Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Do Romney Statements Muddle Mommy Message? Do Romney Statements Muddle Mommy Message?

This ad will end in seconds
Close X

Want access to this content? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation


Campaign 2012

Do Romney Statements Muddle Mommy Message?

MSNBC host accuses Romney of "double standard" after controversy over his wife's status.

A clip from a campaign stop in January in which Mitt Romney says he wants poor stay-at-home moms to have federally-subsidized childcare so that they can "have the dignity of work" appears to muddle some of the campaign rhetoric used to defend Ann Romney as a non-working mother this week.

"Even if you have a child two years of age, you need to go to work," Romney said in January of mothers on welfare. "I want the individuals to have the dignity of work."


Romney's comments came at a town hall in New Hampshire in response to an audience member's question on what he would do to reduce dependence on welfare.

The clip, found by MSNBC's Up With Chris Hayes, comes in contrast to the outrage Romney and his campaign exhibited following Democratic consultant Hilary Rosen's comments that Ann Romney "has actually never worked a day in her life." Rosen's remarks were met with criticism from Romney advisers and Mrs. Romney herself, who joined Twitter immediately following Rosen's remarks and tweeted out, "I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work."

However, Romney's January comments and those put out by the campaign this week raise questions as to whether Romney has a different standard for mothers on welfare and those in middle- or upper-class homes, said show host Hayes. "It seems to me there’s a double standard about what we call work,” he said.

Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul said that Romney's comments were reflective of his support of welfare reform legislation.


"Moving welfare recipients into work was one of the basic principles of the bipartisan welfare reform legislation that President Clinton signed into law. The sad fact is that under President Obama, the poverty rate among women rose to 14.5 percent in 2011, the highest rate in 17 years.  The Obama administration's economic policies have been devastating to women and families," she wrote in an email.

Another clip, unearthed by BuzzFeed, showed Romney running for Senate in 1994 and touting his work creating a child care company. In that clip, he noted that both parents generally have to work to support a family.

"This is a different world than it was in the 1960s," he said in a clip from CSPAN. "Now mom and dad both have to work, whether they want to or not, and usually one of them has two jobs."

comments powered by Disqus