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."

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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. kate

    No, what Mr. Romney wants is to become POTUS and he will become anything the Repugs want him to become. A vote for him is a vote for a puppet and the Koch Bro's.
    OBAMA 2012!

    May 4, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  2. Sandy

    Sure you did, that's why you stood up for him against those GOP bullies. Oh, that's right you didn't stand up for him. COWARD!

    May 4, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  3. Sniffit

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

    -then-

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

    Deputy Doublethink rides again....

    May 4, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  4. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    LIAR!! You hired him then fired him.

    May 4, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  5. Jorge UU Boosh

    That Mitt- such a great influencer.. NOT!

    May 4, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  6. sonny chapman

    That's like George W. saying, "We wanted to get Bin Laden".

    May 4, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  7. d

    Not buying it mittt!

    May 4, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    No, Mitt. You wanted him as a prop. No doubt about it. You used him as a prop just as you and your advisers have tried to use every other demographic in American society as a prop.

    Romney caved in to the right wing bigots and pushed Grennell under the bus. Been his motto since he first decided to run for president all those years ago: do and say whatever it takes, regardless of fairness, honesty, or decency. When the going gets tough, chance directions, and when it catches us, lie and obfuscate.

    It does show a lack of leadership when Romney flips and then he flops, which is why he's now avoiding the media, not giving news conferences and his pubic appearances, except in a limited and very controlled surrounding of "unannounced" events (where a handful of people are strategically placed to get him a full photo op advantage) are now being contrived.

    Starting to see a running scared Sharon Angle "angle" here. NOT good for a presidential wannabee. Not good at all. This is what happens when a candidate kowtows to the worst of their party.

    May 4, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  9. Pander Bear

    Sure you did, Mitt. Easy to say that after the guy has already left. Did you even speak to him to offer your support? Did you make any public statements supporting him while the Teavangelicals were screaming? No, you didn't. You did what you always do – wait until you see which way the wind is blowing and then either say "me too" or "I would have done it differently". Leading from behind isn't leading – it's cowardice.

    May 4, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  10. MaryM

    Thats not what the evangelical preacher that supports Romney says. HE, the preacher, guarantees Romney will not Hire qay people again, period.
    Gotta love those preachers, like the one at a Baptist Church in NC, telling his congragation to PUNCH Their child and break their wrist if they act gay. What would Jesus say to this "Baptist Pastor"? I wonder.

    May 4, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  11. Ram Riva

    BBBBBBBBBBBBBBSSSSSSSSSSSS! ! !......WOW ! ! ...this guy will tell you whatever you want to hear.....obviously he doesn't even hear himself talk....Romney contradicts himself by the minute....he's so desperate to please everyone that he puts his foot in his mouth all the time.....he'll be killed on the debates.....this election has been decided since the Republican primaries....the President will be re-elected....

    May 4, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  12. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    "He is a very accomplished spokesperson."
    -------------------------------------------------
    Who wasn't allowed to speak.....
    Uh-huh. Next!

    May 4, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  13. Thomas

    Of corse Romney wanted Richard Grenell to stay .

    Then go , Then stay.

    Richard Grenell is a very arrogant log cabin guy !

    May 4, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  14. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Sorry Romney but you do NOT want or need a person like that on your team. Do you really want to sit there waiting for him to do or say something that will damage your campaign? From his history, it is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when it will happen. You are far better off without a spokesperson that suffers from foot in mouth disease. Let him go work for Obama.

    May 4, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  15. scott

    yeah right....well then who are the sources close to the romney campain that said no gays allowed???? this is all over the net. gov romney, u have allowed the smallest minded minority to take over....

    May 4, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    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.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Yes, ummm, YOUR campaign right Mittens? Then why did'nt YOU speak with him and try to convince him to stay?
    I can smell the coward in you from here Mittens. There was no way in Mormon hell that you were going to piss-off the Teatards and your so-called conservative (read: bigotted) base by asking this guy to stay.
    Dont' you get tired of hiding behind people Mittens?
    Obama 2012. Because America needs a man in charge not a coward.

    May 4, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  17. Mikey

    Yeah, and if Romney had any backbone, he would still be there. Do we really want a POTUS who doesn't have the stones to stand up to the radical right? Just think about all the draconian, people unfriendly legislation that has been passed in almost every state that has GOP Governors and legislatures – Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Maine, etc. Bills that strip workers' rights, womens' rights, disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters, water down child labor laws, reduce minimum wages, scapegoat imigrants, vilify gays, and on and on. Just say no to the GOP.

    May 4, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  18. 1twinsfan

    Flip flop flapjack candidate.

    May 4, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  19. lf

    He doesn't hire people based on sexual orientation- HE JUST FIRES THEM BASED ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION

    OH YEH, HE LOVES FIRING PEOPLE

    May 4, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  20. vic , nashville ,tn

    “Stay with me but don’t say word” that is called firing Mitt

    May 4, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  21. Al-NY,NY

    What a load of..... Flippy is SUCH a liar. I can't wait to hear what the fanatical preacher that guranteed Flip would never do that again have to say? He just keeps adding ammunition to Obama's campaign day after day.

    May 4, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. Joi Gibson

    Oh please! If you had wanted him to stay, you would have spoken out forcefully, from the beginning. But as usual, you react after the fact. You have no core. You can't stand up to the ultra-conservative, family values folks and you signed the tax pledge of Grover Norquist. That says all we need to know about you. You have no backbone.

    OBAMA/BIDEN/FIRST LADY MICHELLE 2012!!

    (p.s. sorry, this may be a double post)

    May 4, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  23. Brian G

    So, they hire an openly gay man to be a campaign spokesperson, then decide that they don't want him to speak?

    I don't even think this guy knows how disingenuous he really is. Essentially, he hired a gay guy because it looks like he's friendly to the gay community. The gay guy's fine, just as long as he doesn't say anything (which is why he was hired to begin with). And when he resigns, because he's not being allowed to do his job, his employer will spin it and make him look like a quitter.

    Boy, that takes a big set of stones to do that to someone. Romney doesn't care about anyone but himself.

    May 4, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  24. Ken

    Mitt, you really wanted Grenell to stay? Then why is he gone? Why are you commenting so far from behind on it?

    May 4, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  25. Malory Archer

    Democrat Class Warfare – Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    You are far better off without a spokesperson that suffers from foot in mouth disease. Let him go work for Obama.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Why would the Obama administration want an official who worked for the previous occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? Surely you remember him? He and his rethugliban majority in the house & senate are the ones who created the fiasco from which President Obama has spent the last 3 years trying to dig us out while those same rethugliban obstruct and fight him every step of the way. If grenell was good enough for the previous occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, why isn't he good enough for the presumptive GOTP candidate?

    May 4, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
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