By Jonathan Easley - 04/12/12 08:52 PM EDT
A fiery Hilary Rosen said she doesn’t “need a beer summit” with Ann Romney to iron out the flap over her controversial remarks.
Speaking Thursday afternoon to Wolf Blitzer on CNN, Rosen was asked if a face-to-face meeting with Ann might be in order.
In 2009, President Obama held a “beer summit” with Vice President Biden, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Massachusetts Police Sgt. James Crowley, after the president waded into a controversy surrounding Gates’s arrest.
Speaking on Thursday, Rosen reiterated her apology and said she chose her words poorly, but also blamed Mitt Romney for dragging his wife into the political battle.
“I shouldn’t have chosen words that seemed to attack Ann Romney’s choice in life and I apologize for that,” Rosen said. “But Ann Romney and Mitt Romney brought themselves into the conversation. When he goes on the campaign trail and says she is his economic surrogate, when she goes out there and makes these points, I’m not bringing them into it.”
First lady Michelle Obama and the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee defended stay-at-home mothers on Thursday afternoon. Michelle Obama warned that mothers who choose to stay home raising their children deserved "respect" and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said she was "disappointed" in Rosen's comments.
Other high-profile members of the president's campaign have also expressed their disagreement with Rosen's comments, but Rosen said she didn’t take the criticism personally because the controversy was solely a political one.
“I totally agree with what the first lady said about women, that’s what I’ve felt my whole life,” Rosen said. “What the rest of them said — that’s politics. The Republicans slammed and came after this pretty quickly, people who know me know that I didn’t intend that, they know that my words were not very good, but if they want to play politics with it that’s fine.”
“I think that the modern-day campaign and the swiftness of the charges and the counter charges, and the intensity of it, is enormously frightening for campaign professionals and consultants and candidates alike,” Rosen continued. “You know everybody’s words are parsed so carefully and I’ve been on the other side where I’ve jumped on people’s statements, so I’m not claiming to be a victim here.”
Rosen said her own record should be evidence enough that she wouldn’t attack stay-at-home moms.
“Look, I’m a mother, anybody who knows me knows that’s not what I meant, and I prefaced the comment with an economic comment. I respect women and moms all the time, I’ve fought my whole life for women to make choices and have the choices that Ann Romney talked about.”
But surprisingly, rather than simply going on air with an apology, Rosen kept the heat on by trying to get her initial message out.
“If I had the do-over what I’d be saying is Mitt Romney should not be on the campaign trail saying ‘my wife tells me how it is for women out there’ because people of wealth sometimes take for granted some of the niceties that they have, and the Romneys are people of wealth,” Rosen said. “This is a distraction that his campaign is forcing on the American people to avoid his record on the issues.”
Rosen said she had received several “supportive” phone calls, but didn’t identify who they had come from.