- (Photo: Reuters/Brian Snyder)
Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen has apologized to Ann Romney for her comments about being a stay-at-home mom. The issue, however, has turned into a full on debate on women's issue, prompting some to question if Romney is indeed a fair representation of the female population.
Rosen likely did the Democratic party a disservice by attacking the wife of Republican nominee Mitt Romney as a stay-at-home mom. Rosen suggested that Ann Romney was unfit to stand up for women's rights by arguing that she "has actually never worked a day in her life."
Ann Romney later countered the argument by stating that raising five sons was "hard work."
Rosen's statement not only outraged many stay-at-home moms, it also opened a window for the Romney campaign to make an appeal to women. Now, the question has been raised as to whether Romney is a fair representation of stay-at-home moms, or of the general population of women altogether.
Rosen has admitted that she admires Romney, who has also had to battle multiple sclerosis, which she was diagnosed with in 1998, in addition to a non-invasive breast cancer in 2008, although she is now cancer free.
Despite health concerns, does a woman who owns three homes and employs four housekeepers count as fair representation of the average household mom? Based on a 2010 tax return provided by The Data Lounge, Romney reported an income of $21.7 million. The report revealed that $20,603 went to taxable wages for household help- an extremely low number to begin with, given that an average housekeeper earns up to $50,000 a year.
While the mystery behind the low amount of reported taxes for housekeeping remains unsolved, the report still reveals that Ann Romney was not solely depended on for her five boys.
Rosen came under fire on Wednesday following a CNN interview for suggesting that Ann Romney was not a qualified expert because "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."
"She should have come to my house when those five boys were causing trouble, it wasn't so easy," Romney told Fox News. "My career choice was to be a mother, and I think all of us need to know that we need to respect the choices women make," said Ann Romney to Fox News.
Rosen was highly criticized, her comments considered a step too far as many stay at home moms were offended.
"So, if someone stays at home then they aren't intelligent enough to understand the economy? I think that is ridiculous. I stay at home and my [dear husband] is ceo of a fortune 500 company and after years of talking to him about work, I feel as if I am knowledgeable on the economy," one Twitter user commented.
Others illustrated the point that Rosen claims she was trying to make.
"And as a [stay-at-home-mom], do you worry about putting food on the table everyday? Ann Romney doesn't have the same problem as I do. Actually, she never has the same problems as most women have," another Twitter user claimed.
Rosen attempted to clarify her CNN comment on Twitter as well.
"My point is that he should stop saying that she is his guide to women's economic problems. She doesn't have any," Rosen tweeted. "I am raising children too. But most young American women HAVE to BOTH earn a living AND raise children."
Almost immediately after the comments were made public, the Obama administration also chose to distance themselves from Rosen. The strategist later admitted that she had no official connection to the Obama campaign and offered an apology to any women that she had offended.
"As a partner in a firm full of women who work outside of the home as well as stay-at-home mothers, all with plenty of children, gender equality is not a talking point for me. It is an issue I live every day. I apologize to Ann Romney and anyone else who was offended," Rosen said in her statement.