Don’t know if Mitt Romney has purchased a “mums Do Work” mug from the RNC yet, but he might want to take a look at some of his past statements in the so-called “War on mums” conversation.
Via BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski comes video of Romney in 1994, when as a candidate for Senate he alluded to the changed times from the 1960s when speaking to a crowd about child care.
“This is a different world than it was in the 1960s when I was growing up, when you used to be able to have mum at home and dad at work. Now mum and dad both have to work, whether they want to or not,” Romney said. Romney here was speaking of the increased importance of child-care services.
Why is this a big deal? Well, just this week, the Romney campaign has paraded around the “War on mums” as the first talking point of the general election season. That came after comments from Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen, who said that Ann Romney “has never worked a day in her life.” This quickly turned into an early-morning Fox News appearance for Ann Romney and a day full of Republicans seizing on the opportunity in this everlasting “War on Women.”
Rush Limbaugh: “The Obama administration has just effectively, whether they know it or not, they have launched a war on motherhood.”
U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis: “They’re using surrogate women — including Hilary Rosen, who is a paid spokesperson — to deliver messages about Republicans that the president does not want to deliver himself. But quite clearly, her remarks are reflective of the message that the political machine within the White House intends to put out.”
Mitt Romney: “I happen to believe that all mums are working mums.”
That’s not a direct contrast in ideology from his previous comments, but Romney’s 1994 statements matter because, well, they’re a lite version of Hilary Rosen’s.
No, Romney didn’t single anyone out like Rosen did. Or use as crass terminology as Rosen did. But they both recognised that it’s a different era, an era that has shifted more and more women out of home. And that’s because, as Mitt Romney and Hilary Rosen both argue, that most women simply cannot afford to raise their children without one paying job — and, as Romney says, sometimes two paying jobs.
UPDATE: This morning, there’s this from MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, in which Romney says that welfare parents “need to go to work” in a January town hall in New Hampshire.
“I wanted to increase the work requirement. I said, for instance, that even if you have a child two years of age, you need to go to work. And people said, ‘Well that’s heartless,’ and I said ‘No, no, I’m willing to spend more giving daycare to allow those parents to go back to work. It’ll cost the state more providing that daycare, but I want the individuals to have the dignity of work.'”
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