Romney's Gay Campaign Aide Quits Amid Conservative Uproar
The Advocate reports that Richard Grenell, the gay man hired last month to be Mitt Romney’s campaign spokesman on foreign policy, resigned yesterday after a backlash from social conservatives.
In a statement issued to The Washington Post, Grenell responded. “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.”
R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of the gay group Log Cabin Republicans, issued this statement to The Advocate:
“Ric made the choice that he feels is best for the Romney campaign, and I respect his decision. 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. Ric was essentially hounded by the cacophony of the far right and left. The Romney campaign has lost a well-known advocate of conservative ideas and a talented spokesman, but I am confident Ric will remain an active voice for a confident U.S. foreign policy.”
Clearly, Grenell's sexual orientation was an issue for some social conservatives. Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association wrote that Grenell’s appointment was a “dog-whistle to the homosexual lobby, a way of saying to them I’m with you, not with them” and “all about homosexuality, not foreign policy.” Matthew J. Franck of the National Review also questioned Grenell’s loyalty to Romney. Read about the conservative reaction on The Advocate.