Ann Romney Defends Her Role as Stay-at-Home Mom

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By Shawna Shepherd, CNN Political Producer

STAMFORD, Conn. — Ann Romney, Monday night, defended her role as a stay-at-home mother and described herself and her presidential candidate husband as a couple in touch with women concerned about the economy.

Appearing at a GOP dinner in Connecticut, Romney acknowledged the controversy stirred up weeks ago by Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen who criticized the mother of five for having not “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.

She added her husband, Mitt Romney, treats her as “an equal partner” and supports her role in their family.

“He would remind me all the time that my job was more important than his, that his job was temporary, that mine was going to bring forever happiness. And he believed it, he didn’t just say it, he believed it,” she said.

Romney appeared acutely aware of the perception fueled in part by Rosen’s comments that she may be out of touch with American women.

“I didn’t have help for many, many years. 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,” she said. “[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.”

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.

“And I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that because the days are long, the road is hard. The trials are there and I never know when I have this little grey cloud that’s over my head, when it’s going to start raining on me again, and I do need everyone’s prayers,” she said.

Romney delivered her impassioned speech on the eve of a number of Republican primaries, including Connecticut, where she addressed the Prescott Bush Sr. Awards Dinner.