Did Mitt Romney Insult Stay-at-Home Moms? (UPDATES)
After the firestorm generated by Hilary Rosen’s remarks on stay-at-home moms (See post below), and after the deep and — and sincere — umbrage taken by Ann Romney and so many others, Mrs. Romney over the weekend said this about that:
It was my early birthday present for someone to be critical of me as a mother …That was a really defining moment, and I loved it.
Now, on this one, I will just report and let you decide — jut like Fox.
CODA: I did have to add the “satire” tag with this update.
Sara Mead at the Washington Monthly provides a different perspective on “Mitt Romney and the Cult of True Womanhood.” If you have had enough on this issue, it may be worth your while — when you are at the site — just to click on the link, “this video,” to see John McCain grimace and squirm while Romney gets ready to offer his “dignity of work” view.
Reacting to a statement by Mitt Romney that Ann Romney had conveyed to him the economic concerns of women, Hilary Rosen said: “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 women in this country are facing.”
All hell broke loose, here and everywhere else on the planet, accusing Rosen — and Democrats — of maligning Mrs. Romney personally and stay-at-home mothers in general.
While I do not believe that such was Rosen’s intent — OK, it was a poor choice of words (we all have them) — Mrs. Rosen and Democrats have paid the price.
But, as it turns out, Romney himself has not been so kind to stay-at-home moms — it would seem.
We read in the Washington Post today that in January of this year, Romney appeared at a town hall event in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he said:
While I was governor, 85 percent of the people on a form of welfare assistance in my state had no work requirement. I wanted to increase the work requirement. I said, for instance, that even if you have a child two years of age, you need to go to work. And people said, “Well that’s heartless,” and I said “No, no, I’m willing to spend more giving daycare to allow those parents to go back to work. It’ll cost the state more providing that daycare, but I want the individuals to have the dignity of work.’
Just as it has been reported ad nauseam that Rosen said, “His wife has actually never worked a day in her life,” I could write that Mitt Romney said, talking about stay-at-home moms, “I want [stay-at-home mothers] to have the dignity of work.”
Or I could quote part of the Washington Post’s piece:
Read that again: “I want the individuals to have the dignity of work.” And by “individuals,” Romney means “mothers.”
To understand this comment, you need to understand that there’s no such program as “welfare.” There’s only “TANF”: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. And the key word there is “families.” Welfare is not now, and never was, a program for poor people. It’s a program for poor mothers.
So what Mitt Romney was saying, in other words, was that he believes poor mothers should go out and get jobs rather than to stay home with their children. He believes that going out and getting a job gives mothers — and everyone else — “the dignity of work.”
As I just did.
But I do ask you, if I may, to read the entire piece at the Post in context and then decide for yourself whether Romney was insulting stay-at-home moms.
It would be nice if we all took a deep breath before enlisting in the War on the War on the War on Women — or in any other war.