Does a woman who has never worked have authority to speak about the economic struggles women in America face? According to Democratic consultant Hilary Rosen, no. Rosen appeared on CNN earlier this week and argued that Ann Romney shouldn’t be discussing the hardships women face since she is married to a wealthy politician and has not been employed.
“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,” Rosen said on Anderson cooper’s AC360. Rosen was immediately hit with criticism. Stay at home moms all across the nation stood up and fired back. Rosen attempted to clarify that she meant Romney should not rely on/ consider Ann to be his expert in regards to economic problems facing women.
Ann Romney stood up to fight for herself. “I know what it’s like to struggle. Maybe I haven’t struggled as much financially. I can tell you and promise you that I’ve had struggles in my life,” she said. She also created a Twitter account several hours after the AC360 segment and sent the tweet “I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work.”
Her son Josh sent a tweet out shortly afterwards that read “@AnnDRomney is one of the smartest, hardest working woman I know. Could have done anything with her life, chose to raise me,” and her son Matt tweeted videos of her speaking on a newscast.
Romney’s camp and Obama’s administration have been debating for sometime over the female unemployment rate. Immediately following the incident, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney worked to distance Obama from the comments of Rosen. Michelle Obama weighed in on Twitter, tweeting “Every mother works hard, and every woman deserves to be respected.” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina also sent out a tweet that said “I could not disagree with Hilary Rosen any more strongly. Her comments were wrong and family should be off limits. She should apologize.”
The following day, Obama went on WCMH-TV in Ohio and stated, “It was the wrong thing to say. It’s not something that I subscribe to.” Obama went on to describe the efforts of Michelle and his own mother, and added “there’s no tougher job than being a mom.”
Romney supporters are coasting on the attention Rosen has received. “She did us a huge favor. “Our female base doesn’t want left-wing feminists telling them how to live their lives. She’s healing our base for us,” a senior official in the Romney campaign told NY Daily News.
According to this Christian Science Monitor article, Romney must secure approximately 40% of the female vote to have a hope of beating Obama. Ann Romney has been a help to pull in the vote of married women and conservative mothers. Will this comment by Rosen push more people away from Obama and toward Romney? Or did Obama’s team do a good job balancing the boat? Only time will tell.
How do you weigh in? Was Rosen right to say that due to her lack of employment history Ann Romney is not qualified to speak on the economic hardships of women? Or did Rosen step out of line and insult stay at home moms?