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Ann Romney: 'We need to respect choices that women make'

 

Ann Romney defended her husband Mitt on Thursday, praising him as someone who respects and admires women both personally and professionally.

Amid an uproar over comments made last night by Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen, who said Mrs. Romney had "never worked a day in her life," the would-be first lady pleaded for "respect."

NBC's Mark Murray discusses women and their role in politics today following Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen's comments on Ann Romney.

"My career choice was to be a mother. And I think we all know that we need to respect choices that women make," Ann Romney said during an interview on Fox News.

The former first lady of Massachusetts has emerged throughout the Romney campaign as a top public advocate for her husband, both on the campaign trail and in television interviews. Her stop on Thursday morning on Fox comes amid a sustained blitz by the Obama re-election campaign and Democrats, who blame Republicans for waging a "war on women."

That narrative has been sustained by recent polling data that shows Romney lagging behind Obama among women voters. ("It's just too early. People haven't had a chance to listen to us or hear us," Ann Romney said of the reason for the gap.)

She echoed Mitt Romney's rhetoric that the economy is the number one issue for women, and also sought to portray her husband as somebody who's attentive to the women around him (pointing out that Romney's lieutenant governor and chief of staff were women).

"Mitt Romney is a person that admires women and listens to them and I am grateful that he listens to me," she said.

Ann Romney said she was bothered by the notion that her husband doesn't respect women. "You should see how many women he listens to; that's what I love about Mitt," she said.

Mrs. Romney also sought to project empathy for women who are struggling in the harsh economic environment.

"I know what it's like to struggle. Maybe I haven't struggled as much financially as some people have, but I can tell you: I've had struggles in my life," she said, referencing, in part, her battles against breast cancer and multiple sclerosis.