Video: Ann Romney responds to stay-at-home mom controversy on “America’s Newsroom”

posted at 1:21 pm on April 12, 2012 by Tina Korbe

If she weren’t doubling down on her controversial comments and dismissing the genuine consternation she caused as “faux outrage,” Hilary Rosen might actually inspire a little pity in me. Oh, I wouldn’t feel sorry for her because she’s been vigorously rebuked by the right. No, I’d feel sorry for her because I know — as she seems not to have known — that few women could possibly come out looking more sympathetic or appealing as persons by inviting comparisons with Ann Romney. Breast cancer survivor, MS patient, devoted wife and, er, hard-working mother, Mrs. Romney is a woman to admire and to emulate. By comparison, Rosen seems about as small as — what’s our comparison du jour, again? oh, that’s right — an insect.

Not surprisingly, then, Romney’s handling of Rosengate has been far better than Rosen’s. While Rosen, to borrow a sarcastic phrase from Jim Treacher, shows off her expertise in damage control, Ann Romney delivers this:


What I like best about this interview is that Ann Romney saves her ire for one of Rosen’s more overlooked comments. Martha MacCallum plays a clip of the Obama insider saying this about Mitt Romney:

He seems so old-fashioned when it comes to women and I think that comes across and I think that that’s going to hurt him over the long-term because he doesn’t really see us as equals.

Ann responds with a slightly sterner voice, “Now, that does bother me.”

It bothers me, too. Just because Mitt supports stay-at-home motherhood, he doesn’t see women as equals? Sometimes, I think it’s women like Rosen who don’t think women are equal. If they did, they would recognize that it’s worth just as much to stay home with children as it is to work outside the home.

That’s true in terms of economics, too. Does Rosen not pay her daycare provider? Do we as a society not pay housecleaners, chauffeurs, teachers and nurses? Stay-at-home parents fill all these roles at one time or another. One working spouse plus one stay-at-home spouse equals one of the best possible of all economic partnerships! It’s time for Rosen and others to remember that the marketplace – in which all “working” men and women work — actually arose to satisfy the needs of the household, not the other way around.

In Hallie Lord’s excellent and entertaining book Style, Sex and Substance, contributor Rebecca Ryskind Teti explains:

There was a time when each household had to provide everything for itself. Economy, in fact, comes from the Greek word for household management, and it refers to all the activity necessary for a household to have what it needs. Each family planted crops, hunted game, spun its own cloth and so forth in a division of labor that assured that everyone in the household had what he or she needed to live well. And a household typically included not only a nuclear family, but also extended relatives and servants, because it took a lot of people to perform all the necessary tasks.

“Business” is a form of task specialization by which the household outsources to others what it used to have to do by itself. Increasing specialization of this kind has led to massive changes in social organization, but it hasn’t changed the essential nature of the activity, which is to provide households with what they need to live well. We don’t talk about economics in these terms because we have become philosophical materialists, interested only in what and how, never concerning ourselves with the questions of origin (Why does this arise?) or purpose (To what end is it ordered?). It’s not necessary for a woman to “contribute” to the world of work. The world of work exists to be sure she has what she needs for her family (emphasis mine).

So, um, actually, Mitt Romney should be asking Ann about the economy. She and other stay-at-home moms like her know it better than anyone.

Meanwhile, feminists should take a good, hard look at themselves and ask what kind of sad self-contempt it is that leads them to decry what is traditionally considered “women’s work” as somehow worth less than what is traditionally considered “man’s work.” Guess what? There are some things that women (in general — yes, I’m stereotyping here) can’t do that men can do – but the same is true in reverse. Men can’t do all that we can (especially the obvious — birth children!). Why do we as women feel so compelled to try to do what only men can do to prove our equality? They don’t feel compelled to try to birth children to prove theirs.


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Fair or not, many voters who don’t pay close attention to politics judge the candidates on such things as who their spouses are.
It would seem like this area could be one of Mitt’s biggest strengths in this campaign.

Right Mover on April 12, 2012 at 3:06 PM

But has Obama called Ann yet?

Swerve22 on April 12, 2012 at 3:09 PM

“What is it the White House, the administration, the President is doing to convince women in this country that they care about them more than he does?”

Lying.

LoganSix on April 12, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Let me see if I’ve got this right, liberals: When some 30-year-old parasite whines that students (like her) at Georgetown University can’t get free birth control, then she’s a HERO, and hellfire shall fall upon anyone who speaks ill of her. In contrast, when a woman succeeds in raising five children according to how she and her husband see fit, while developing MS along the way and also manages to stare down breast cancer, she should be dismissed as frivolous and without a care in the world or serious thought in her head.

If this is how Obama’s us-versus-them campaign strategy is going to be, then Romney will win all 57 states next November.

86 on April 12, 2012 at 3:16 PM

well..according to liberals…Palin is an unfit mother because she got a job ….. went on to be a Governor…..and didn’t stay at home with her kids didn’t abort a special needs child when she had the chance.

Right Mover on April 12, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Obama sent Hilary Rosen out there to say what she did in hopes of damaging Mitt Romney’s wife so she can’t help in the campaign.

This President and his advisers might know their loony base, but when it comes to most of America and families and their values, this group couldn’t possibly be more tone deaf.

Right Mover on April 12, 2012 at 3:27 PM

Just when I thought the GOP owned the full rights to the moniker “Party of Stupid” the Donks come along and do their level worst to make Mittens into a sympathetic character.

Forget Mittens.

Lock him up until after election day and make Ann Romeny the face of the GOP ticket.

This gal has “gravitas”! (Her hubby, not so much…)

Bruno Strozek on April 12, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Hilary Rosen = misogynist

vilebody on April 12, 2012 at 3:38 PM

GO ANN!!

Leave it to Obama and company to wage a War on Moms.

Liberals scoff at you if you have multiple children. They think it’s “environmentally irresponsible” and wonder why you didn’t get your tubes tied or have abortions after the first. The worst, most hardcore leftists and pro-abortion feminists (in other words, strident Obama voters) have no trouble talking about children in dehumanizing ways, calling them parasitic leeches on the planet’s resources. It’s quite creepy, actually.

bluegill on April 12, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Obama sent Hilary Rosen out there to say what she did in hopes of damaging Mitt Romney’s wife so she can’t help in the campaign.

Guss whom Hillary Rosen’s firm represents? Yep. Sandra “the Slut” Fluke.

Minnfidel on April 12, 2012 at 3:39 PM

But has Obama called Ann yet?

Swerve22 on April 12, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Nice observation.

bluegill on April 12, 2012 at 3:39 PM

She will make a great First Lady! Heck, I would vote for her over Obama. This is a co-Presidency I could get behind.

Rockshine on April 12, 2012 at 3:55 PM

With six months left, I imagine Obama and/or his minions will step in at least 10 more times. If it wasn’t such a serious election, it might be funny to watch them try so hard to come out on top of an issue and end up taking ten steps back.

salem on April 12, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Bruno Strozek on April 12, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Bruno – Knock off the “mittens” crap unless you admit to be a liberal/marxist troll. You aren’t helping and you are disrespectful to a better man than you. And I was not a Romney fan, but I support him and other conservatives.

Old Country Boy on April 12, 2012 at 4:05 PM

The Obama campaign’s just probing for weaknesses. They’ll try this angle and many others over the coming year.

tom on April 12, 2012 at 4:17 PM

I had the pleasure of meeting Ann back in early February when they were campaining in NH, Class and Dignity, the likes the dems/progs will never know.

D-fusit on April 12, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Way to go Ann! Why hasn’t Sarah Palin gotten in on this yet?

Swerve22 on April 12, 2012 at 1:31 PM

What a weird question! Why exactly should Palin have jumped in?

tom on April 12, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Looking forward to the “Hitler Hears About Hilary Rosen” rant.

starboard lookout on April 12, 2012 at 4:22 PM

Bruno Strozek on April 12, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Bruno – Knock off the “mittens” crap unless you admit to be a liberal/marxist troll. You aren’t helping and you are disrespectful to a better man than you. And I was not a Romney fan, but I support him and other conservatives.

Old Country Boy on April 12, 2012 at 4:05 PM

I don’t think anyone is obligated to “knock off the ‘mittens’ crap.” I’ve never really called Mitt Mittens or Willard, but if we’re going to have sycophants trying to whip us all into line, don’t be surprised when it backfires.

tom on April 12, 2012 at 4:28 PM

tom on April 12, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Sarah Palin is all about Sarah Palin. She can’t handle the fact that Ann Romney is now the leading woman in the GOP.

It’s sad but true.

NickDeringer on April 12, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Old Country Boy on April 12, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Mittens.

Been here longer than your sorry ass, OCB.

Frying pan. Fire. Etc.

Bruno Strozek on April 12, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Sarah Palin is all about Sarah Palin. She can’t handle the fact that Ann Romney is now the leading woman in the GOP.

It’s sad but true.

NickDeringer on April 12, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Palin must remind you of every woman who’s ever turned you down. Sad, but true.

Way to go Ann! Why hasn’t Sarah Palin gotten in on this yet?

Swerve22 on April 12, 2012 at 1:31 PM

What a weird question! Why exactly should Palin have jumped in?

tom on April 12, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Yeah, I don’t see why she should either, especially considering how the GOP’s PDSers were always criticizing her for criticizing the media for sliming her. It’s good to see that whining about media snark is acceptable again, though.

ddrintn on April 12, 2012 at 5:13 PM

My take is that since the feminist movement encouraged women to enter the work force, inflation — for both simple economic and governmentally-generated reasons — has remarkably kept pace with per-family incomes. So now after women’s lib, that women can’t avoid working while raising children is the natural result. Women have wanted “to have it all” and now they’re stuck with it.

How is this a conservative problem?

And besides that, Rosen chooses to work. How can a woman who chooses to work know the struggles of a woman who doesn’t have a choice?

Beyond this, we know that if you don’t secure the foundations for a good earning potential, like finishing high school, and if you don’t enter into — and keep — a two parent household, such as the old-fashioned husband and wife relationship, family economics will be harder still.

flicker on April 12, 2012 at 5:24 PM

How is this a conservative problem?

flicker on April 12, 2012 at 5:24 PM

Here’s how it’s a problem: Dem hack snarks at Ann Romney. Romney supporters (mainly) desperate for any reed they can get hold of go overboard with outrageous outrage when they should’ve just ignored it. Bottom line: Hilary Rosen will be a star eventually and Ann Romney will eventually be viewed as rich and out of touch with “normal” American women. Mission accomplished.

ddrintn on April 12, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Bruno – Knock off the “mittens” crap unless you admit to be a liberal/marxist troll. You aren’t helping and you are disrespectful to a better man than you. And I was not a Romney fan, but I support him and other conservatives.

Old Country Boy on April 12, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Good grief. I’ve never called Romney that, but that sounds like thought control. Romney’s no “better” than any of us.

ddrintn on April 12, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Bottom line: Hilary Rosen will be a star eventually and Ann Romney will eventually be viewed as rich and out of touch with “normal” American women. Mission accomplished.

ddrintn on April 12, 2012 at 5:35 PM

HAHAHAHA So your stand-up career is a success? Glad to hear someone is successful doing what they love… you’ve got some funny funny material here.

gekkobear on April 12, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Way to go Ann! Why hasn’t Sarah Palin gotten in on this yet?

Swerve22 on April 12, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Because Sarah’s too busy standing up, and shouting “Way to Go ANN!!!”

Harbingeing on April 12, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Now I have reason to vote for Mitt – a proxy vote for Ann Romney for First Lady.

Jim M. on April 12, 2012 at 7:01 PM

ddrintn on April 12, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Yes, that’s most likely. It’s a shame.

Speaking of the future, I wonder which will be greater in the fall election: the loss of Repub votes because of lack of confidence in Romney to change the course of government; or whether the lack of a glorious movie saviour (O’Bama) to enthrall the libs will depress the youth vote.

I think that if jobs stay as they are, regardless of the published numbers, and if gas is still double the pre-Orbama price, the happy ideologically-driven bandwagon libs will stay home.

Either way, suspicion is that the fix is in and Oborma will win in 2012, the last presidential election held in the US. And if I’m wrong (which I am) it won’t make much of a difference anyway; the Constitution will be shredded, burned and forgotten by 2016.

Unless Allapundit is willing to shift his editorializing and bring his blogging prowess to support Hugo Chavez, Castro, Mussolini, Matt Lauer, Obama in his new position of President-For-Life, he had better start praying. (insert smiling emoticon here)

flicker on April 12, 2012 at 7:05 PM

With you 100% Tina. My wife is a full-time mom; that’s the way we both wanted it.

But statements like this are a trap:

… it’s worth just as much to stay home with children as it is to work outside the home.

Personal choices engaged with faith and effort all have worth.

“Worth just as much” implies that things are comparable on some objective scale. No one has authority to define that scale for how one lives one’s life.

SomeCallMeJohn on April 12, 2012 at 7:09 PM

I was a career woman who had a child who died in a day care center. I waited 5 years to have my second child. When he got sick, I decided to stay at home. He’s a very happy healthy wonderful child. Screw you, lib-fem-Obama.

And, as a side note? Ann Romney is serious FLOTUS material. I don’t think she’d turn the East Room into a gym or wear ill fitting clothing and etc… Visit Michelle Obama’s Mirror to get a load of MOTUS!

Key West Reader on April 12, 2012 at 8:02 PM

tom on April 12, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Sarah Palin is all about Sarah Palin. She can’t handle the fact that Ann Romney is now the leading woman in the GOP.

It’s sad but true.

NickDeringer on April 12, 2012 at 4:42 PM

That was hilarious.

Isn’t it weird how people who react so viscerally to Palin will still demand that she meet their unreasonable expectations? As in, “Don’t dare run for President, but you need to go campaign for my guy!”

Hmmm. Despise her, but expect her to serve them. May be something to this business about the Romney campaign being misogynistic after all….

tom on April 12, 2012 at 9:31 PM

This thread may be dead, but before I go, I have to comment on this kind of statement about Mitt Romney:

you are disrespectful to a better man than you.

and this kind of statement about Ann Romney:

[Palin] can’t handle the fact that Ann Romney is now the leading woman in the GOP.

Why is Romney supposed to be “a better man than you.” Says who? Because he was governor for a while? Because he’s running for president?

There’s no reason to assume that a president — much less a candidate for the GOP nomination — is better than anyone else. In fact, so many compromise so much to get that far that there’s no reason to presume they’re a lick better.

That’s especially true of someone like Mitt, who seems to have whatever principles will get him past the next election. And for all this selling out he has done, he’s only been able to win a single election in his political career.

As for Ann Romney, I have no reason to dislike her or disrespect her, but what makes her “the leading woman of the GOP?” As much as I appreciate ordinary homemakers, does the mere fact of being married to Mitt now make her “the leading woman of the GOP?”

I’ve never been accused of being a feminist, but it’s not like being a woman can only be a leader by being married to a prominent man, which seems to be the implication of the above.

tom on April 12, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Good grief. I’ve never called Romney that, but that sounds like thought control. Romney’s no “better” than any of us.

ddrintn on April 12, 2012 at 5:39 PM

ha, is that what you’re telling yourself to cope with your own failures :-)…that you could have made a good president too :-)…

jimver on April 12, 2012 at 11:16 PM

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