In her first speech since the flap over Hilary Rosen's "never worked" criticism of her, Ann Romney told personal stories of raising five boys, of doing most of the family's shopping and cooking and cleaning herself, and of her battle with both breast cancer and multiple sclerosis.
Romney, the wife of Mitt Romney, who is expected to receive the GOP presidential nominee, spoke before a crowd of 800 Connecticute Republican activists at the annual Prescott Bush Sr. Award Dinner. And according to Politico, "It was her own story on which Mrs. Romney focused and that the crowd seemed to love, giving her two standing ovations during her speech."
Democrat strategist Rosen created the stir with comments to CNN's Cooper Anderson that Romney had "never worked a day in her life."
"We are grateful for the response that we got from that and appreciative of recognizing that women have choices in life, and some choices are not all the same, but we value everyone's choice that they make in their profession," Romney said in the speech this week.
Some of her remarks were designed to counter the suggestion that because the Romneys are wealthy, she can't relate to those with less means or with mothers who have to both work and raise their children.
"I didn't have help for many, many years," she said. "As a matter of fact, I didn't have any help at all until the fifth baby was born and I had emergency surgery when he was four months old and I was in bed and realized that I couldn't take care of five small boys with Mitt working so hard, I needed a little extra help. [I] know what it's like to get up early in the morning and to get them off to school and I know what it's like to get up in the middle of the night when they're sick, and I know what it's like to struggle and to have those concerns that all mothers have."
Wrote CNN political producer Shawna Shepherd on the Politicker blog, "Romney shared anecdotes about being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and later with breast cancer. She described the solace she feels in receiving prayers from so many people on the campaign trail."
Shepherd described the speech as "impassioned."
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