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.

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (127 Responses)
  1. pkbkr

    Yeah, the GOP sure is the "family values" "big tent" party, you betcha! The Christian religion should embrace ALL of God's children.....but the right wing has taken over and chooses only those that are "right like them." How very sad.

    May 2, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  2. Jane

    Well, if anything good came out of this fiasco, it's that we have here proof certain that Romney is going to be exactly the kind of President (in the unlikely event he wins) that Grover Norquist has told us he'd be: 'don't need any thinking, we have Congress for that...just elect a Republican with enough working digits to hold the pen..." and sign what he's told to sign. He'll knuckle under to Any special interest group that pushes him. Know why Ryan is being pushed to be V.P.? Because the V.P. in a Romney Presidency will be the President. Rove was Bush's brain; Norquist is Romney's spine.

    May 2, 2012 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  3. jrm03063

    The best way to make good decisions is to hire excellent advisors – then tell them not to speak?

    May 2, 2012 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  4. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Everything about Romney is secretive, just like his tax records. This is another indication that he will never be transparent and has much to hide from the American people.

    May 2, 2012 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  5. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    The etch-a-sketch aint working? This shows how divisive, deceitful and non transparent these republicans are! And disinterested in the well being of the American people too!

    May 3, 2012 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  6. Lucky18

    Romney has no foreign policy experience. Hires a gay man and poof, gone! Republicans and gays...Oil and water!

    May 3, 2012 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  7. Debby

    He didn't get fired liberals he left voluntarily read the article. Romney's campaign team haven't talk to reporters since this all started so why should this guy get special privilages. Good riddence let him join Obama's campaign then.

    May 3, 2012 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Why doesn't Mitt Romney speak about what he will do in specific terms? It makes you think that he has a hidden agenda to spring on us, just like Republican governers did to us after the 2010 elections. It will be a war against anyone who is not like him; gays, women, students, seniors, immigrants, minorities, infirmed, poor, unions, and of course the middle class.

    May 3, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  9. Flipper Rmoney Failure Ahead

    The entire Rmoney gaffe-prone campaign is looking pretty Etchy-Sketchy.

    May 3, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  10. WatchDawg

    '...Social conservatives also criticized the Romney campaign's hire of an openly gay Republican operative...'

    The real reason for the departure...Mitt was at conflict with his handlers...

    May 3, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  11. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    The guy probably was forced out because he told Willard what he needed to hear, instead of what his handlers wanted him to hear. Reminds me of the way Darth Cheney and Karl Rove treated Dubya.

    May 3, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  12. beevee

    The only pitiful foreign policy experience Mitt Romney has sending jobs overseas for profiting himself. i think he is no match for president Obama.

    May 3, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  13. American

    First, Romney hires Grenell with knowledge of his chavanistic comments against women, which they tried to delete from Grenell's Twitter account.

    Then, Romney does not have the courage to stand up for the LGBT community against his bigoted base, which forced Grenell out just for being gay. Another revealing moment for Romney...sad

    May 3, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    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.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Blah, blah, blah, and oh, by the way, he was Gay. Can't have that, so bye-bye now.
    Criticizing anyone who is a Democrat is a prerequisite for being a Rethuglican, so we know the tweets weren't the reason for his sudden departure.
    Let's see, he's alienated women, Blacks, Latinos, middle-class, Gays, the poor, seniors, the educated....Who's left to vote for Etch-A-Sketch Mittens?

    May 3, 2012 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  15. Solid

    Going to be really disappointed come november and Romney still somehow manages to get 47% of the popular vote because people in this country are too stupid to read or watch anything past the Fox News drivel that their brain soaks up like a sponge.

    May 3, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  16. Al-NY,NY

    Debby

    He didn't get fired liberals he left voluntarily read the article. Romney's campaign team haven't talk to reporters since this all started so why should this guy get special privilages. Good riddence let him join Obama's campaign then.
    --------------------

    what a joke. He left "voluntarily" because Flippy was being pilloried by the zealots for even thinking of hiring "one of them open homo-sexuals" into his campaign. Some fanatical radio host openly bragged about getting him out and said he "would guarentee" Flippy never does that again. As for working for Obama, unlike the GOP who demands purity, Obama would welcome an openly gay person into his campaign, showing which party cares about real people and which party is run by the fanatical religious zealots

    May 3, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  17. grahame rhodes

    To Debby
    Boy you sure are naive into believing that people leave for no reason. He was asked to resign. If you ever join the real world you will understand how corporate America works.

    May 3, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  18. ladyfon

    Nice to know that Romney is not anti-gay. And just because you are an advisor does not mean you speak to the public it means you advise the candidate. Also, maybe they didn't want him talking until he is completely up to date on Romney's views as I don't think you fully know someone in 2 weeks to speak for them.

    May 3, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  19. Jerry

    Well, duh! He is Mr. Romney's employee!!! Grenell seems to be just a disgruntled employee (ex) attempting to cause problems for the Mr. Romney campaign. I am wondering if he's being funded by the Mr. Obama campaign or his Democratic lapdogs.

    Just wondering...

    May 3, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  20. Corporations Are People

    Seems pretty divisive. If that's the way Willard conducts affairs within his own staff, I'd hate to think how he'd try to suppress the population. Fortunately Willard can't buy his way into The White House. Obama 2012.

    May 3, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  21. Joe

    Republicans don't like gays or minorities. Who knew! 🙂

    May 3, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  22. Not an Obama Supporter!!!

    yet another lie from Romney. Dont forget he said that he enjoys firing people. This has the making of just that. And we know that it is impossible for him to tell the truth about it. I bet if you told him the sky was blue he would disagree and say it was green with a hint of purple. When are people going to understand that a lie is a lie is a lie. If he is willing to lie about stealing a piece of bubble gum then what makes you think that when he says he will act in the best interest of the people that he is not lying. Take some time and research his answers, if you do, it will make you sick. every sentence that comes out of his mouth is a lie with some facts thrown around it to make it sound credible.

    May 3, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  23. Kenny K

    You are supposed to do enough due diligence before hiring people into such position, and Mr. Grenell 's information was public or in public domain. Mr. Romney's campaign must have liked what they know about Mr. Grenell before they hired him in the first place.

    May 3, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  24. ShawnDH

    If Romney can't even stand up to the deranged BIGOTS in his own party, how can he stand up to our enemies? He can't. He's weak. This episode is truly a pathetic reflection of Romney AND the Republican base. Sad.

    May 3, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  25. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    @ Debby.....

    people like YOU are part of what's wrong with today's GOP. A once decent party now gone to the far right and off the cliff.

    May 3, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
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