ST LOUIS, Mo. - Mitt Romney made his first public statement regarding stay-at-home moms after days of coverage that focused on his wife Ann's back-and-forth with a Democratic strategist who accused her of never having a job, saying he believes "all moms are working moms," before inviting his wife on stage to a rousing applause.
"There is one more person I would like to introduce," said Romney at the National Rifle Association's annual meeting. "This is a hero of mine. I happen to think that all moms are working moms. And if you have five sons, your work is never over. My sweetheart, Ann Romney."
"Yeah, say something," Romney urged his wife.
And she did - delivering an assertive defense of those who chose to stay home with their children.
"Let me give a shout-out to all moms that are working," she said. "And by the way, to all dads that are working. We love all of you."
Ann Romney was embroiled in a media firestorm this week when Hilary Rosen, a Democratic strategist, said during an interview on CNN that Mrs. Romney, a mother of five, has "never worked a day in her life."
"You know, I like to think that you are only, as a parent, as happy as your saddest child. And you never stop being a parent. Our children have grown now. They have children of their own. But it is such a wonderful opportunity for me to think about the heritage we are leaving our children," said Mrs. Romney.
"You know, I heard recently something, how women were being referred to as a special interest group," said Mrs. Romney. "And I thought to myself, ya know, really only Washington could do that.
"There is only one part of that phrase that is correct. Women are special!" she said, the crowd erupting in applause.
Mrs. Romney quickly segued her remarks to focus on the economy - the cornerstone of her husband's campaign.
"Women are talking about the economy and jobs and about the legacy of debt that we are going to leave our children and we are mad about it. And we are going to do something about it in November," she said. "With your help we need to make sure that we keep this country strong and fighting for the right reasons."