Ann Romney said on Thursday that she could sympathize with working women because she knows "what it's like to struggle."
The wife of likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney appeared on Fox News on Thursday to respond to CNN contributor Hillary Rosen, who recently said that Ann Romney had "actually never worked a day in her life."
"She's never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing," Rosen charged.
"My career choice was to be a mother," Ann Romney told Fox News host Martha MacCallum. "And I think that all of us need to know that we need to respect choices that women make. Other women make other choices, to have a career and raise a family, which I think Hillary Rosen has actually done herself."
"This goes back to the rich argument that has been leveled so much against you and your husband," MacCallum noted. "Basically she's saying Ann Romney could have chosen to do anything that she wanted and Ann Romney can't relate to women who have no choice, who have to work and also raise their families."
"Look, I know what it's like to struggle," Ann Romney insisted, possibly referring to her battle with multiple sclerosis. "And if maybe I haven't struggled as much financially as some people have, I can tell you and promise you that I've had struggles in my life. And I would love to have people understand that Mitt and I have compassion for people that are struggling and that's why we're running. We care about those people that are struggling."
Ann Romney said last month that she didn't think of herself as wealthy even though she is worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
"I don’t even consider myself wealthy, which is an interesting thing," she told Fox News host Neil Cavuto. "It can be here today and gone tomorrow. And how I measure riches is by the friends I have and the loved ones I have and the people that I care about in my life. And that’s where my values are and that where my riches are."
The couple reportedly has a net worth of $250 million, but Ann Romney recently complained about having to release her tax returns as a part of her husband’s campaign for the Republican nomination.
“You all know that he’s been successful in business,” she told a crowd in Miami earlier this year. “Unfortunately that was made abundantly clear yesterday when our tax forms were released.”
Ms. Romney has credited horse riding with helping her to deal with multiple sclerosis, a pastime that most sufferers of the disease do not have access to.
As The New York Times noted in 2007, dressage horses can run in the seven figures and the saddles can cost thousands of dollars.
But even at those prices, Ann Romney won’t tell her husband how many horses she owns.
“Mitt doesn’t even know the answer to that,” she laughed. “I’m not going to tell you!”
As of 2010, the Romneys had five women listed as domestic help on their tax returns. The presidential candidate has often deployed his wife to help reassure women voters. He has even said that Ann "reports to me" about what women care about.