Romney’s openly gay spokesman resigns amid criticism

By Eric W. Dolan
Tuesday, May 1, 2012 17:39 EDT
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Mitt Romney on the campaign trail. Image via AFP.
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Romney’s openly gay spokesman Richard Grenell resigned from his position on Tuesday following an onslaught of criticism over his sexual orientation, according to The Washington Post’s Right Turn blog.

“I have decided to resign from the Romney campaign as the Foreign Policy and National Security Spokesman,” Grenell said in a statement. “While I welcomed the challenge to confront President Obama’s foreign policy failures and weak leadership on the world stage, my ability to speak clearly and forcefully on the issues has been greatly diminished by the hyper-partisan discussion of personal issues that sometimes comes from a presidential campaign. I want to thank Governor Romney for his belief in me and my abilities and his clear message to me that being openly gay was a non-issue for him and his team.”

Bryan Fischer of the conservative American Family Association had suggested Grenell was at risk of leaking sensitive information because of his allegedly promiscuous lifestyle, which Fischer claimed was “endemic” to the gay community. Other conservatives had warned that Grenell could abandon the Romney campaign if the Democratic National Convention adopted same sex marriage legalization on its national platform.

The Log Cabin Republicans said Grenell was a “well-known advocate of conservative ideas and a talented spokesman” who was “hounded by the far right and far left.”

“Ric made the choice that he feels is best for the Romney campaign, and I respect his decision,” said R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director. “It is unfortunate that while the Romney campaign made it clear that Grenell being an openly gay man was a non-issue for the governor and his team, the hyper-partisan discussion of issues unrelated to Ric’s national security qualifications threatened to compromise his effectiveness on the campaign trail.”

Liberals had also criticized Grenell, accusing him of sexist attacks against women on Twitter. However, that criticism was not a factor in his decision to resign, according to Right Turn.

“We are disappointed that Ric decided to resign from the campaign for his own personal reasons,” Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades said. “We wanted him to stay because he had superior qualifications for the position he was hired to fill.”

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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