David Axelrod, Obama’s chief campaign strategist, on Thursday amplified his criticism of Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen's remark that Ann Romney’s wife “hasn’t worked a day in her life."
“It was an unfortunate comment,” David Axelrod told CNN anchor John King during an evening interview. “In the battle of politics, family are civilians and should be treated as such. They shouldn’t be pulled into the debate in that kind of way as targets.”
Axelrod defended Ann Romney, who has said she chose to stay at home to raise the Romneys’ five sons, saying that his own wife was a stay-at-home mom and “worked harder than anybody I know."
Rosen's remark “did feel like a denigration of stay-at-home moms,” Axelrod said.
When asked by CNN’s John King why the White House, which rushed to condemn Rosen for her comments, was so quick to trash an Obama ally, Axelrod pointed out that Rosen, a CNN contributer, is not an adviser to the president.
“She actually is your employee, not ours,” Axelrod quipped.
Axelrod took the opportunity to jab the Romney team, adding that the Romney campaign was quick to jump on the comments because they were “drowning under the weight of their own problems.” Axelrod pointed to Romney’s stumble Wednesday afternoon on a question about the Fair Pay Act as an example of his trouble appealing to women voters.
“I think that has more durable meaning to the women of this country than” the media firestorm over Rosen’s comments, Axelrod said.
Axelrod took another swing at the GOP frontrunner as he dodged a question about Romney’s potential vice presidential pick, saying that Romney might pick someone who would help him “address his very serious troubles” with Hispanic voters and women.
“Ultimately, the reality of vice presidential picks is they rarely help you but they can hurt you,” Axelrod said. “You ought to pick the person who you think could be a plausible president.”
Rosen apologized for the comments on Thursday in a live interview with CNN and a written statement, saying that her words were “poorly chosen.”