Ann Romney: Controversy over Hilary Rosen remark an 'early birthday present’

Ann Romney, the wife of GOP front-runner Mitt Romney, told supporters at a private fundraising event on Sunday that last week’s Hilary Rosen controversy was an “early birthday present.”

“It was my early birthday present for someone to be critical of me as a mother,” she said. “That was a really defining moment, and I loved it.”

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Ann Romney turns 63 on Monday.

While the private event in Palm Beach, Fla., was for supporters only, multiple reporters heard the comment from the public sidewalk outside the house where the event was taking place.

Last week, Rosen, a Democratic strategist, told CNN that Romney had “never worked a day in her life.” After initially defending her remarks, she issued an apology. 

President Obama and other high-profile members of his campaign stepped in to denounce the comments, but Republicans see it as an opening for the GOP to close the massive gender gap that exists between Romney and Obama.

Also at the event, Romney laid out for the first time how he would cut government spending to offset his proposed income tax breaks. Romney said he would make cuts to the Department of Education and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and would eliminate the mortgage interest deduction for second homes.