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ThePlumLIneGS whorunsgov plumline
Posted at 12:46 PM ET, 04/12/2012

The Hilary Rosen controversy is absurd

The Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee are attacking President Obama over the fact that Dem strategist and CNN contributor Hilary Rosen said that Ann Romney “hasn’t worked a day in her life.”

Romney campaign officials are claiming that an “Obama adviser” has demeaned stay at home moms, and they — along with the Republican National Committee — are also tying Rosen to the Democratic National Committee. The Romney campaign even scheduled a conference call with reporters to keep the story alive today.

Fox’s Greta Van Susteren has defended Rosen, claiming that Rosen clearly was just saying that Ms. Romney has not raised a family while working a full time job. But the quote is what it is: Whatever Rosen meant, she shouldn’t have worded it the way she did, and even Obama campaign officials quickly condemned it.

That aside, though, the real question is: Does Rosen work for the Obama campaign or the Democratic National Committee, or not?

The answer is, “not.”

A spokesperson for CNN tells me that contributors are not allowed to function as paid advisers to any campaigns or party committees. The CNN spokesperson emails:

Hilary Rosen, like all CNN contributors, is not a paid advisor to any political party or presidential campaign.

Some on the right are pointing out that Anita Dunn, another official at Hilary Rosen’s firm, SKD Knickerbocker, is an adviser to the DNC. And that’s true. But SKD also confirms that Rosen is not an adviser to the DNC or the Obama campaign. That’s two parties confirming this: CNN, and Rosen’s firm.

Now, presumably some on the right will argue that Rosen may be an unpaid adviser to Obama and/or Dems. But that doesn’t even appear to be the case, and at any rate, anyone being honest about this will tell you that in this town, the category of “unpaid adviser” is borderline meaningless.

Besides, do the Romney people or the RNC really want to lower the bar that far? If so, then I’m sure people could easily dig up examples of “unpaid advisers” to the Romney campaign or the RNC who have said some really ripe stuff. But it would be a shame if things sank that low.

Update: Hilary Rosen is out with a new statement:

“Let’s put the faux ‘war against stay at home moms’ to rest once and for all. As a mom I know that raising children is the hardest job there is. As a pundit, I know my words on CNN last night were poorly chosen. In response to Mitt Romney on the campaign trail referring to his wife as a better person to answer questions about women than he is, I was discussing his poor record on the plight of women’s financial struggles...
“As a partner in a firm full of women who work outside of the home as well as stay at home mothers, all with plenty of children, gender equality is not a talking point for me. It is an issue I live every day. I apologize to Ann Romney and anyone else who was offended. Let’s declare peace in this phony war and go back to focus on the substance.”

More from the Washington Post

James Downie: GOP desperation exposed in Rosen “controversy”

Jonathan Capehart: Romney, Allen West and selective outrage

Ruth Marcus: Ann Romney not your typical working woman

Jennifer Rubin: Exclusive interview with Ann Romney

Marc Thiessen: Obama has the women problem

By  |  12:46 PM ET, 04/12/2012

 
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