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New Romney spokesperson draws scrutiny for insulting women on Twitter

By Muriel Kane
Friday, April 20, 2012 22:48 EDT
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Richard Grenell at the UN, 2008 via Flickr
 
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The Romney campaign announced the appointment of a new foreign policy spokesperson on Thursday, and the appointee has already come under fire for what Think Progress describes as his “odd penchant for targeting the wives of male politicians and women in general on Twitter.”

According to Judd Legum and Alex Seitz-Wald, Richard Grenell, who formerly served in the Bush administration, “has gone after Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Callista Gingrich, Sandra Fluke and others. He also asserted that President Obama’s children should be fair game for political debate.”

Grenell appears to be particularly bothered by Rachel Maddow, whom he apparently finds insufficiently feminine. The tweets assembled by Legum and Seitz-Wald include one from a year ago saying, “rachel maddow needs to take a breath and put on a necklace.” A current one snarks, “Forced to watch #msnbc on gym tv. The Rachel Maddow commercials can’t possibly attract any viewers, aside from Bieber fans #DeadRinger.”

Grenell’s dislike of Maddow doesn’t appear to be ideologically-based, however, since he has also been going after Callista Gingrich, recently tweeing, “Calista [sic] stands there like she is wife #1″ and “do you think callista’s hair snaps on?”

At the same time as Grenell is throwing fuel on the fire of Romney’s problem with women, another campaign adviser isn’t doing Romney any favors when it comes to Latino voters.

In recent days, the Romney campaign has tried to distance itself from Kansas Secretary of State and anti-immigration activist Kris Kobach by insisting that he is merely a “supporter” and not an “adviser.” According to Think Progress, however, a email sent by a Romney spokesperson to CNN on Friday did call Kobach an”informal adviser.”

This is significant because, as Talking Points Memo explains, “Advocates for the Latino community and Democrats have said that Romney’s ties to Kobach — an architect of anti-immigration laws in Arizona and Alabama — are a poison pill that makes connecting with Latino voters all but impossible. ”

Kobach himself has continued to insist that he is not only advising the campaign but fully expects Romney to support the use of Arizona’s draconian SB-1070 anti-immigration law as a national model.

Romney is eager to gain the support of Latino voters, who are often conservative on social issues, but he has also worked hard to woo the far right anti-immigration forces represented by Kobach. As Talking Points Memo sums up the situation, “How Romney’s [sic] splits the difference is a big storyline moving forward.”

Photo of Richard Grenell by enough_project from Flickr

Muriel Kane
Muriel Kane
Muriel Kane is an associate editor at Raw Story. She joined Raw Story as a researcher in 2005, with a particular focus on the Jack Abramoff affair and other Bush administration scandals. She worked extensively with former investigative news managing editor Larisa Alexandrovna, with whom she has co-written numerous articles in addition to her own work. Prior to her association with Raw Story, she spent many years as an independent researcher and writer with a particular focus on history, literature, and contemporary social and political attitudes. Follow her on Twitter at @Muriel_Kane
 
 
 
 
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