Democratic Strategist Hilary Rosen appeared on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 Wednesday night, where she delivered an unprovoked attack on Ann Romney:
“His wife has actually never worked a day in her life. She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school and how do we . . . why we worry about their future.”
The shocking comment was met with criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike.
Shortly after the remark, Ann Romney delivered her inaugural tweet. “I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys Believe me it was hard work.” Romney appeared on Fox News the next morning, where she addressed the issue.
“She should have come to my house when those five boys were causing so much trouble, it wasn’t so easy,” Romney said. “My career choice was to be a mother. And I think all of us need to know that we need to respect the choices that women make. Other women make other choices to have a career and raise a family, which I think Hilary Rosen has actually done herself. I respect that, that’s wonderful…. We have to respect women in all those choices that they make.”
The First Lady distanced herself from the fellow Democrat’s remarks, tweeting “Every mother works hard, and every woman deserves to be respected.” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina tweeted: “I could not disagree with Hilary Rosen any more strongly. Her comments were wrong and family should be off limits. She should apologize.”
David Axelrod remarked: “Also Disappointed in Hilary Rosen’s comments about Ann Romney. They were inappropriate and offensive.”
The out-of-line and unprovoked verbal attack rightly dominated the news cycle Thursday, as the remark opened the door for the Romney campaign to try and close the gender gap he faces against Obama. The remark also comes as Democrats have put much of their campaign focus on the idea that there is a “War on Women” waged by the GOP.Romney has now tried to use this rhetoric against Obama in reaction to the Rosen comments, as POLITICO reports that the campaign arranged a call with female surrogates Wednesday morning to discuss the Obama administration’s record on women.
The New York Times reports that the number of jobs held by women is 683,000 lower than it was in January 2009, while there are only 57,000 fewer jobs held by men.
“Real News from The Blaze” opened the show Thursday discussing the controversy. While there was no argument that Rosen’s comments were out-of-line, S.E. Cupp and Jedediah Bila questioned whether this woman-on-woman attack on a conservative is anything new.
Panelists Buck Sexton and Will Cain pressed that comments like Rosen’s are bound to emerge when political commentators use certain rhetoric, and politicians push policies that divide Americans against one another on lines of gender, race, or class.