Just learned that Richard Grenell, the Romney campaign’s foreign policy spokesman has stepped down. And also learned that he “was in the process of moving from Los Angeles to Boston.” Didn’t know he was out here. Although we are both gay conservatives, our paths have not crossed.
According to Jennifer Rubin who broke the story, Grenell issued this statement earlier today:
I have decided to resign from the Romney campaign as the Foreign Policy and National Security Spokesman. 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.
It is unfortunate that certain social conservatives made much of Grenell’s sexuality. Rubin finds that Romney camp’s expression of disappointment on the resignation serves as “a subtle retort to those calling for Grenell’s head, that he was not hired to advise on gay issues but on foreign policy matters.” Emphasis added. (Read the whole thing.)
Just because you hire a gay man for a job doesn’t mean you support the agenda of the left-wing gay groups.
And just because Grenell shares Mitt Romney’s foreign policy goals doesn’t mean the two men see eye to eye on every issue. It is thus absurd to think, as one social conservative quoted in Rubin’s piece suggests, that Grenell might “decamp from Romney to Obama” should that latter come out in favor of federal recognition of same-sex marriage. Does he really think gay people are so shallow that we’d back a candidate just because he has a better record on gay issues even when we disagree with him on nearly every other issue?
Rubin reports that the Romney campaign wanted to keep him on.
Media coverage, however, made Grenell’s personal life rather than his experience and foreign policy credentials the focus in stories about his appointment. It’s not just social conservatives who are to blame. The media are also to blame for sensationalizing this.
That said, social conservatives’ choice to focus on an aspect of Grenell’s private life irrelevant to his capacity to serve must have made this a trying time for this supremely qualified conservative. [Read more…]