May 2nd, 2012
05:55 PM ET
8 years ago

Romney adviser left after being silenced, source says

(CNN) – A foreign policy spokesman for the presidential campaign of Mitt Romney left his job in part because he was restricted from speaking publicly, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told CNN on Wednesday.

The source said Richard 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.

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The Romney campaign confirmed Grenell's departure on Tuesday.

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.

In a Wednesday interview on CNN's "The Situation Room," Romney senior adviser Dan Senor said that Grenell had apologized for the tweets, and "he certainly wasn't speaking for the campaign."

"Richard Grenell was an extremely talented public servant who worked for four US ambassadors to the United Nations," Senor told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "I worked with him in the early part of the 2000s and [he] is an extremely talented guy and we were lucky to have him."

In a statement on Tuesday, Romney's campaign manager said they were "disappointed" in the departure.

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

- CNN's Mary Snow and Adam Reiss contributed to this report.

Also see:

Michelle Obama swings West for fundraising push

Christie uses GOP star power to help embattled Walker

White House says Afghanistan trip not political

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (127 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The GOP big tent does not include gays, women, seniors, veterans, the poor, the middle class, minorities, and workers. They do cater to the ignorant.

    May 2, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  2. carlyt1

    The party of tolerance. LOL. Not many more constituents that the right wing nuts/Romney campaign can offend this election cycle.

    May 2, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  3. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Left after being silenced??? It looks like he had a record of saying some dumb things and they wanted to keep him on a short leash for a while. Sounds like a good move to me. It was probably a mistake to hire him in the first place if he had a record with foot in mouth disease. Oh well... No shortage of consultants to pick from.

    May 2, 2012 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  4. estibaliz

    By Ben Stein

    Why was President Barack Obama in such a hurry to get his socialized medicine bill passed? Because he and his cunning circle realize some basic truths:

    The American people in their unimaginable kindness and trust voted for a pig in a poke in 2008.
    (Pig in a poke means: an offering or deal that is foolishly accepted without being examined first. A poke means sack.)

    They wanted so much to believe Barack Obama was somehow better and different from other ultra-leftists that they simply took him on faith.

    They ignored his anti-white writings in his books.

    They ignored his quiet acceptance of hysterical anti-American diatribes by his minister, Jeremiah Wright.

    They ignored his refusal to explain years at a time of his life as a student.

    They ignored his ultra-left record as a "community organizer," Illinois state legislator, and Senator.

    The American people ignored his total zero of an academic record as a student and teacher, his complete lack of scholarship when he was being touted as a scholar.

    Now, the American people are starting to wake up to the truth. Barack Obama is a super likeable super leftist, and not a fan of this country.

    The American people have already awakened to the truth that the stimulus bill - a great idea in theory - was really an immense bribe to Democrat interest groups, and in no way helped all Americans.

    The American people already know that Mr. Obama's plan to lower health costs while expanding coverage and bureaucracy is a myth, a promise of something that never was and never can be -
    "a bureaucracy lowering costs in a free society." Either the costs go up or the free society goes away... an historical truth.

    These are perilous times. Mrs. Hillary Clinton, our Secretary of State, has given Iran the go-ahead to have nuclear weapons, an unqualified betrayal of the nation. Now, we face a devastating loss of freedom at home in health care. It will be joined by controls on our lives to "protect us" from global warming, itself largely a fraud, if believed to be caused by man. She has also signed on to a Small Firearms Treaty at the U.N. This is a back door gun control move. This is approved by the Senate and a 2nd Amendment majority doesn't exist in the Senate now. It will supersede all U.S. Law and the 2nd Amendment. All citizen possession will be eliminated through confiscation. Just Like Great Britain and Australia .

    Mr. Obama knows Americans are getting wise and will stop him if he delays at all in taking away our freedoms. There is his urgency and our opportunity. Once freedom is lost, America is lost. Wake up, beloved America .

    May 2, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  5. mickey1313

    Typical of the radical right, silence any decent at any cost.

    May 2, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  6. Dvet

    Openly gay and working for conservatives does not work. You can resign or be terminated.

    May 2, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  7. vic , nashville ,tn

    openly gay in republican campaign give me a break

    May 2, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  8. mk1

    Oh I highly doubt he left for personal reasons, I am sure he was forced out because he is gay. Romney should feel extremely lucky the bigots on the right couldn't really get their act in gear sooner or he would be toast.

    May 2, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  9. rs

    More of the GOP "purity" in action. As a nation we need candidates with MORE ideas, not less.

    May 2, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  10. souptwins

    When are people going to learn that the things you post on social media may come back to haunt you. It's only prudent that Romney's campaign not want to worry about him saying something embarrassing that could backfire with a history like his. It doesn't sound like either decision had anything to do with him being gay. Not everyone is allowed in front of a mic in a campaign.

    May 2, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  11. Beverly - NYC

    Now Mr. Grenell knows how it feels to be a minority in Romney's world. You can be seen, not heard. If the Romney campaign truly wanted Mr. Grenell to stay why was his resignation accepted? I Can't have much sympathy for Mr. Grenell, he's old enough to know that the Republicans are homophobic knuckle draggers, yet he wants to be a joiner.

    May 2, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  12. Debbie

    Romney really has character and sticks by friends. Of course Romney himself said he loves to fire people. So Romney gets rid of the gay guy, next up: women back in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant, 1950's the Ann and Mitt way.

    May 2, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  13. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    I just wonder what groups like the Log Cabin Republicans will say about this. They continue to offer support to a party that does not like nor accept them. Plenty of room at the table in the DNC folks.

    May 2, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  14. tristram

    That's hilarious – he could stay as Romney's 'spokesperson' as long as he kept his mouth shut.

    May 2, 2012 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  15. Flipper Rmoney Failure Ahead

    What a sad and pathetic campaign. The Rmoney campaign is one non-stop gaffe.

    May 2, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  16. MaryM

    Anyone surprised? The Repubs got rid of the Gay person fast!! Thats the repubs for you.

    May 2, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  17. Sandy

    Romney is the biggest COWARD! He wouldn't stand up to Rush Limbaugh when he attacked Fluke, he wouldn't stand up to Ted Nugent or Alan West. And now he won't stand up for the foreign policy expert he hired. There is absolutely no way he would have made the Bin Laden order! Willard Mitt COWARD Romney!

    May 2, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  18. Larry L

    They didn't want another subordinate giving them an "Etch-A-Sketch" moment. Romney has no real ideology and they are scared to death of independent voters – a group not stupid like the ultra-conservative base.

    May 2, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  19. Pander Bear

    We love Gay people! More precisely we'd love them to disappear – Signed, The GOP.

    May 2, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  20. PJ/TX

    So, once again the gutless wonder, Romney, will not defend his choice for Foreign Policy spokesman and caves to
    the conservatives who accept only those who are like them. Nice spin though.
    Romney did not confront Limbaugh
    Romney has not, as far as I know, said what he believes about the Lily Ledbetter law,
    and now, he does not defend the person who he thought was qualified to do the job. Let the pundits do it.
    I would not work for this guy for any amount of money, he will throw you to the curb as soon as any
    controversy arises that might cost him a vote.
    He earns the label "empty suit" every day.

    May 2, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  21. Andrea Sharp

    This article makes no sense. I can't see how any gay person voting conservative expects to be treated fairly. My beautiful gay friends I am not trying to put u in one size fits all box. I am just saying these conservatives don't care about your issues as an american citizen. You stepping down so as not to distract the direction of Romneys campaign is insulting.

    May 2, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  22. Data Driven

    Silenced because he was gay. Silenced because Romney was afraid of losing the fanatical, bigoted right-wing vote.

    Just what America needs: a President terrified of the nation's bigots. No way, no how should this gutless, morally adrift man be the ruler of the free world. And the GOP continues to demonstrate that it is an active principle of evil.

    May 2, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  23. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    Apparently there is no room for homosexuals in the Republican Party, or Poor People, or Blacks, or Asians, or Hispanic, or Indian or College Students.

    May 2, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  24. nazario a. gonzales

    Grenell, a very smart and talented man, committed political indecent exposure when he unzipped his twitter and made so many injudicious comments. He embarrassed himself and Romney. He did the right thing to withdraw his name.

    May 2, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  25. Sorensen

    Here is the real GOP again. They hate women. contraception, gay people, poor people, sick people, etc.
    They will go down in flames.

    May 2, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
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