Ann Romney: 'Respect Women in All Those Choices That They Make'

Alexandra Jaffe
National Journal

Ann Romney said on Thursday morning that people need to "respect women in all those choices that they make," including the choice to be a stay-at-home mother, and she also insisted that she understands the plight of average American women.

"I know what it's like to struggle. And if maybe I haven't struggled as much financially as some people have, I can tell you and promise you that I've had struggles in my life," she said on Fox News.

Romney said that those struggles are part of the reason her husband is running for president. "Mitt and I have compassion for people that are struggling, and that's why we're running," she said.

Romney's comments followed a night of sparring between her and Democratic commentator Hilary Rosen over comments Rosen had made on CNN on Wednesday night. Rosen told CNN's Anderson Cooper that Romney wasn't well suited to advise her husband on women's economic issues because she "has never actually worked a day in her life."

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

Romney responded directly to Rosen's comments, which unleashed a Twitter conflict between the Romney and Obama campaigns on Wednesday night, saying that raising five boys was work, even if not the kind that Rosen was referring to. "She should have come to my house when those five boys were causing so much trouble. It wasn't so easy," Romney said on Fox.

With her husband facing an approval gap among female voters, Ann Romney also attempted to sell him to female voters, saying, "He's listening, and he cares" about what women are saying.

"Mitt Romney is a person that admires women, and listens to them," she said.