Ben Romney, the thirtysomething son of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, weighed in on the ongoing controversy surrounding his mother, Ann Romney, by writing a Facebook note in her defense early this morning. Ben refuted Democratic pundit Hilary Rosen’s charge Ms. Romney “never worked a day in her life” by describing her “demanding” work raising him and his five brothers.
“Growing up, we never had a nanny or a ‘mommy’s helper.’ Never went to daycare,” Ben wrote. “I was just one out of five, but always felt like I was the most important thing in her life. For my Mom to raise us 5 boys, the way she did, was, in my mind, the most demanding – and hopefully rewarding – work she could have done.”
For those of you who have been sleeping under a rock for the past 48 hours, allow us to recap this firestorm that has since been dubbed “Rosengate.” The controversy began after Ms. Rosen, a former lobbyist and paid CNN talking head who works for the political PR firm SKDKnickerbocker, appeared on Anderson Cooper 360 and commented on the elder Mr. Romney’s recent claim his wife told him “the issue women care about most is the economy.”
“What you have is Mitt Romney running around the country saying, ‘Well, you know my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues and when I listen to my wife that’s what I’m hearing,’” Ms. Rosen said. “Guess what? His wife has actually never worked a day in her life. 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 why do we worry about their future.”
Ms. Rosen’s statement quickly took over the slow post-primary news cycle and led to a disavowal of Ms. Rosen from the Obama campaign, comments from the president and first lady, outraged Tweets from Ms. Romney and an apology from Ms. Rosen. The issue has become something of a rallying cry for the Republican Party, which launched a fundraising campaign focused on stay-at-home moms.
Ben Romney, who is currently studying medicine at the University of Utah, began his defense of his mother by describing his own experience as a new parent.
“A lot of people have been weighing in on my Mom lately, so I thought I would add my own two cents…I have one daughter, a 3 year old girl, and I feel overwhelmed most of the time my wife and I are raising her,” Ben wrote.
He continued by outlining the many things his mother did for him as a child.
“When I left for school in the morning (after she had made me breakfast), she was there. When I came home at the end of the day, she was there. She drove me to HOURS of my sports lessons and competitions (baseball, tennis, basketball, etc), and was my #1 fan in the stands. She encouraged my musical interests, and cheered me on at my piano recitals and high school band concerts. I could go on and on.”
Ben’s post concluded with a note to Ms. Romney.
“Love you Mom, and thanks.”