By LAURIE KELLMAN, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Ann Romney fought back Thursday against a Democrat who suggested she's no economic expert because she "hasn't worked a day in her life." Raising the five Romney sons, she said, was such a full-time job that her husband, Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney, considered it more important than his work as the family breadwinner.
"He would say, `My job is temporary...Your job is a forever job that's going to bring forever happiness," Ann Romney told Fox News, wading into a multimedia furor over comments by Democratic consultant Hilary Rosen. "Mitt respects women that make those different choices."
Rosen apologized to Ann Romney later Thursday for her "poorly chosen" words.
"As a mom I know that raising children is the hardest job there is," Rosen said in a statement. "As a pundit, I know my words on CNN last night were poorly chosen."
"In response to Mitt Romney on the campaign trail referring to his wife as a better person to answer questions about women than he is, I was discussing his poor record on the plight of women's financial struggles," Rosen said.
First lady Michelle Obama, a working mother of two, even jumped into the fray with this tweet: "Every mother works hard, and every woman deserves to be respected. - mo." Tweets tagged "mo" are said to be from the first lady.
The series of exchanges brought the Mommy Wars to the presidential campaign trail as both parties court women voters critical to their prospects in the November election. President Barack Obama's high command had demanded that Rosen apologize, while the Democratithat Ann Romney made as the greatest threat to feminism," Sabrina Schaeffer, executive director of the Independent Women's Forum, said on the same call.
White House spokesman Jay Carney on Thursday deflected questions about Rosen's comment and her visits to the president's office building.
Romney's campaign said Rosen has been to the White House 35 times. Carney said he knows three women with the same name and couldn't be certain that records showing visits to the White House by a similarly named person actually refer to the Democratic strategist.
For her part, Rosen said Republicans were trying to change the subject by attacking her.