking this little issue. The more it's discussed, the more people think on Ann having money and the ability to have a household staff. No concerns about gas for the car Vs. milk for the kids, pay the light or buy food. No, her choices were more like Hawaii or the Caribbean at Christmas.

    April 16, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  2. MaryM

    lol, of course she does, The Romneys would think that. But the MAJORITY of working MOMs and stay at home MOMs know the difference between doing ALL the work themselves and having the work done for you by maids, nannies. gardners, drivers and handymen.

    April 16, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. rs

    I think that while attacking the family of any candidate is pretty foul, and it is clear to anyone who has raised children and kept house that such activity is indeed"work". That said, it draws no salary, wage, pay check, pays no taxes, insurance or anything resembling what those of us in the employment world do beyond simply being "labor". Ann Ronmey then is no more an expert on working women than I am about skuba diving (hint: I am in Arizona).

    It might be said, fairly, that Mrs. Romney is part of an elite class for many reasons, one of which is that she was able to stay home and rear the children and keep house and NOT work as so many middle class and poor women must PLUS raise the clidren and keep house.

    The GOP war on women stands: they wish to end a woman's ability to control their body; even to force women to bear the clildren made from rape or incest; they are against voters' rights, civil rights, and equal pay. They are against EVERYTHING that would give women parity with themselves- a party of old, rich, white men.

    April 16, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  4. hate and lies from the right

    You mrs. Romney are insulting your nannies, cooks and chaufers

    April 16, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  5. W.G.

    Romney´s ideas about making even more cuts or eliminating Deptt. of Eucation is just another political
    nail in his coffin ! Right now the U.S. where we use to be 1st. in math and science we´re like 18th.
    and that´s due to cutbacks ! Ms. Rosen never once said anything about stay at home Moms She said
    Ann Romney never worked a day in her life . It´s one thing to point at a stain on the wall or floor
    from the jacuzzi or decide if you want fillet mingon or Turkey for dinner and give instructions to the cook !
    And it´s another to actually do the cleaning , cooking , sewing , by yourself without any help like real
    stay at home moms .

    April 16, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  6. PJ/TX

    The "defining moment" was when Ann said "it was an early birthday gift" and "she loved it". So, now we know,
    she was not offended and is grabbing at straws to make her husband seem sensitive to women. Too late, he
    has already stepped in it.

    April 16, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  7. Marsha

    Hilary Rosen disappointed me by apologizing....Give me a break! The media is so bias... They twist a story simply for rating! Why did'nt anyone mention the fact that Ann Romney had maids? Or that most women that actually stay home make the choice base on their below average wages and the cost of day care for their kids....To actually SAVE money women sometimes choose to stay home! Ann Romney never WORKED a day in her life....Nobody is referring to any kids...People we need to tell the media to stop this nonsense of highlighting what they want....Ann Romney does not know anything about Choices financial and economic Choices when it comes to raising kids...

    April 16, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  8. Wake up people

    I would also like to say I agree with Ms. Rosen 100%. Anne Robmey has absolutely no idea of how it feels to HAVE to leave your child to go to work. To listen to your baby crying for mommy as you drop him off at child care. She has absolutely no idea of how we hear our child's cries in our heads while we attempt to bring home a paycheck. She has no idea because she has been privileged all of her life, and there is nothing wrong with that, however she has absolutely no right to compare herself with the average American woman.

    OBAMA 2012!

    April 16, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. ThinkAgain

    Mrs. Mittens has never had to worry about money, so while raising 5 boys was challenging, she enjoyed the help of nannies, gardeners, cooks, housekeepers, chaffeurs, and myriad others.

    She and her hubby in NO WAY can relate to average Americans, let along moms balancing work outside the home and raising children.

    I also think it's rather sick that she considers Rosen's lame statements as a "present."

    Obama/Biden 2012

    April 16, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    So, all we have from him in terms of solutions is the usual rightie tripe about eliminating HUD and Education, as well as "combining" agencies? Did he actually come up with this recycled trash on his own, or did he go to his rightie obergruppenfuhrers to get approval first? Its amazing watching this modern-day Talleyrand be regarded by anyone as a man of principle. The only thing he believes in doing is appeasing his "backers" ( I can't really call them supporters, since we know they either regard him as their tool or the best they could find in a bad year) enough so he can have fun moving pieces around on his little game board, and chuckling about how much smarter he is than the people who send him checks. He's a dilletante, not a serious public servant, and someone who will send the economy back into freefall because he is truly clueless.

    April 16, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  11. Corporations R. People

    Yep, just like Willard's present to the issue when he said that women need to work outside the home. Insert foot in mouth once again Willard. The faux outrage (for the truth being spoken) is transparent to all of us critical thinkers, Romneys. Which Mitt strikes again!

    April 16, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  12. Publius Novus

    "Throwing out ideas?" People should vote for this gentelman based on ideas he has thrown out? Wow. That elimination of the state tax deduction will go far. He just lost Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Illinois, Michican, Indiana, and Colorado, and probably Florida. A good day's work, Mitt.

    April 16, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  13. rs

    The Romneys represent what is wrong with America today:
    * They don't care one bit for the poor and middle class
    * They would destry government that does not serve THEM
    * They feel their priviledge, don't wish to pay their way
    * They sheilded their kids and didn't send them off to war
    * Needing a home with "car elevators" somehow makes them average joes
    * They seeming exist only to perpetrate more welfare for the supremely rich
    * Through Bain, we see Mr. Ronmey feeling that closing companies, firing employees and moving jobs to China (while making a fortune) is good

    Having millionaires and billionaires is NOT a bad thing for America. Having millionaires like Romeny as President would be.

    April 16, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  14. Corporations R. People

    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.
    Or in Ann's case: dignity. Come to think of it, Willard hasn't held a job in some time either....where's his dignity?

    April 16, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  15. judy

    For Ann to think this was a present only shows her true feelings about the matter. Stay at home moms work hard but most don't have nannies maids housekeepers or people to do the shopping ,picking up of children or the money to send them to private schools. Must be nice not to worry about housepayments food bills or medical costs. To say Ann understands the economy is foolish her husband doesnt understand it either. Being rich is fine but don't act like your just a regular mom . Your not.

    April 16, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    Rudy NYC

    Is this Ann Romney's expert opinion on the economy and job creation that Mitt has been bragging about?

    Yep. Another Mitt Romney campaign "golden-bullet" talking point brought to us by TeamRomney...

    (I would also like to take the time to apologize to everyone for my duplicate posts this morning. Bit of a mix-up when you're not sure if one went through...)

    April 16, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  17. Marie MD

    Thenflipmflopper people need to find something else besides his super rich stay at home mother eith cooks, chauferd, nannies baloney.
    So she raised five sons and was a stay at home mother. So what?
    If all the stay at home mothers or women (and many men) had as much money as his rich ugly broad has it wouldn't be an issue for anyone. Unfortunately, most families need that second paycheck to survive not to spend it on going to the spa or buying that extra Caddy or horses.

    April 16, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  18. DRod


    "saying he was tossing out ideas, not unveiling policy."


    April 16, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  19. DRod

    "Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul responded to the comments, saying her candidate is tackling bold issues..."

    It looks more like Romney is throwing out BS.

    April 16, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  20. Debbie

    Ann was not attacked as a mother. She was attacked about calling motherhood a career/work. Motherhood is hard regardless of your employment. Women understand the economy regardless of their employment. The question was and is: does Ann represent the average woman and the economy. My opinion is no. She may have compassion for the average woman and the economy but she cannot have empathy as she has not walked in those shoes. The average woman and economy are not even remotely in Ann's tax bracket.

    April 16, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  21. Ellie Lightt

    Why is this story being buried by the Media ??/ Use it Rommney ....

    Just two days after President Barack Obama gave a sharply edged
    response to news anchor Larry Conners of KMOV in St. Louis after
    Conners had asked the president about Americans who get frustrated
    and even angered when they see the first family jetting around to
    different vacations and so forth, Obama told a panel at the Summit
    of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia that part of his job there was
    to scout out locations for a future vacation with First Lady Michelle Obama

    April 16, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  22. American

    Talk about milking it. Mitt Romney desperately grabs a manufactured "ssue while failing to talk about substance...

    The truth is Romney promised to get rid of healthcare planning for working mothers, and Mitt admitted to backing an amendment that would outlaw contraceptives for working women & stay at home moms.

    April 16, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  23. DRod

    Again the Republicans are wasting their time with this Rosen issue that they made up because they think it will get them more votes. The only people that are listening to this bs are people that were going to vote for them anyway. Moderates and the rest of the American people will vote for OBAMA in November because they are sick and tired or Republican and all their BS.

    April 16, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  24. John

    GOP have lost the female vote and now they are making a phony issue out of the Hilary Rosen comment. No one is disputing that women who stay at home is work but Ann Romney who is married to a Multi millionaire in Mitt is not your typical stay at home Mom. I doubt She makes the bed,cleans the house,cooks her own meals,etc.etc....She has hired help to do this. How many average Moms can afford maids,cooks,chauffeurs, and 2 Cadillac s in the drive way. Please do not make Anne Romney out to be a typical Mom with all her struggles at home worrying about how to make ends meet. Nothing could be further from the truth........

    April 16, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  25. DRod

    Can you imagine Romney as president? Not in my worst nightmare. He would be the richest presidents we ever had with no clue what most Americans are going through.

    April 16, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
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