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'No tougher job': Obama repudiates jab about Ann Romney

President Obama on Thursday repudiated comments made by a Democratic strategist about Ann Romney, saying that "there's no tougher job than being a mom."

In an interview with ABC affiliate KCRG, Obama said the strategist, Hilary Rosen, "ought to rethink" her comments that Ann Romney, the wife of Republican front-runner Mitt Romney, "never worked a day in her life."

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Rosen's comments on CNN Wednesday night caused an immediate controversy. Top Obama campaign aides — and later the White House — rushed to distance themselves from the statement.

Responding to the firestorm for the first time on Thursday afternoon, Obama said families of political candidates should be off-limits.

"I don't have a lot of patience for commentary about the spouses of political candidates," Obama said in the interview. “My general view is those of us who are in the public life, we’re fair game. Our families are civilians.

“I haven’t met Mrs. Romney, but she seems like a very nice woman who is supportive of her family and supportive of her husband," he added. "I don’t know if she necessarily volunteered for this job so, you know, we don’t need to be directing comments at them. I think me and Governor Romney are going to have more than enough to argue about during the course of this campaign.”

In a separate sit-down interview on Thursday with WCMH, an NBC affiliate, Obama called Rosen's remarks an "ill-advised statement by somebody on television."

"It's not something I subscribe to," he said.

"I watched Michelle, who for most of her career, had to juggle work and family, but there were times when she was on maternity leave, and I promise you, that's work."