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 Ayotte (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]."
"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 Obama and DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, expressed their disappointment.
Rep. Cynthia Lummis (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 Rodgers (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.