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First lady wades into controversy

First lady Michelle Obama on Thursday advocated “respect” for women who work as stay-at-home moms in the wake of controversial comments about Ann Romney’s decision to stay at home and raise her sons.

Obama made the comments on her official twitter account.

{mosads}It was the first time Obama weighed in on the controversy raging between veteran Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign. Rosen asserted that Ann Romney was unable to weigh in on the economic issues effecting women because she has “never” worked outside the home.

Signing the tweet “-mo” is an indication that Michelle Obama personally sent the tweet, a signal that the Obama campaign deployed the first lady as their best defense against critics connecting the remarks of a prominent Democratic adviser to the position of the president.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) also expressed disappointment in Rosen’s remarks Thursday. The Republican National Committee had demanded earlier in the day that she ask Rosen, who they call a DNC adviser, to apologize.

Wasserman Schultz and the first lady are only the latest high-profile Democrats to condemn the remarks, made by Rosen during a CNN panel on Wednesday night. 

“His wife has actually never worked a day in her life,” Rosen said of Ann Romney during a discussion on CNN’s “AC360” Wednesday night. “She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school and how do we — why we worry about their future.”

Democrats seemed to realize that Rosen’s remarks gave the Romney campaign fodder to reframe their argument that it’s the Obama administration, not Republicans, who are waging a “war on women.” Obama’s campaign manager Jim Messina and senior adviser David Axelrod immediately began to distance themselves from the comments the previous day, also using Twitter.

Romney’s campaign jumped on the comments to rally around Ann Romney as a hard-working mother.

“My career choice was to be a mother,” Ann Romney said on Fox News earlier Thursday. “And I think all of us need to know that we need to respect choices that other women make.”

Despite taking criticism from her own party, Rosen did not back down Thursday, continuing to defend her point that Romney is hiding behind his wife to defend his economic policies toward women.

She also tweeted Romney
— who joined Twitter Wednesday night specifically to respond to the controversy — that while she admires her as a person, she should not speak for the women unable to make the choice to stay at home full-time.

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