UPDATE: Hilary Rosen has apologized to Ann Romney
Ann Romney hit back Thursday morning at a Democratic strategist who said she had "never worked a day in her life," saying she made the "career choice" to be a stay-at-home mom.
The flap started Wednesday night when Democratic consultant Hilary Rosen asserted on CNN that the wife of GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney had no business speaking about the economic concerns of women because she "never worked a day in her life." Ann Romney raised five sons and has suffered from breast cancer and multiple sclerosis.
"She should have come to my house when those five boys were causing so much trouble. It wasn't so easy," Ann Romney said during an appearance on Fox News.
"My career choice was to be a mother and I think all of us need to know that we need to respect choices that women make," she said. "Other women make choices to have a career and raise a family, which I think Hilary Rosen has actually done herself. I respect that, that’s wonderful. But you know, there are other people that have a choice, and we have to respect women and all those choices that they make."
Calling it an "awesome responsibility" to raise children, she also gave a "shout-out to all the dads that are at home raising kids."
Referencing her own hardships, Romney said she knows "what it's like to struggle."
"If maybe I haven’t struggled as much financially as some people have, I can tell you and promise you that I’ve had struggles in my life,” she said. “And I would love to have people understand that Mitt and I have compassion for people who are struggling.”
Blasting Rosen's claims that her husband "doesn't really see" women "as equals," Ann Romney said Mitt is a person who "admires women and listens to them."
“Now that does bother me,” she said. “That is not correct at all. You should see how many women he listens to, and that’s what I love about Mitt. He has so many women in his circle.”
Watch Ann Romney's appearance below, via Fox News:
Rosen did not back down from her words when appeared on CNN earlier Thursday, but said she loves "stay-at-home moms" and called being a mother "the hardest job in the world.
"This really isn’t about stay-at-home moms vs. working moms, it’s about women in general,” she said. "I love stay-at-home moms and I have nothing against them and I support them all the time."
First lady Michelle Obama also injected herself into the fray, tweeting Thursday afternoon: "Every mother works hard, and every woman deserves to be respected."