OGDEN -- Leah Murray always watches with interest when someone puts a foot in their political mouth.
"You never know when these idiotic statements come out how they are going to play," said Murray, associate professor of political science and philosophy at Weber State University.
Murray said this week's "idiotic statement" seemed to be an attack on Ann Romney, wife of Mitt Romney, candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen, speaking Wednesday on CNN, questioned Mitt Romney's comment that his wife is his adviser on women's issues.
"What you have is Mitt Romney running around the country, saying, 'Well, you know, my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues, and when I listen to my wife, that's what I'm hearing,' " Rosen said, during a CNN interview.
"Guess what? His wife has actually never worked a day in her life. She's never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing, in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school, and why do we worry about their future."
In response, Ann Romney put out her first-ever tweet: "I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work."
First lady Michelle Obama also tweeted on the matter.
"Every mother works hard, and every woman deserves to be respected," said Obama, a former corporate lawyer and mother of two daughters. President Obama joined in during an interview with an Iowa television station, saying, "There is no tougher job than being a mom."
Murray said it is obvious that the Rosen comment hit a national nerve.
"Why it touches a nerve is that women are a very important political group, and Democrats can usually depend on their votes," she said. "Politically, women are a group Democrats cannot afford to offend, and that Mitt Romney can't afford to offend."
So the Romneys and the Obamas are reaffirming a woman's right to be a stay-at-home mom, Murray said.
"The feminist movement now is about respecting whatever choice a woman makes," she said.
Murray said the last big foot-in-mouth moment was last month, when a Mitt Romney spokesman interviewed on CNN said he thought the nasty verbal sparring between Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich would be forgotten in the fall.
"Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign," Eric Fehrnstrom said. "Everything changes. It's almost like an Etch-A-Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again."
Romney Etch-a-Sketch jokes abounded, and the toy company's stock climbed.
"That comment got a lot of traction," Murray said. "I hope this one doesn't get traction. It clouds the more interesting conversation, if it is the case that women have been hit harder by our economy. I would rather hear the politicians talk about that."