• Thu, Apr 12 2012

Top Democratic Strategist Mom-Shames Ann Romney

Imagine if Rush Limbaugh said women’s opinions on the economy are worthless if they’re stay-at-home moms. Imagine if he said that women who raise children to adulthood “never worked a day” in their lives.

I’m sure we’d all be flipping out and calling for boycotts and what not. If being mean to a law student who wants birth control provided to her at no cost is a no-no, certainly going after mothers is bad, right?

These sentiments weren’t offered by some independent radio host, however. They were offered by top Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen. Here’s what Politico wrote about the imbroglio:

Democratic strategist and DNC adviser Hilary Rosen took a swipe at Mitt Romney‘s wife on CNN tonight, claiming that Ann had “never worked a day in her life” — a statement that led to criticism on Twitter from not just Ann but from the Obama campaign as well.

“I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work,” Ann wrote in response to the comments Rosen made earlier in the evening on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360.

“I could not disagree with Hilary Rosen any more strongly. Her comments were wrong and family should be off limits. She should apologize,” Obama campaign manger Jim Messina tweeted. “Also Disappointed in Hilary Rosen’s comments about Ann Romney. They were inappropriate and offensive,” Obama strategist David Axelrod added.

But Rosen isn’t backing down.

In fact, even after two other top Democratic strategists rushed out statements condemning her remarks, she stood by them.

Here’s the video showing the context of remarks (You can see that her mom-shaming was intended as wealth-shaming):

What’s perhaps most alarming is that Rosen is herself a mother. I’m in the unique position of being both a working mother and a mother who stays home full-time. I love my work and I believe it’s important for a variety of reasons. It is also difficult. I would say the exact same thing about raising children. Of course, we don’t get pay, bonuses or accolades for our work raising productive members of society. That’s why it’s particularly important that this work is valued by others.

Rosen stepped in it. And she’s having a hard time admitting she misspoke. Hopefully her friends in Democratic circles can get her to apologize for her disparaging remarks against Ann Romney.

Motherhood is a 24/7 job, and Romney — by all accounts — did a wonderful job raising her five boys. She’s done this while fighting a debilitating disease, too. This is not work that should be shamed or denigrated. Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican or something else, hopefully we can all agree that this rhetoric doesn’t help women.

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  • Katia

    Meh. She wasn’t saying Ann knows nothing about the economy because she’s “just a sahm,” just that the neither of the romneys can really relate to the concerns of most Americans, job wise. Not sure why anyone is on her back about this non-gaffe. Btw it’s not like they lacked anything due to her choice to raise 5 boys. I mean they are seriously loaded right, must have had nannies and maids too!

    War on women? Glad to hear that dems are not the ones saying this it is a ridiculous saying as both genders can be pro or anti abortion/birth control

  • Mollie Hemingway

    Thankfully President Obama’s campaign manager recognizes such mom-shaming is inappropriate. He said, “I could not disagree with Hilary Rosen any more strongly. Her comments were wrong and family should be off limits. She should apologize.”

    Good for him.

  • katia

    hi mollie,
    if family is off limits you should probably not say stuff like “whats most alarming is that she herself is a mother”

    obama rep’s statement is damage control. they are thought of as the party which supports abortion and birth control and gay rights, it would be too much (too liberal, too left, too femisist) to let a democratic strategist say something that could be interpreted by an idiot as an ‘attack on non working mothers’ or an attack on ‘traditional families”

    hillary is just doing her job, as a democratic strategist, critiqueing her opponent who himself brought up his wife’s opinion as a topic. she actually did not bring up the subject of Ann, he did! is family so off limits that this year obama and romeny should just say what their wives think during debates so that the other cannot criticize, because ‘family is off-limits’ if anything, im wondering what hillary has to back up that “romney just doesn’t see us as an equal” but maybe what it is is that he tells us ladies what his wife thinks is important to us. seriously thats a but condecending of him, to me at least.

    maybe she ‘mommy-shames,’ in her own mommy world, who knows, but this is not mommy shaming, she is purely doing her job responding to what mitt said. can’t a mom have a job and people leave her mothering out of it? honestly you guys (mommyish) are way too dramatic with your headlines but rarely have substance to back it up, plus your arguments really do not seem well thought out or edited. ha maybe you just need a better top editor, or maybe you are just annoyingly dumb just to keep people reading?! seriously i am curious if the lack of insight is deliberate or not here?

    by the way, rosen has now responded, said something nice about Ann said and that her comments were meant to criticise ronmey’s use of Ann as an expert on woment and the economy.

    • CW

      The fact that Ms. Rosen has children is totally relevant, because if she were childless, her remarks would be more understandable as plain ignorance. I don’t think most childless individuals (men or women) have a clue how much work it takes to be a decent mom. But since Ms. Rosen is a mom herself, she ought to know better.

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  • SJP

    This is the whole Mommy Wars thing …. SAHM don’t like to be considered “not working” and WOHM dont’ like to be told “someone else is raising their kids”. Both are wrong to say. I have not read/watched all of this in context… but I can tell you as a WOHM who is the primary breadwinner (husband is SAHD to our four kids) I would say that if we’re talking about equal pay for women, women’s rights in the workplace, materiny leave/benefits etc – then yes, it would make sense to question weither Ann Romney can really be a champion for the cause. I know many SAHM/SAHW that truly believe that it’s the woman’s job to be the one at home and that men should make more money/get job preference to support this tradtional lifestyle. All you have to do is go read comments on political news web sites to see that there are plenty of people who think working women are the downfall to the traditional family.

    • SJP

      Just to CLARIFY – I truly respect SAHM just as much as I respect my own SAHD husband. It is very hard work, but very rewarding and we have no regrets about having him quit his high paying career to stay home. My point is, it shouldn’t matter if it’s him who stays home or me — and I should get equal opportunity in the work force, equal pay, etc even though I’m a woman/mom.

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  • Another Steph

    “If being mean to a law student who wants birth control provided to her at no cost is a no-no, certainly going after mothers is bad, right?”

    There’s something about this sentence that bugs the hell out of me and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Is it that the writer diminishes the cruel and unecessary attack on Sandra Fluke by calling it ‘being mean’, like Limbagh is a kid in the school yard calling his classmate a poo poo head?

    Is it the insinuation that Fluke – a ‘law student who wants birth control provided to her at no cost’ – has embarked on this campaign to satisfy her own selfish needs?

    Is it the assumption that a mildly offensive, possibly taken out of context, remark is far worse than a derogatory, hate filled rant, simply because the former was directed at a mother and the latter was directed at a young, single woman with controversial views?

    Guess I could put my finger on it.

    • Fabel

      Best comment ever.

  • Fabel

    “You can see that her mom-shaming was intended as wealth-shaming”

    Doesn’t this disprove the entire premise of your article?

    • Katia

      Voila! Very common on this site, unfortunately

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