Ann Romney clarified her characterization of the Hilary Rosen controversy as a "birthday gift," telling ABC's Diane Sawyer that her words had been misconstrued.
"That wasn't how I meant it," Romney told Sawyer, referring to the idea that the "present" in question was the ensuing backlash to Rosen's comments. "It was a birthday gift to me because I love the fact that we're talking about this. ... I love the fact that women are talking about deficit spending and the economy, I love that."
Romney continued: "I will say for me, financial security has not been a huge issue. But that does not mean I'm not compassionate. It does not mean that I have not had different challenges. Everyone in life has their challenges, mine have not been financial. I'm grateful for Mitt for that and grateful for the blessings that that's brought in my life."
Romney's "birthday" comments came during a closed-door fundraiser for her husband Mitt Romney's presidential campaign.
"It was an early birthday present for someone to be critical of me as a mother, and that was really a defining moment, and I loved it," Ann Romney said during the Sunday event.
Rosen, a Democratic strategist unaffiliated with President Barack Obama's reelection campaign, kicked off the controversy last week when she criticized Mitt Romney for turning to his wife, who has "never worked a day in her life," for advice on women's economic concerns.
The former Massachusetts governor's presidential campaign quickly jumped on the comments, using the so-called "war on moms" to raise money and criticize Obama.