Hilary Rosen on her influence peddling: ‘You bet I expected their vote.’ Under fire for remarks on Ann Romney


By Aaron Klein

Hilary Rosen, a former lobbyist under fire for her remarks about Ann Romney, once spoke candidly about her influence peddling lobby efforts, saying when she raised money for politicians, “you bet I expected their vote.”

Rosen worked with the lobby Recording Industry Association of America from 1987 to 2003, serving in different positions including as president and then chairman and chief executive.

In an interview for the May 2010 issue of Freeman magazine, a publication of the Foundation for Economic Education, Rosen told writer Jim Powell that as an entertainment lobbyist she expected favors for her fundraising.

Stated Rosen: “When I gave $1,000 or $2,000 to a lawmaker, I wanted him to listen to my business proposition. And when I helped organize an event that raised $50,000 or $100,000, you bet I expected their vote.”

She continued: “Why else do it? Members of Congress are consumed with raising money for their re-elections (or if they have a safe seat, they raise money to give to colleagues to increase their internal power). Anyone, including lobbyists, who lessens that anxiety, is considered a better friend than those who don’t. No lobbying reforms will change that fact.”

Rosen is now under fire from Republicans after she lobbed an insult at Ann Romney, the wife of GOP candidate Mitt Romney never held a job.

“Guess what, his wife has actually never worked a day in her life,” Rosen said in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper about women’s issues.

Ann Romney took to Twitter to respond, writing, “I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work.”

Rosen is a partner at SKD Knickerbocker, the public relations and strategy firm of former White House communications director Anita Dunn.  SKD handled Obama’s 2008 campaign.

Among those distancing themselves from Rosen is David Axelrod, who tweeted his disapproval: “Also Disappointed in Hilary Rosen’s comments about Ann Romney. They were inappropriate and offensive.”

WND has found that since 2009 Rosen held over thirty White House meetings, including a March 11, 2009 meeting with Jerrett and a March 12, 2009 meeting with Axelrod described as a “communications message meeting.”

Rosen’s meeting with Axelrod was reported by the Associated Press and CBS News.com in November 2009.

CBS News noted Axelrod’s White House meeting with Rosen and 18 other strategists demonstrated “the political element of the health care debate.”

Rosen, meanwhile, serves as Political Director and Washington Editor-at Large for the Huffington Post as well as a regular on-air commentator for CNN.

She’s on the board of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

The Center is deeply involved in helping to influence White House policy under Obama.

The Center’s founder, John Podesta, directed Obama’s 2009 transition into the White House.

Time magazine called CAP Obama’s “idea factory,” noting that “not since the Heritage Foundation helped guide Ronald Reagan’s transition in 1981 has a single outside group held so much sway.”

Time reported it is “difficult to overstate the influence in Obamaland of CAP.”

Rosen serves on the board of the George Soros funded Human Rights Campaign Foundation and the Creative Coalition.

Already, the DNC commented on Rosen’s remarks, with a DNC official telling Politico, “Hilary Rosen is not an adviser to the DNC. Our contract for media services is exclusively with Anita Dunn.”

Rosen went on Twitter to further her remarks, writing, “When I said on [CNN] Ann Romney never worked I meant she never had to care for her kids AND earn a paycheck like MOST American women!”

Rosen later tweeted that Mitt Romney “now makes up false concern for women’s economic struggle” and “he should stop saying that she is his guide to women’s economic problems. She doesn’t have any.”

Rosen seemed to backtrack a bit when she posted an explanation at the Huffington Post.

“I have nothing against Ann Romney,” Rosen wrote.  “She seems like a nice lady who has raised nice boys and struggled with illness and handles their long term effects with grace and dignity…What is more important to me and 57% of current women voters is her husband saying he supports women’s economic issue because they are the only issues that matter to us and then he fails on even those.”

With research by Benda J. Elliott