Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Gay Romney adviser resigns from campaign

From: The Hill's Ballot Box

Richard Grenell has resigned his role as a foreign policy spokesman for the Romney campaign following criticism of Romney from some social conservatives for having a gay man on his campaign.

"We are disappointed that Ric decided to resign from the campaign for his own personal reasons," Romney Campaign Manager Matt Rhoades told The Hill in a statement. "We wanted him to stay because he had superior qualifications for the position he was hired to fill."

A few leading social conservatives including the American Family Association had attacked Romney for adding Grenell to the campaign, and some bloggers including one at the influential National Review questioned whether he would stay loyal to Romney if President Obama announced support for same-sex marriage.

He'd also been criticized for a series of tweets making fun of Democratic women as well as the Gingrich campaign.

After doing little on-record work since he was hired, Grenell left the campaign this week.

"I have decided to resign from the Romney campaign as the foreign policy and national security spokesman," Grenell said in a statement obtained by the Washington Post.

"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," Grenell said.

The controversy is the latest sign that some social conservatives are still not happy that Romney will be the Republican nominee.

The Obama campaign pounced on the resignation.

"Today we learned that in the year 2012, a Republican nominee for President can't have a gay person as spokesman," Obama for America Digital Director Teddy Goff tweeted.

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