Last week the GOP went wild over Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen’s comments that Ann Romney “has actually never worked a day in her life”. Need a refresher? Desperate to get a break with female voters (a recent poll has Obama leading Romney by 16 points among women) the comment was interpreted by the GOP to mean that being a stay-at-home mom isn’t work. Outrage ensued, the Republican National Committee began selling “Moms Do Work” travel mugs and the “War on Moms” was born.
Well, not so fast.
This weekend Ann Romney called the comment and controversy an “early birthday present” and said that she “loved it”.
Also, msnbc host Chris Hayes unearthed a video of Mitt Romney in January where he seemed to say that stay-at-home parenting is NOT work:
While I was governor, 85% of the people on a form of welfare assistance in my state, had no work requirement. And 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 day care to allow those parents to go back to work. It will cost the state more, providing that day care. But I want the individuals to have the dignity of work.
Similarly, ThinkProgress points out that in his book “No Apology: The Case for American Greatness” Romney argued that those stay-at-home parents receiving welfare should get back to work to be a good influence on their children:
Welfare without work erodes the spirit and the sense of self-worth of the recipient. And it conditions the children of nonworking parents to an indolent and unproductive life. Hardworking parents raise hardworking kids; we should recognize that the opposite is also true. The influence of the work habits of our parents and other adults around us as we grow up has lasting impact.
Ed will have plenty more on this tonight! Tune in at 8pmEST—he’ll be joined by Joan Walsh, Salon’s Editor at Large, and E.J. Dionne, a Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution and Washington Post columnist.