Republicans ride “Mommy Wars” to bank, if not ballot box
The flap over Ann Romney’s stay-at-home mom status may or may not help overcome the yawning gender gap between her husband and President Barack Obama. But Mitt Romney’s campaign, and his Republican party, are looking to at least make a few bucks off the latest edition of the “Mommy Wars” — and perhaps keep them going with some well-priced goods.
Democratic pundit Hilary Rosen started the fracas on Wednesday night when she tried to make the point on CNN that Ann Romney, who has been deployed by her husband’s campaign to appeal to women voters, may not understand the economic challenges faced by most American women. Probable Republican nominee Mitt Romney is a former private equity executive with a personal fortune of up to $250 million. But she slipped by saying that Mrs. Romney, a 62-year-old mother of five sons, had “never worked a day in her life.”
Mitt Romney’s campaign, which saw his ratings among women take a dive as Republican presidential candidates sparred over abortion, contraception and other divisive social issues, seized the moment. Ann Romney took to Twitter for the first time to say she had worked hard raising her sons. And party notables, including former first lady Barbara Bush, took to the Twitterverse and airwaves to dispute Rosen, who eventually apologized, as Democrats, including President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, said they disagreed with her statement.
The Republican National Committee’s GOP.com site is offering a $15 travel mug reading “Moms do work! Vote GOP” – sold on a page showing an image of a woman wearing an apron and holding a baby. “Don’t Let Barack Obama & Democrats Insult Women,” reads a banner on top of the order page, above the line “Moms Do Work,” written in pink.
The page goes straight for the jugular, reading: “I believe that Moms do work and can’t stand liberals who think that Moms don’t. To show my support for the hard work done by Moms everywhere and to help defeat elitist liberals like Barack Obama, I would like to purchase a ‘Moms Do Work’ travel mug.”
Romney’s campaign is also in on the action, offering red bumper stickers for $6 each that read, “Moms Drive the Economy.” The stickers, which say “Romney” on the bottom and “mittromney.com” in blue on the right side, feature a silhouette of a figure in a dress holding hands with child-sized silhouettes.
The Romney order page takes a more centrist tone than the RNC’s, reading, “We stand with Mitt and Ann in saying that all women play an important role in our country. America deserves a president who will bring us together – not pit us against each other.”
Picture credit: REUTERS/Jim Young