Jay Carney Comments on the Hilary Rosen Controversy
The White House refused on Thursday to be drawn into the Twitter firestorm sparked by Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen when she said Ann Romney is out of touch with women’s economic issues because she’s a stay-at-home mom.
White House press secretary Jay Carney stuck to citing President Obama's record for women's rights. First Lady Michelle Obama said in a Tweet: "Every mother works hard, and every woman deserves to be respected. –mo,” @MichelleObama tweeted.
"I have not spoken with the president about this," Carney told reporters. “I think we can all agree that raising children is an extremely difficult job.”
And Carney stuck to a recitation of Obama's achievements for women, including his signing of the Lily Ledbetter fair pay law, and efforts to put teachers back in the classroom.
Carney also said he knows three Hilary Rosens. “I don’t know how many times she’s been here,” he added, when asked about reports Rosen had visited the executive mansion frequently.
“I don’t know how to assess her overall relationship with people here in the White House,” Carney said.
Rosen told CNN on Wednesday night that it didn't make much sense for presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney to look to Ann for advice on women's issues because she was out of touch with the problems faced by most women in America.
"His wife has actually never worked a day in her life," Rosen said.
Within minutes of Rosen's comments, Ann Romney joined Twitter, and tweeted: "I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work."
The conflict has played out over Twitter, with the Romney campaign seeking to make Rosen's comments a problem for Obama at a time when women's issues are a focus of both campaigns.
Rosen apologized on Thursday afternoon "to Ann Romney and anyone else who was offended." In a statement provided to Talking Points Memo, she added: "Let’s declare peace in this phony war and go back to focus on the substance.”