Ann Romney calls stay-at-home mom controversy ‘an early birthday gift'

Speaking to supporters the day before her 63rd birthday, Ann Romney called a Democratic consultant's criticism of her decision to be a stay at home mom last week "an early birthday gift."

"It was my early birthday present for someone to be critical of me as a mother, and that was really a defining moment, and I loved it," Romney told donors at a private fundraiser Sunday in Palm Beach, Fla., per NBC News's Garrett Haake.

Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen came under fire last week when she suggested in an interview on CNN that Romney "has actually never worked a day in her life" and couldn't relate to women.

Democrats quickly moved to distance themselves from Rosen's comment—including President Obama, who said there is "no tougher job than being a mom." And Rosen subsequently apologized. But Republicans have tried to keep the issue alive, as the Romney campaign seeks to woo female voters ahead of November's election.

Ann Romney's comments came as her husband seeks to humanize his campaign by focusing on her and their family. On Monday, the campaign released a biographical video titled "Happy Birthday, Mom" that focuses on Ann Romney's life story, including her battles with breast cancer and multiple sclerosis.

"She's a remarkable woman, and she's gone through some tough times," Mitt Romney says in the video. "She had diagnosis of MS. She's had breast cancer. My feelings and passion for Ann haven't changed in the slightest over the years other than they've become stronger."

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