Kathleen Parker: Why so much silly criticism of Ann Romney and her horse riding?

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  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    June 29, 2012 6:55 p.m.

    Esquire, You seem to be overlooking the fact that in order to do theraputic riding, you don't really need an 'Olympic' horse. I have a mustang that I adopted and an arabian that I paid less than $100 for. the expensive part is feeding the critters. they eat even when they aren't being ridden. also, the tack is very expensive, but if someone I knew needed to ride for therapy, I'd be glad to let them ride mine.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    June 28, 2012 10:44 a.m.

    Maybe people would be more sensitive to the plight of the rich if candidates like Mrs. Romney's husband did not vilify the poor. Mitt Romney likes to rant that "50% of Americans don't pay taxes," while ignoring the reason; poverty. There is a well established class war going on in this country, but it is those at the top who are waging it.

    The scriptures are full of accounts of corruption that begins with the wealthy. I don't remember reading about any society falling because of the poor. In fact, in the Book of Mormon, the pride cycle always starts with the rich.

    "The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof." (Psalms 24:1) That means all of our stuff is on loan from God, to see how we will use it and care for our brothers and sisters. Congrats to all who have "made it," but get over yourselves and stop playing the victim.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    June 28, 2012 7:30 a.m.

    Mountainman - are you absolutely kidding? Ms. Obama encouraging people to eat healthy is an issues for you. How in the world have you been "forced" to eat anything different because of what Ms. Obama has said or done. This kind of over reaching statemetns just prove there is no room for reasonable discussion. Mayor Bloomberg is not more and agent of the Obamas than you are.

    And every first lady has had a pet issues they champion while living in the White House. With Ms. Bush, it was education. Another it was "just say no to drugs".

    Ann Romeny hasn't been picked on by anyone. This is just more politicals of victimization. I am beginning to feel this is the only platform the conservatives have left. It is like being foreced to watch "the View" and "Dr. Phil" over and over.

    I have confidence that Ann Romeny can handle this attention. I doubt this is the first time she has been in the spot light. This isn't the first time she and her husband have been the focus of attention. The Romneys made their business their running creditials. Review and debate of those creditials is very fare.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 28, 2012 12:10 a.m.

    As opposed to Romney's team who attacked Obama for commenting about the Kevin Youkilis trade? Please, don't pretend that conservatives don't enjoy a worthless pot shot themselves.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    June 27, 2012 6:18 p.m.


    Romney may look better on a horse but I bet Clinton rides one better. ; )

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    June 27, 2012 4:59 p.m.


    "The war on success plays well with the not so intelligent. Others realize that if their boss is not successful they will soon be unemployed."

    It's not a war on success. It's a war on people pleasing and being phony. The Romney's constantly try to appease the general population and 'pretend' they're on the same level and have common ground .... while they enjoy their mustangs, cadillacs, 1k shirts, horse riding, etc.

    Success is the foundation of the american dream. Nobody should be criticized for becoming successful, if ethically. The successful shouldn't pretend they're like the middle class though, especially when you were born very wealthy and didn't have to work through the middle class to become successful. Just be real and honest.

    I'm rich, you guys aren't. I'm going to help balance budgets and get our economy rich again. I'm good at it.

    I'd buy that. I don't buy the appeasement.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    June 27, 2012 2:08 p.m.

    @ Mcbillay. Michelle Obama would love to force the rest of us to eat what she tells us we can (Mayor Bloomberg and his silly 16oz rule). Ann Romney only enjoys riding her horse! See the difference now?

  • Clarissa Layton, UT
    June 27, 2012 10:52 a.m.

    I have MS and am disgusted with the comments here. MS is a nasty disease. I'm lucky that I am still able to walk. Fatigue is a major problem, so a horse get help you get exercise without tiring you as much. I like to see someone getting help. I had a student when I was teaching school who was failing. Her Mom, who isn't rich, got her riding lessons and her daughter started to finally succeed. So horseback riding works for MS and other problems. It's wonderful that she can afford to do it and it looks like she helps other people with MS get help. Until you understand the disease, stop putting down someone who has found a way, no matter the expense, to help them cope with the disease. Go Ann!

  • SLC gal Salt Lake City, UT
    June 27, 2012 10:40 a.m.

    I really fail to see the conflict here. YES, owning a horse, when used in a certain way IS a business expense. It makes perfect sense to me! And if she gets health benefits from riding, well, great, the horse isn't sitting around all day unloved and uncared for. People really need to get over themselves, and start focusing on the issues.

  • Grundle West Jordan, UT
    June 27, 2012 9:17 a.m.

    These are such silly arguments... Google a search on the net worth of our presidents. None but Truman in the 19th century really knew anything of the daily struggles that most Americans face. Consideration of an individual’s wealth as a prerequisite for the Presidency of the United States is only a false issue raised by opponents of Mitt Romney to add to their justification for opposing his candidacy. You can oppose his candidacy based on a number of factors but his personal wealth being an indicator of being out of touch is just plain silly. By that measurement, All our presidents have been out of touch.

  • Furry1993 Clearfield, UT
    June 27, 2012 8:18 a.m.

    The problem is not that Ann Romney rides horses, and it's not that the horses are very prices -- the Romneys are filthy-rich, and can spend their money however they want. The problem is not that they run their horse operation as a business, taking a deduction for their horses that is considerably more than most families make. The problem is the business practices of that horse operation. The problem is that Ann and her partners over-medicated a horse (a horse with a defect in its foreleg) so that it would pass a veterinarian's examination when the horse stopped being useful to Ann and her partners as a horse to ride in dressage performances (it was being sold to another dressage rider as a rideable horse, contrary to what they knew about its status). The buyer sued, and the case settled out of court (Ann was dropped as a defendant as part of the settlement). Ann's spokesperson says the case was "frivolous" but the facts say otherwise.

    Ann, like Mitt, does not operate with clean hands. That fact should be known. THAT is the big issue concerning her horses.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    June 27, 2012 8:09 a.m.

    Why do unsuccessful people almost always try to drag people who are more successful than themselves down to their level? This is especially prevalent in the Democratic party! It would seem to me that we should admire people who are successful and try to emulate them. Success should be everyone's role model instead of class warfare and punishing success! Does doing the opposite somehow excuse or elevate the detractor or does it just deminish our entire culture?

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    June 27, 2012 6:23 a.m.

    "The Democrats are just jealous that Ann Romney looks better riding her horse than Hillary Clinton would .... on her best day."

    Pretty much says it all, doesn't it. Remember all the attacks on Janet Reno as well. What next, "I know you are, but what am I".

    "Never mind the heroic battles this woman has fought ... and is still fighting with cancer and MS "

    Is the the same consideration you gave the Edwards family? You know... the lady who died from Cancer... but the conservatives still dragger her and her family through the mud because of actions of her husband. I think there are plenty of "media vultures" out there.

    Do you not notice the garbage Fox puts up on their "Features and Faces" section. Please, lets try to have a little balance here. The "vulture media" has gone after them all.... the Romeny's are not getting special treatment, either way. If they and their supporters can't handle it, perhaps they had better seek another line of work.

    The media is picking on the poor Romney's.... oh please.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    June 26, 2012 9:35 p.m.

    Re: Hutterite American Fork, UT
    "Attacking people on the way they look. setting the bar even lower, way to go!"

    I thought you said "It's politics, and everything is fair game on both sides of the table"? What you really mean is that it's OK to attack Ann Romney but "hands off" on Hillary.

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    June 26, 2012 5:52 p.m.

    The impetus behind this story is Ann Romney's assertion that the Obamas are 'elitists'. Owning $100,000 horses would qualify as elitist to most. But I guess it's only wrong if you're not a republican.

    The horse is my business if they get a $77 grand tax write-off. Her horses are either a hobby or a business but not both if she wants to avoid the criticism.

  • Montana Mormon Miles City, MT
    June 26, 2012 5:31 p.m.

    Why are the democrats and their cronies making such a big deal out of Ann Romney's horse?

    One word: desperation!!

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 26, 2012 4:46 p.m.

    Because the left wing media - like the vultures they are - need to pick at any piece of conservative meat they can find and if they can't find any meat they will pick at bone or hair or whatever....
    Never mind the heroic battles this woman has fought ... and is still fighting with cancer and MS ... no sir let's ignore all that and instead "look" for dirt or make up some dirt if none exists. Now let's take a look at this same media and how they cover Mrs Obama. Have they once focused on her lavish vacations ? Nope. Have they said a word about her "not being proud of her country" statement? Nope. As this election seasons heats up the media bias is sickening .... but all too predictable. The bottom line - MSNBC, CNN, NBC, Time and Newsweek magazine etc... are nothing more and nothing less than cheap propaganda hacks for team Obama. People dumb enough to believe this garbage shouldn't be voting anyway. Geez.... do some REAL research people and stop listening to amateur propaganda.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    June 26, 2012 2:39 p.m.

    Rifleman said:
    The Democrats are just jealous that Ann Romney looks better riding her horse than Hillary Clinton would .... on her best day.

    Attacking people on the way they look. setting the bar even lower, way to go!

  • achick47 Abilene, TX
    June 26, 2012 2:19 p.m.

    I am all for Ann Romney having a horse she loves and using it both for health and MS therapy.As to them having success more power to them. I live on $743.00 per month and have MS. I too use horse therapy for balance cost me nothing but the owners get a business tax break from it. Where is the difference? Oh yea I am not successful and not running for President. I could be in Ann's shoes but my successful husband couldn't stick with a wife with MS that is why he put on the divorce papers. good riddance and I am doing fine with my MS and freedom.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    June 26, 2012 1:57 p.m.

    Re: Hutterite American Fork, UT
    "It's politics, and everything is fair game on both sides of the table."

    The Democrats are just jealous that Ann Romney looks better riding her horse than Hillary Clinton would .... on her best day.

  • Noodlekaboodle Salt Lake City, UT
    June 26, 2012 12:19 p.m.

    This is what bugs me about the Romney's. I don't care that they are rich. I care that they are rich and try and act like they are not. It makes them look like they think The People are too stupid to figure out they are rich. Your rich, so just admit it. I don't trust someone who can't admit what they are.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 26, 2012 10:56 a.m.

    It's politics, and everything is fair game on both sides of the table. Even the romneys, gilded as they are in the DN, are fair game in the real world.

  • Star Bright Salt Lake City, Ut
    June 26, 2012 10:55 a.m.

    "And how many people who could use therapeutic riding will have access to it or be able to afford it? Few, which highlights the fact that the Romney's, who I have no doubt are fundamentally decent people, are not like the rest of us and don't get it."

    First: it's their money - not tax money that the obama's use for their vacations to spain, etc.

    Seond: odonell meant a criticism of Ann Romney. That is odonell's schtick. If you haven't heard him, then you don't know. He is crude to the max!

    Second, Mrs Romney volunteers at riding places where children and adults, with problems, come to ride these wonderful animals.

    Third: I read the story several weeks ago in the wonderful grey lady - NYT's. The picture showed Ann Romney on her horse and she looked just beautiful. So they think they were hurting her and the comments after were so complimentary of Mrs Romney that it completely backfired. That's why odonell had to find another way to farme it.
    Romney's use their money - obama's use our tax money!

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    June 26, 2012 10:47 a.m.

    "The venal campaign tactics of Obama through his puppets, Hillary Rosen, Bill Maher, Lawrence Odonnell, Jay Carney and others has no lower limits."
    Yes Hemlock, Rush's ranting about about a college a girl being a ***** (EDITED FOR DNEWS, yet strangely printed in it's pages earlier), were about as low as you can set the bar.
    But when compared with the "you haven't worked" Attack on Ann, it's just so much more vicious then suggesting your a porn star. yep I see your point.
    Or this whole "Attack" is just being repeated over and over so that the weak minded believe what they hear from their single source fair and balanced comedian team known as fox.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 26, 2012 10:42 a.m.

    The primary issue is the tax deduction they take on the horse that is larger than the average income for an American family. The rest of the amusement with it is similar to that time Kerry went windsurfing and that was considered out of touch/elitist.

  • Pa. Reader Harrisburg, PA
    June 26, 2012 10:42 a.m.

    Are the folks who claim Mrs. Romney is the subject of unfair criticism the same ones who have subjected the first lady of the United States to relentless ridicule and tasteless attacks ever since her husband rose to prominence?
    It seems a lack of civility and decorum might be the one piece of common ground in an increasingly hostile political battleground.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    June 26, 2012 10:32 a.m.

    I read a dozen papers a day.... and this is the first I have heard of it being an issue. Perhaps we are trying to solve an problem that doesn't exist. I think this is more of the "they are looking at me" crowd, feeling persecuted. If you run for office, what you ate for breakfast is open to public discussion. If you don't like it or have thin skin, get out of the game.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    June 26, 2012 9:49 a.m.

    Since i dont watch Lawrence O'Donnell, i wasnt aware of his raising the horse issue.

    So the real issue isnt about horses, its about the small echelon the Romney's inhabit and the policies Romney supports, while trying to appeal to an economically depressed American populace.

    As many economists have pointed out, in the past decade, 93% of all income gain went to the top 1%. Romney earns upwards of $52,000/DAY, paying a 13.9% tax rate. The system is rigged in his favor, not only does he want to keep the special loopholes that helped him amass a great fortune, he wants to double-down on such policies.

  • sergio Phoenix, AZ
    June 26, 2012 9:47 a.m.

    Should super rich Ann Romney become first lady, perhaps she can promote the therapeutic benefits of driving big expensive Cadilacs and encourage a culture that funnels the countless unwanted cheap automobiles to the used car junk yards where emotionally or physically distressed poor people can afford to enjoy the not so special human need for cheap transportation.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    June 26, 2012 9:32 a.m.

    An examination of the transcript reveals the ridicule was directed at the $77,000 business deduction, not at Ms. Romney.

    "...O’DONNELL: Now, this is not in any way to make light of Ann Romney’s difficulty with MS, it's obviously a very difficult thing to bear. And there are a lot of things you can do to try to deal with MS...".


    "...why does the horse appear on Mitt Romney’s tax return as a business expense, that in 2010 produced a $77,000 business deduction? Not a healthcare deduction, a business deduction for the Romney Limited Liability Corporation that owns the horse as a business...".

    Legitimate question.

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    June 26, 2012 9:09 a.m.

    The venal campaign tactics of Obama through his puppets, Hillary Rosen, Bill Maher, Lawrence Odonnell, Jay Carney and others has no lower limits.

  • KDave Moab, UT
    June 26, 2012 8:43 a.m.

    The war on success plays well with the not so intelligent. Others realize that if their boss is not successful they will soon be unemployed.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    June 26, 2012 7:23 a.m.

    So, a quick internet search for this "attack" shows this article by Ms. Parker, a Seattle Times article highlighting the outrage expressed by Ms. Parker, Ann Coulter and others from the right and then a series of articles highlighting Ann Romney's success with her horse. Other than the typically bigoted and uninformed comments of Lawrence O'Donnell I just can't seem to find this large scale attack on Mrs. Romney.

    Kathleen Parker's question "...why this war on success? People who are struggling through rough economic times ....surely most see through this...attack on the Romney's, whose only apparent sin is having been successful" is just a red herring. There is no war on success, there is concern that those who are at the top of the wealth ladder have been able to keep more of their earnings than others in their same bracket or even those who make less than them simply because of the way they made thier money. Mr. Romney paid less than 15% tax on his $22M earnings. It seems that Ms. Parker might be as uninformed as Mr. O'Donnell.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    June 26, 2012 6:35 a.m.

    I respect Parker, but on this one, she lost me. Republicans need not be so thin-skinned that they miss the points of various commentaries. Some are poking fun, common for anyone in a high profile position as the Romney's. Some comments are political in nature, rightly pointing out that the Romney's inhabit a world that is quite unlike 99.9% of the rest of us. Do they really get the struggles that most Americans have? It is a fair question for anyone who aspires to be President. And how many people who could use therapeutic riding will have access to it or be able to afford it? Few, which highlights the fact that the Romney's, who I have no doubt are fundamentally decent people, are not like the rest of us and don't get it.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    June 26, 2012 6:35 a.m.

    There is nothing wrong with riding a horse, even an expensive horse.