Democrat Hilary Rosen Sparks Twitter Uproar With Ann Romney Comments

The strategist sparks an uproar -- and has Dems on the defensive -- after suggesting Romney, a mother of five, never worked.

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Twitter brawlers Ann Romney (left) and Hilary Rosen. Reuters / Wikimedia Commons

Ann Romney joined Twitter on Wednesday night after Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen said on CNN that Romney "has never actually worked a day in her life."

Speaking on Anderson Cooper 360, Rosen said 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," she said. "She's never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of women in this country are facing."

Within minutes of Rosen's comments, Ann Romney joined Twitter, and as of late Wednesday night had tweeted out only one post: "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.

Moments after Rosen's appearance, top Romney advisor Eric Fehrnstrom tweeted out that "Obama adviser" Rosen went on CNN to "debut their new 'kill Ann' strategy and in the process insul[t] hard-working moms." David Axelrod, Obama's top campaign strategist, trying to quell the potential fallout, took to Twitter to call Rosen's comments "inappropriate and offensive." Obama's campaign manager, Jim Messina, tweeted a request for Rosen to apologize for her comments.

As of late Wednesday, Rosen had not. Instead, she responded to Ann Romney's tweet with a series of her own tweets. "I am raising children too. But most young American women HAVE to BOTH earn a living AND raise children. You know that don't u?" Rosen tweeted. She added: "Please know, I admire you. But your husband shouldn't say you are his expert on women and the economy."

She also published a blog post to the Huffington Post that attempted to explain the reasoning behind her comments on CNN, insisting "I have nothing against Ann Romney" and that she "admire[s] her grit in talking about her illness publicly," a reference to Ann's struggle with multiple sclerosis. But Rosen doubled down on her assertion that Ann is not an appropriate advisor for her husband on women's issues.

"So it begs the question, is Ann Romney Mitt's touchstone for women who are struggling economically or not? Nothing in Ann Romney's history as we have heard it -- hardworking mom she may have been -- leads me to believe that Mitt has chosen the right expert to get feedback on this problem he professes to be so concerned about," she wrote.

Here's how it played out on Twitter:

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Alexandra Jaffe is a staff reporter for National Journal, working on the Daily Briefings team.

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