Ann Romney: Women Are Talking About Jobs and 'the Legacy of Debt'

By Susan Jones | April 12, 2012 | 11:27 AM EDT

Ann and Mitt Romney (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

( - The Democratic strategist who criticized Ann Romney for never working a day in her life "should have come to my house when those five boys were causing so much trouble. It wasn't so easy," Ann Romney told Fox News on Thursday.

Mrs. Romney was responding to remarks made by Hilary Rosen, an adviser to the Democratic Party, who told CNN Wednesday evening that Mitt Romney shouldn't be taking the advice of his wife on economic issues – because Ann “actually never worked a day in her life.”

"I've been on the campaign trail for one year, and guess what women are talking about," Mrs. Romney said on Thursday. "And I don't care if they're stay-at-home moms, or they're working mothers or they're grandmothers. Guess what they're all taking about? They're talking about jobs and they're talking about the legacy of debt that we're leaving our children. That's what I'm hearing."

Mrs. Romney said her career choice was to be a mother: "Other women make other choices -- to have a career and raise a family...I respect that, that's wonderful," she said. "We have to respect women in all those choices that they make."

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Rosen told CNN Thursday morning that it's "not about Ann Romney." Rosen said it's about the waitress with two kids whose daycare funding is being cut off "because of the Romney-Ryan budget." Rosen said a lot of women don't have the option of staying home.

Mrs. Romney, in response, said while she hasn't struggled financially, she does understand what it's like to struggle -- with breast cancer and multiple sclerosis.

"And I would love to have people understand that Mitt and I have compassion for people who are struggling. And that's why we're running. We care about those people who are struggling. And we also recognize that this economic recovery has been very weak."

Rosen sparked the controversy Wednesday evening during an appearance on Anderson Cooper’s show:

Said Rosen: "What you have is Mitt Romney running around the country, saying, 'Well, you know, my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues. And when I listen to my wife, that's what I'm hearing.' Guess what?" Rosen said. "His wife has actually never worked a day in her life. She's never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school, and why do we worry about their future."

On Thursday, Mrs. Romney said the women she meets as she travels across the country are talking about the security of their own jobs, their husbands' jobs and their children’s' futures.

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