April 12, 2012 at 12:12 PM ET
Update 4/12 at 2 p.m. ET:
“My career choice was to be a mother," Ann Romney said late Thursday morning, addressing the controversy she waded into Wednesday with her first-ever tweet. “I think all of us need to know that we need to respect choices that women make. Other women make other choices to have a career and a raise family, which Hilary Rosen has done herself. I respect that. That’s wonderful.”
Ann kicked off the discussion with Martha MacCallum on Fox News by mentioning that Hilary Rosen, the Democratic strategist who said she has "never worked a day in her life" should’ve come to her house when “those five boys were causing so much trouble. It wasn’t so easy.”
Rosen has since apologized in a statement.
MacCallum mentioned a tweet from one of those sons, Josh Romney, who waded into the controversy yesterday by tweeting that his mom is smart and hardworking, and could’ve done anything but chose to stay home and raise him.
She went on to mention that Mitt has told her on many occasions that her job has always been more important than his. “He would say, ‘My job is temporary. These things come and go but your job is a forever job that will bring forever happiness.’”
One of Rosen’s criticisms of the Romney campaign is that Mitt Romney gets his information about women and their struggles with the economy from his wife alone. Ann said this wasn’t the case, and that Mitt “listens to a lot of different women…You should see how many women he listens to, and that’s what I love about Mitt. He has so many women in his circle.”
“Look, I know what it’s like to struggle," Ann said in response to criticism that she can't relate to women who don't have a choice in whether to work or not. "If maybe I haven’t struggled as much as some people have, I can tell you and promise you that I’ve had struggles in my life. I would love to have people understand that Mitt and I have compassion for people who are struggling and that’s why we’re running.” Mrs. Romney has often discussed her struggles with breast cancer and multiple sclerosis in public, and has said that if she becomes first lady she will work towards finding a cure for breast cancer.
Mrs. Romney went on to say that she was happy that the controversy has spurred discussion. She said, “I’m grateful for this opportunity to let women know that this is a very important election.”
Ann Romney joined Twitter Wednesday (handle: @AnnDRomney) and used her very first tweet to take a stand.
Romney responded to criticism lobbed against her that she is unqualified to speak about economic issues facing American women because she has “never worked a day in her life.”
The comment came from Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen, who spoke on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" yesterday. She said, "Guess what, (Mitt Romney's) 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."
Ann Romney responded with her new Twitter account, which describes her as “Mom of five boys. Grandmother of 16. Out campaigning for @MittRomney. #Mitt2012." She tweeted, "I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work."
Within two hours of establishing the account (which has since been verified by Twitter), she had garnered over 5,000 followers. By Thursday morning, she had more than 14,000.
Later Thursday, Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) tweeted a response to the controversy:
Rosen, a mother of two, has since written about the response she has received since her comments aired. “I have no judgments about women who work outside the home vs. women who work in the home raising a family…it is a wonderful luxury to have the choice. But let's stipulate that it is NOT a choice that most women have in America today.”
Rosen said she criticized Ann Romney because “Mitt Romney put the issue of his wife’s views squarely on the table.” Mitt Romney has said before that he wishes his wife could take questions regarding women’s issues and the gender gap. He told reporters, "My wife has the occasion, as you know, to campaign on her own and also with me, and she reports to me regularly that the issue women care about most is the economy."
The controversy comes amid criticism that the Republican party is waging a war on women, with Democrats pointing to the recent legislation concerning a limiting of reproductive rights and insurance coverage for contraception.
Ann Romney’s second tweet encouraged viewers to tune in when she is interviewed by Martha McCullum of Fox News about the criticism. She added, “All moms are entitled to choose their own path.”