Photo: jamesomalley | Flickr
President Barack Obama tried to quash a brewing political mess this afternoon by absolutely slamming Hilary Rosen’s comments on Ann Romney.First, he told an ABC affiliate: “There’s no tougher job than being a mum.” Not even the President, apparently.
Then he doubled down on past comments that a candidate’s family should be off limits:
“I don’t have a lot of patience for commentary about the spouses of political candidates,” he told KCRG.
“My general view is those of us who are in the public life, we’re fair game. Our families are civilians,” he said. “I haven’t met Mrs. Romney, but she seems like a very nice woman who is supportive of her family and supportive of her husband. I don’t know if she necessarily volunteered for this job so, you know, we don’t need to be directing comments at them. I think me and Governor Romney are going to have more than enough to argue about during the course of this campaign.”
He didn’t address comments from Republican members of the House of Representatives earlier in the day, one of whom suggested that Obama would have said the same thing as Rosen. Members of Obama’s staff had already distanced themselves from the comments, including David Axelrod and Press Secretary Jay Carney. Michelle Obama also joined in the backlash on Twitter, tweeting that “every mother works hard, and every woman deserves to be respected.”
During the 2008 campaign, Obama said the same thing about Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s family after it was revealed that her 17-year-old daughter Bristol was pregnant.
“Let me be as clear as possible. I think people’s families are off-limits, and people’s children are especially off-limits. This shouldn’t be part of our politics. It has no relevance to Gov. Palin’s performance as governor or her potential performance as a vice president.”
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