We wanted Grenell to stay, says Romney
May 4th, 2012
11:11 AM ET
2 years ago

We wanted Grenell to stay, says Romney

(CNN) – Mitt Romney said Friday his team encouraged Richard Grenell, a spokesman who resigned after less than two weeks on the job, to stay with the campaign.

"We wanted him to stay with our team," Romney said in an interview on Fox News. "He is a very accomplished spokesperson."

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

Grenell's hire was marked by controversy, as he had previously tweeted criticism of high-profile Democratic women, as well as criticism of one-time GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich and his wife, Callista. Social conservatives also criticized the Romney campaign's hire of an openly gay Republican operative.

On Friday Romney said Grenell's sexual orientation played no part in his hiring.

"We select people not based upon their ethnicity or sexual preference or gender but upon their capability. We are sorry to have him go," Romney said.

On Wednesday, a source with knowledge of the situation told CNN Grenell left his job as a foreign policy spokesman in part because he was restricted from speaking publicly.

The source said Grenell, who was hired to the Romney camp less than two weeks before his departure, was told on several occasions not to speak on the campaign's conference calls with reporters.

Romney maintained Friday that his campaign advisers urged Grenell to stay in his job.

"Actually a whole series of senior people on my team called him and encouraged him to stay. He expressed a desire to move on and I wish him the best," Romney said.

Also see:

Romney adviser left after being silenced, source says

Bachmann to endorse Romney

Pro-Romney super PAC back on the air


Filed under: Mitt Romney
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Investment Advisor

    WOW! A lot of angry left-wingers voicing their opinions here. Obviously they all speak the "truth" as I see no bias in their comments . I have been converted to your side because of your valuable insight to the " Evil Empire" that Mitt Romney has associated himself with. Thankyou and get a life!

    May 4, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. NVa Native

    Sure he did, right before he didn't.

    May 4, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  3. Lili

    Romney is spineless and should be ashamed of himself!!!! The LGBQT community will remember him in NOV 2012!!!!!! Romney has lost the majority of latinos, women, blacks, brown, LGBQT community and educated good people in general!! And he expects Karl Roves and Co. to make him POTUS! Dream on Mitt......

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    May 4, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. Marie MD

    You are so misunderstood sociorobot. Grenell was an accomplished spokesperson but yiu fired him nevertheless???
    Is this how you are going to run the country? Letting the koch bros, rove and norquist tell you what you need to do?
    You are a really and truly a spineless twit, aren't you?
    Face it grenell is gay. Yiur party doesn't like gay people and how dare one of them be part of your team. Not that there are probably others who are already there and you don't about. Then there's the MN flake's husband. I am surprised they allowed her to endorse, LOL, you!

    May 4, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  5. Michael

    Oh, I've been converted now – surely a gay republican doesn't exist and left because he was forced out for his sexuality, I see how it is!

    May 4, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  6. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    So just what is the big deal here? The guy was hired by and being paid by Romney to do the job that ROMNEY wanted him to do. He needs to just shut up and do what he is told to do, like every good employee. If he can't do that, then resign, which is what he did. It sounds like he has a high and mighty opinion of himself and thought he deserved more but that is NOT for him to decide. Much ado about nothing. But of course the LSM will try and make a big deal about it because he's gay and it plays right up their alley of BS and lies.

    May 4, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. Debbie

    IF Romney wanted him on the "team" he should have showed leadership publically and said so. Then those under Romney should have and would have backed off. But once again Romney lets others take action and then he responds after the fact. That's not leadership and direction nor Presidential.

    May 4, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    Aaaaw, so sad for Mittsy. Someone, quick, cue the Hall & Oates...

    ...Baby come back, you can blame it all on me
    I was wrong, and I'd like to say I'm sorry....

    May 4, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  9. Pam from Iowa

    Why would a gay person support a candidate like Romney anyway?
    Did this guy resign after Mitt told him he would rot in hell because he is gay?

    May 4, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "So just what is the big deal here? The guy was hired by and being paid by Romney to do the job that ROMNEY wanted him to do. He needs to just shut up and do what he is told to do, like every good employee. If he can't do that, then resign, which is what he did. It sounds like he has a high and mighty opinion of himself and thought he deserved more but that is NOT for him to decide. Much ado about nothing. But of course the LSM will try and make a big deal about it because he's gay and it plays right up their alley of BS and lies."

    What a wonderful window you are into the soulless plutocratic abyss of the conservative hivemind.

    May 4, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain

    Well, there you have it, folks: Mittens has passed the final Karl Rove test of letting others decide who will be on his campaign staff. McCain wanted Joe Lieberman as his running mate, but Karl want the Quitta from Wasilla instead, so of course McCain jettisoned his last bit of spine and went with Karl's choice.

    Mittens wanted Grenell (probably could've cared less about his being gay than his competence), but Karl/Grover said no, you'll upset the almighty righties, so time to turn in YOUR last bit of spine, be a good little lap dog and do as you're told.

    Tells you who'd REALLY be in charge if Mittens was in the White House ...

    Obama/Biden 2012 = The only way forward

    May 4, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Bologna. The debate has come and gone, the pundits all asked the rhetorical question, "How come Mitt Romney is silent and not saying blah?" The next day Mitt Romney steps in front of a microphone and says, "blah." Bologna. The man tested the winds before he took a position. He told the pundits and critics exactly what was politically correct.

    May 4, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain

    @Investment Advisor: "Thankyou and get a life!"

    My advice to you: Get a dictionary; you're misspelling "advisor".

    I'd tell you the correct spelling, but I think it'd do you good to actually use your brain and figure it out yourself. Who knows; maybe that will lead to you doing something more with your gray matter than simply transcribing the day's GOP talking points.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    May 4, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  14. Chris

    To "Democrat Class Warfare – Destroying the economy, destroying the country":

    For someone who spends so much time on news sites to leave comments (don't you have a job?), it's amusing that you're always one of the least informed posters.

    May 4, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
1 2