By Meghashyam Mali - 04/15/12 04:04 PM EDT
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) on Sunday blasted a Democratic strategist’s comments that Ann Romney had never “worked a day in her life.”
“I thought it was shocking and insulting,” Bachmann said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Rosen apologized for the comment, but the president, first lady and other top Democrats jumped in to denounce the remarks, as well. Rosen said she intended to criticize GOP front-runner Mitt Romney’s claim that his wife provided him with insight into the economic challenges faced by female voters.
On Sunday, Bachmann defended Ann Romney and accused the Obama administration of neglecting women struggling in the recession.
“The one thing I know when women are home full time they probably have a better pulse on the economy than even their husbands have, because they are the ones who are directly impacted by the prices of groceries, by the price of gasoline, but the price of dealing with banking and all the other factors of running a home,” she said.
“Ann Romney certainly understood the economy and I think women all across the country were highly insulted and they should be because women have borne the brunt of the failed economic policies under Barack Obama. Just as one example, they are paying $2,000 a year more for gasoline than they did the day Barack Obama came into office,” Bachmann added.
Romney, the likely GOP nominee, has hit hard at the Obama administration, claiming their economic record has had a disproportionately harmful effect on women during the recession. While Democrats have accused the GOP of waging a “war on women” for opposing the president’s contraception mandate as an attack on religious freedom, Romney has accused Obama of waging an economic war on women.
“The real war on women has been waged by the Obama administration’s failure on the economy,” he said last week.
Bachmann, who was a rival of Romney’s for the GOP presidential nomination before she exited the race, adopted this line of attack on Sunday.
Obama’s “policies had a disproportionate, negative impact on women,” Bachmann said.
“When 92 percent of the women who have, 92 percent of the people under Barack Obama’s failed economic policies are women who’ve lost jobs, that’s an unbelievably shocking number. 850,000 women have lost their jobs under Barack Obama,” she asserted.
Democrats say those figures point a misleading picture and those effects have little to do with the policies of President Obama.
Appearing with Bachmann, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand called Rosen’s remarks “wrong and inappropriate.” “As a mom, I know one of the toughest jobs in the world is being a parent,” she said.
But Gillibrand defended Obama’s record on women.
“This election is not going to be about Ann Romney or Hilary’s remarks,” said Gillibrand said. “What this election is going to be about is what candidate fights for American, America’s women, which candidate actually cares about women’s economic opportunity.”
“This has been a very tough economy but its Barack Obama who’s first filled the other side with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act which allowed women to fight for equal pay for equal work. Women are still making only 78 cents on the dollar. Mitt Romney, his hero the governor from Wisconsin, just got rid of the equal pay laws there,” she said. “This president has focused on women’s economic opportunity.”