It seems like every
one is slamming PR professional Hilary Rosen today—talk show hosts, pundits, even President Obama—and it might give the Romney campaign an edge.
Rosen, who is managing partner at the political communications firm SKDKnickerbocker, appeared on CNN last where she said: Ann Romney “never worked a day in her life.” The comment inspired Ann Romney to start a Twitter account. Her first tweet read
“I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work.”
TV hosts and pundits this morning defended
Ann Romney. For instance, Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” said: “That’s an unfortunate statement … It’s not an argument. She [Ann Romney] works.”
Even President Obama—via his advisors—disavowed Rosen’s statements. In a tweet
on Thursday night, Obama’s campaign manager Jim Messina said:
“I could not disagree with Hilary Rosen any more strongly. Her comments were wrong and family should be off-limits. She should apologize.”
David Axelrod, a top advisor to the president, added in a tweet
“Also disappointed in Hilary Rosen’s comments about Ann Romney. They were inappropriate and offensive.”
At first, Rosen refused to back down from her position, responding to Ann Romney’s tweet
“@AnnDRomney 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?”
However, she ultimately relented in a follow-up tweet:
“@AnnDRomney Please know, I admire you. But your husband shouldn't say you are his expert on women and the economy. #HeNeedsMore”
Rosen is a seasoned PR professional, with experience working for the Recording Industry Association of America as well as several Democratic political figures. She also worked for The Brunswick Group, where she performed consulting work for BP in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The PR pro’s statements have given the Romney campaign something to seize upon.
1. It gives Romney a pivot point with female voters.
Rosen may have given the Romney campaign the boost it needs to regain some of the female support the candidate lost during the GOP primary. Recent polls have shown Obama with a large lead among female voters, but the Romney campaign is taking steps to chip away at the lead
and getting Ann Romney out front on this issue—she’s appearing on Fox News this morning—might help the campaign.
2. It knocks the Obama campaign off today’s message.
The Obama 2012 team is trying to celebrate the anniversary of Romneycare today
. It released a Web video
focusing on the idea that Romney is the “godfather” of Obama’s own health care reform bill. However, this morning the media is talking about Ann Romney and not Romneycare. In fact, the video has a mere 301 views on YouTube. The Obama team will have to work even harder to shift the conversation.