Leading female surrogates for Mitt Romney emphasized Hilary Rosen's ties to President Obama on Thursday, adding that they were "outraged" and "disappointed" in her controversial remarks about Ann Romney.

"It was very insulting for President Obama’s adviser and DNC strategist Hilary Rosen to make the comments" on Ann Romney, said Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteTrump voter fraud panel member fights back against critics Dems plan to make gun control an issue in Nevada Stale, misguided, divisive: minimum wage can't win elections MORE (R-N.H.). "I was very disappointed by the comments that were made and think they’re very insulting to dismiss the hard work it is [to raise children]."

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Penny Nance, the head of the conservative group Concerned Women for America, said she was "outraged" by Rosen's comments.

"This administration would do well to stop disrespecting American moms and start listening to them," she said.

Rosen is not officially part of the Obama campaign but is a longtime party strategist and insider, and those on the conference call said she's visited the White House more than 30 times during the Obama administration.


Her comments that Ann Romney has "never worked a day in her life" touched off a firestorm Thursday, with Republicans calling for her head and many Democrats disavowing the remarks. Obama's campaign advisers distanced themselves from Rosen and several prominent female Democrats, including first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama: We raise men to feel 'entitled' Michelle Obama: 'Don't tweet every thought' Michelle Obama, Prince Harry visit public school in Chicago MORE and DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, expressed their disappointment.

Rep. Cynthia LummisCynthia LummisFemale lawmakers flee House for higher office, retirement Despite a battle won, 'War on Coal' far from over Dems on offense in gubernatorial races MORE (R-Wyo.) said that Obama's campaign has sought to manipulate women.

"Democrats are scared of losing the vote of independent women in swing states… [and] are saving their vitriol for highly successful Republican women — people like, sadly, Mrs. Romney," said Lummis. "It’s tremendously inappropriate that the Democrats continue their politics of division that President Obama himself said he’d change."

Rep. Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersDemocrats expand House map after election victories The Hill's Whip List: Where Republicans stand on tax-reform bill Overnight Regulation: Trump pick for USDA job withdraws amid Mueller scrutiny | Powell tapped for Fed | Female GOP lawmakers offer paid leave plan | Feds launch program for drone deliveries MORE (R-Wash.) said Obama's attacks against Romney on women's issues had been "designed to distract women from the issues, to scare them."

"There’s no war on women by the Republicans. What’s really going on is a war on reality by the Democrats," she said.

After slamming Rosen's comments, many on the call sought to pivot to Obama's economic record, which the Romney campaign had tried to do Wednesday before being thrown off-balance when asked where Romney stood on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

"The other issue that is incredibly important that this president has been a failure at is the economic strength of America in terms of our debt," Ayotte said.

"The Obama policies have failed. In fact they’ve made the economy worse and they’ve made it worse particularly for women," said Lummis.