It's hard to apologize for views one truly holds -- as evidenced by the statements of both Hilary Rosen and President Obama.
[W]e didn't have the luxury for [Mrs. Obama] not to work.
"a condition of abundance or great ease and comfort: sumptuous environment"
"something adding to pleasure or comfort but not absolutely necessary"
"an indulgence in something that provides pleasure, satisfaction, or ease"
Aside from the fact that many moms would hardly describe their daily lot as particularly "sumptuous," or their work as an "indulgence" that's "not absolutely necessary," between Rosen's words and the President's, there's an obvious effort (though less direct on the President's part) to contrast Ann Romney with Michelle Obama, suggesting that the former is nothing more than a cosseted, overprivileged rich lady who has lived a life of ease (and rendering somewhat ironic his insistence that family should be treated as "civilians"
-- a war metaphor revealing in itself). When taken together with Rosen's follow-up, President Obama's "luxury" remark about stay-at-home moms is a transparent attempt to neutralize the appeal of Ann Romney, whom some on the left fear as Governor Romney's "secret weapon." And it's a typical play from the extensive Obama White House resentment-stoking playbook.
The happy (or "unhappy," as it turns out) synchronicity between the President's statements and those of strategist and frequent White House visitor Rosen
suggests that a effort was in the making to cement Obama's appeal among working women by a divide-and-conquer strategy. Who knows? Maybe polling shows that stay-at-home moms are such a lost cause for the Obama campaign that they thought there was no significant downside to this strategy.
The contrast suggests that the president and his strategist are not terribly regretful about the attack on stay-at-home moms; they're just terribly sorry that it backfired.