Romney: Welfare Moms Need 'Dignity of Work'

Pundits see holes in attacks on Hilary Rosen

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 16, 2012 10:17 AM CDT

(Newser) – New twists in the saga on working moms: The Romney campaign has hammered Democrats over Hilary Rosen's comment that stay-at-home mom Ann Romney had never worked—a comment Ann Romney called an "early birthday gift." But MSNBC unearths video of Mitt Romney himself arguing that parents on welfare "need to go to work." As governor of Massachusetts, "I said that even if you have a child two years of age, you need to go to work," Romney told a campaign crowd in the tape from earlier this year.

Romney—who calls on welfare recipients to experience the "dignity of work"—is talking about moms, writes Ezra Klein at the Washington Post. In Romney's view, then, parenting "does not give poor mothers 'the dignity of work.'" Adds Matthew Yglesias at Slate: "The phrase 'the dignity of work' is extremely condescending and ignores precisely the point the Romney camp was trying to make about Ann Romney—unpaid household work is still work and it's still hard." On top of all that, in 1994, Romney pointed out that the world had changed since the 1960s: "Now mom and dad both have to work," Buzzfeed notes.

Mitt Romney waves after speaking at the National Rifle Association convention in St. Louis, Friday, April 13, 2012.
Mitt Romney waves after speaking at the National Rifle Association convention in St. Louis, Friday, April 13, 2012.   (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
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Romney discusses the 'dignity of work.'   (MSNBC)

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