Hilary Rosen disses Ann Romney: An unfair attack on stay-at-home moms?

The Democratic adviser says Mitt's wife doesn't understand economic issues facing women because she's "never worked a day in her life," sparking instant and fierce outrage

Ann Romney
(Image credit: Rick Friedman/Corbis)

President Obama and Mitt Romney's "rhetorical war over women" found a new front this week, thanks to incendiary remarks made by Democratic consultant Hilary Rosen about Ann Romney's life as a stay-at-home mom. Appearing on CNN Wednesday night, Rosen questioned how Mitt Romney's wife could understand the economic issues facing women since she's "never worked a day in her life." Later that night, Ann created a Twitter account, which debuted with the message, "I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work." Minutes later, several high-ranking members of Obama's team, including campaign manager Jim Messina and top strategist David Axelrod, disavowed Rosen's comments. Rosen herself has since apologized. But is what she said really so outrageous?

There's truth in Rosen's critique: Rosen made a legitimate point — she just used the worst possible phrasing to make it, says Ruth Marcus at The Washington Post. But think about it: Ann Romney's experience as a super-wealthy stay-at-home mom is "far from typical." Thanks to Mitt's fabulous wealth, she doesn't have to worry about common concerns like the price of gas. Rosen's assertion that, given Ann's privileged life, Mitt should not "deploy his wife as official ambassador to the land of women," is actually spot on. Too bad Rosen delivered that message with broad and offensive language.

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