When Hilary Rosen appeared on CNN Wednesday to talk about the war on women, she said Ann Romney has never worked a day in her life. Those words from the Democratic strategist immediately set off a reaction from Ann Romney, wife of GOP presidnetial candidate Mitt Romney, who took to Twitter for the first time to declare that raising her five boys was hard work and that she made the choice to stay home and be a mother.
But the backlash against Rosen didn't stop there.
The following morning, Ann Romney went on Fox in response to Rosen's claims and said that people need to respect choices that women make.
Other women make other choices to have a career and raise family, which I think Hilary Rosen has actually done herself, Romney said. I respect that. That's wonderful. But there are other people that have a choice. We have to respect women in all those choices that they make. This is obviously an awesome responsibility to raise children. It's to me the most important think we can do.
Rosen said Romney has never had to deal with economic pressures facing other women such as feeding their children, sending them to school and providing for their children's future.
This is not about Ann Romney, Rosen told CNN Thursday. This is about the waitress at a diner in some place in Nevada who has two kids, whose day care funding is being cut off because of the Romney-Ryan budget and she doesn't know what to do.
Jim Messina, President Barack Obama's campaign manager, tweeted that he strongly disagrees with Rosen's comments and that family should be off limits. He also said Rosen should apologize.
Rosen's apology came on Thursday afternoon.
I apologize to Ann Romney and anyone else who was offended, Rosen, a CNN contributor, said in a statement reported by that network. Let's declare peace in this phony war and go back to focus on the substance.
But who is Hilary Rosen? Here are seven things to know:
1. She was born and raised in New Jersey and is a graduate of George Washington University.
2. She was a partner at SKDKnickerbocker, is a political communications firm that provides strategic advice, public relations and other services to corporations, elected officials and candidates across the country, according to its website.
3. She was a Washington editor-at-large for the Huffington Post.
4. She was head of the Recording Industry Association of America and resigned in 2003 so as to spend more time with her partner, Elizabeth Birch. They have twins. According to Politico, Rosen presided over the case that led to the shutdown of the music-sharing website Napster.
5. She signed on with CNN in early 2008.
6. She started OurChart.com, a social networking site for lesbians.
7. She has reportedly visited the White House 35 different times advising the Obama administration on messaging.
Here is Rosen's full statement as reported by CNN:
Let's put the faux 'war against stay-at-home moms' to rest once and for all. As a mom I know that raising children is the hardest job there is. As a pundit, I know my words on CNN last night were poorly chosen. In response to Mitt Romney on the campaign trail referring to his wife as a better person to answer questions about women than he is, I was discussing his lack of a record on the plight of women's financial struggles. Here is my more fulsome view of the issues. As a partner in a firm full of women who work outside of the home as well as stay-at-home mothers, all with plenty of children, gender equality is not a talking point for me. It is an issue I live every day. I apologize to Ann Romney and anyone else who was offended. Let's declare peace in this phony war and go back to focus on the substance.