The Romney campaign continued its attempt to appeal to women with a cache of conservative females on a Thursday phone call with reporters.
Democratic strategist and frequent White House visitor Hilary Rosen’s Wednesday statement that Ann Romney “never actually worked a day in her life” took center stage — with the participants using the opportunity to hammer the administration for being out of touch with women.
“She has been paid, her firm has been paid by the Democratic National Committee. She has been down to the White House 35 different times advising the Obama administration on messaging,” said Washington Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers tying Rosen to the administration. “There is clearly a connection between Hilary Rosen and the Obama administration and she has been involved for many many years.”
Wyoming Republican Rep. Cynthia Lummis added that Rosen is part of the administration’s surrogate strategy. According to Lummis, Rosen’s comments were likely no accident.
“They are using surrogate women, including Hilary Rosen, to deliver messages about Republicans that the president does not want to deliver himself for fear of the backlash,” she said. “But quite frankly as somebody who has visited the White House to advise on message over 30 times recently, her remarks are reflective of the message that the political machine within the White House intends to put out. ”
The Republican women piled on, voicing their dismay at Rosen’s insensitive comments.
“I think it was very insulting for President Obama’s advisor and DNC strategist Hilary Rosen to make the comment she did about Ann Romney yesterday, that she never worked a day in her life,” New Hampshire Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte said, noting that she is herself a mother of two. “In fact it’s insulting that the president’s adviser would dismiss the value of the important and hard work women do raising children. Ann Romney chose to stay at home.”
“It is really hard work raising children,” she added.
Virginia Delegate Barbara Comstock said Rosen’s comments highlight the divisive nature of the administration.
“All moms are working moms,” she said. “There is no such thing as a mom that is not a working mom.”
President and CEO of Concerned Women for America Penny Nance claimed the comments were indicative of a larger problem with the Obama administration’s divisive view of women.
The women claimed that Democrats are trying to deflect from the real issues affecting American women.
McMorris Rodgers reiterated her support for Romney, saying that he is focused on the issues women care about — mentioning jobs, the economy, the national debt and repealing President Obama’s health care reform law.
“Since President Obama and the Democrats can’t run on their record — which includes the longest streak of high unemployment since the Great Depression, a record increase in the national debt, and near record gas prices, they are working desperately to change the subject. And that is why they have created the whole ‘war on women’ campaign,” she said. “It is really designed to distract women from the real issues — to scare them and it’s not going to work because it is a myth.”
“There is no war on women, what is really going on is a war on reality by the Democrats,” she said.
Executive director of the conservative Independent Women’s Forum Sabrina Schaeffer added that the closing of the gender voting gap for the first time in 20 year during the 2010 elections sent a “shock wave through Democratic circles” and played a role in the need to construct the “war on women” narrative.
Lummis quantified the troubles she said women have faced under the current administration.
“Under President Obama the number of unemployed women has increased by 858,000. Much higher than men. Under President Obama unemployment among women hit a record,” said Lummis. “The unemployment rate among women has increased from 7 percent in January 2009, when President Obama took office, to 8.1 percent in March of 2012. And labor force participation among women is at its lowest point in nearly 20 years.”
Rosen explained her thoughts further Thursday with a post at CNN, reiterating her initial point, that Ann Romney is not qualified to discuss the economic issues affecting women.
Democratic officials have distanced themselves from her and the sentiment.