Romney Refuses to Stand Up for Gay Spokesman Hounded Out by Right Wing

Romney refuses to stand up for gay spokesman hounded out by right wing

On May 1, 2012, the Romney campaign’s openly gay foreign policy spokesman Richard Grenell resigned, saying he had become a “distraction” for the campaign after right-wing activists attacked him for being open about his sexual orientation. Romney refused to stand up for Grenell and accepted his resignation — the anti-gay American Family Association declared Grenell’s resignation a “huge win.”


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Richard Grenell Resigned His Position, Citing Hyper-Partisan Discussion. According to Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin, “In a statement…Grenell says, ‘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.’” [Washington Post, 5/1/12]

During Radio Broadcast, The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer Called The Resignation A “Huge Win.” According to New York Times, Editorial, “On Tuesday Richard Grenell, an openly gay spokesman for the Romney campaign, resigned — or, more accurately, was hounded out of town by social conservatives. And the religious right isn’t taking this victory sitting down. Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, who previously said that hiring Mr. Grenell was like telling the ‘pro-family community’ to ‘drop dead,’ gleefully relayed the news on his radio broadcast Tuesday. Especially noteworthy is how Mr. Fischer explained the big picture to his audience. He didn’t just claim responsibility for the ‘huge win;’ he claimed to have taught Mitt Romney a lesson. ‘Mitt Romney has been forced to say, ‘Look, I overstepped my bounds here. I went outside the parameters here. I went off the reservation with this hire. The pro-family community has called me back to the table here. Called me back inside the borders of the reservation.’’” [New York Times editorial, 5/2/12]

The Romney Campaign Declined To Offer Public Support For Grenell. According to Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin, “During the two weeks after Grenell’s hiring was announced the Romney campaign did not put Grenell out to comment on national security matters and did not use him on a press foreign policy conference call. Despite the controversy in new media and in conservative circles, there was no public statement of support for Grenell by the campaign and no supportive social conservatives were enlisted to calm the waters.” [Washington Post, 5/1/12]

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