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. Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Is Soo Plastic he Makes Mannequins Looks Real

    Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Romney is gonna soon blame President Obama for being anti-gay and for the firing of his adviser!!!

    If is this weakling Mitt can't stand up to Rush Limbaugh and Ted Nugent, he surely STAND up to support a gay man in his campaign, let alone a dead OBL!!!

    Yep, "HYPE & BLAME".....Its all Obama's fault NRC & Etch-a-Sketch Mitt!!!!

    May 3, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  2. Veteran for Obama

    Mitt Romney wants to be president of the United States, the most power leader on earth; if he won't stand up to those in his campaign who clearly didn't want this guy around because he's gay, how in the hell will he be able to stand up to the leaders of Iran, South Korea or Syria? We don't need a weak Commander In Chief, please Mitt do us all a favor and just quit.

    May 3, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  3. roscoe

    It must be hard to be a Romney day, you're for something and the next day, you're against it.

    May 3, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    "You know, the statement that they really don't need a president, just someone who can hold a pen and sign ..."

    They got what they wanted in Mitt. Considering just how broken the GOP is now, it's going to take a mighter man than SwissMitt to buck the TeaPers - even if he wanted to - which he doesn't. He's been told to shut up about policy, hence the continual Obama blah, blah, blah blabbering. GOPers figure if Mitt bleats and blahs enough to keep voters distracted, the policy makers can go about the business of getting their extreme right wing policy ready to go for Mitt to sign.

    Mitt's been nothing but window dressing his entire life, and there is no indication he'll be changing anytime soon - domestically or nationally. He can't even draw a crowd, so now his campaign is suggesting all his crowd-less events are actually "unnanounced" visits. Media keeps playing along.

    May 3, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  5. Khaleeshi

    A gay republican? What did he expect from this group? Why would any gay, woman, middle-class, poor, hispanic, islamic, young, or old person be a republican – you're voting against your own self-interest. Geez!

    May 3, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  6. rosaadriana

    If his qualifications were so superior why didn't they let him speak?

    May 3, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  7. debt

    Any question who really is running this campaign? What a herd of cowards!

    May 3, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  8. Jackson

    Worked for 4 US Ambassadors and the UN?

    Well, no wonder he and Romney parted ways. The man is just too good to work for Romney.

    May 3, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  9. Ron Reagan

    Seems more likely he was pushed out because he doesn't understand how to not keep his trap shut and avoid stirring up unwanted trouble by loose, unauthorized comments. No shock that here on CNN they would try to create some ridiculous controversy over the fact he was gay. Here is a clue, straights don't have a monopoly on stupidity. Gays are equally capable of doing stupid things at work just as easily.

    May 3, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  10. Pander Bear

    What this tells me is that the Evangelicals, who had unprecedented influence in the Bush administration, will have even stronger influence in a potential Romney administration. No thanks.

    May 3, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  11. .. Kentucky long-rifleman ........

    "...for his own personal reasons.".....?
    WILLARD MITTHOUSE ROMNEY fired this man after heavy pressure from the anti-LDS tea party.

    May 3, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  12. Independent Voter

    If M.R. is too weak to handle the most extreme in his party, then how can he handle working as the Commander in Chief?

    May 3, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  13. TheMagusNYC

    We can only pray this campaign charade comes to a comical end, soon.

    May 3, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  14. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    Romney's camp told Grenell to keep quiet after being attacked for possible future views he might have. Grenell is gay. When Romney was attacked by the same person who attacked Grenell, over Romney's Mormonism Romney and his people defended his church strongly. When Grenell's lifestyle was attacked Grenell was told to basiclly shut up. Grenell was left with the choice of not defending his family and the people he l;oved or quiting.

    If this is the way Romney treats someone he worked with daily, what will he do for people he doesn't even know. This is the core problem with Romney. If it is not something in his limited circle of values, Mormonism, the ulta-rich, male dominated society, conservatives etc, it is not worth defending. Keep that in mind if you are middle class or poor, if you are a minority, if you are female or if you are non-hetro.

    May 3, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  15. Vence

    First, war on immigrants, then war on women, later war on gays, war on poor, war on students, war on seniors. Yep! all indicates that the republican party is pandering for election.

    May 3, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  16. Larry L

    The GOP can't afford to tolerate the gay lifestyle. This, and other "socially conservative" issues is the key to their base. If the Party is controlled by the 1% income bracket, that won't get enough votes to win an election. They must generate votes from the bigoted, fearful, racist, and homophobic right-wing, even though most of that population has nothing in common with the fat-cats. Social issues are cheap and hate is easier to sell than compassion – especially to that group.

    May 3, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  17. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    Mitt Romney is so SCARED of his far right flank that he probably would not defend his own kids if one of them said something that the right didn't like. He's afraid of Rush Limbaugh, Ted Nungent, and now the right wing homophobic ministers that are somewhat lukewarm to his campaign but hold their noses and support him. At least Sen McCain would come out a either correct or defend what he believed if somebody supporting him said something he did not agree with. But not jellyfish spine Mitt.

    May 3, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  18. Peggy - TX

    Earlier post by estibaliz stated:
    "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.”
    No this is a estibaliz bold face lie. For one thing, it is President Obama, not” Mr”. Second, this statement is a more accurate description of the Tea Party movement, and now the Republican Party, after it was taken over by the Tea Party financed by few 1%. like the Kock Brothers.
    I think it is telling that Gov. Mitt is willing to keep an advisor whom by his tweets has shown he has issues with women. He wants him to quietly help create his policy positions which are adverse to women, but does not want this person to speak to Reporters, This shows just how deceitful Mitt is. Mitt is a flop-flopper only because he does what he is told. Mitt’s flips and flops just reflect the differences between subsequent handlers.

    Mitt is just a stuff shirt, a facade, and a pretty articulate puppet.

    May 3, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. Lucky18

    Interesting articles today...Romney has no backbone! I could go on, but they might cancel my post!!!

    May 3, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    The man left because he wanted to keep his sense of self dignity. He was being treated like a piece of discarded furniture in the attic. I understand that he was excluded from meetings and kept out of public sight.

    May 3, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  21. seanster5977

    I think it is really hurting the conservative republicans that we do not drop this anti-gay bias. If you individually don't believe being gay fits your moral code that is fine, but the party should not be excluding of people based on a personal private feeling. I don't necessarily believe in the Morman faith, but I don't think all mormans should be excluded from the party. Just saying it should be something we discuss openly and not like liberals "this is the rule, and it will not be discussed" philosophy.

    May 3, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  22. vatoloke

    If Willy Chameleon can't even stand up to Rush, do we really expect him to stand up to the Russians?

    May 3, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  23. FreeLove

    The flip flopper strikes again!

    May 3, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  24. George

    The GOP needs to make a decision as to whether or not they are going to let the evangelicals dictate their decision making. It was a successful strategy for 28 years but history is not on their side and we are reaching a tipping point.

    May 3, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. Hongli

    Mitt Romney cannot run from his record.When he was Governor his state was #47 th in producing jobs.Next, Mitt Romney has NO PERSONALITY,and cannot deliver a speech and keep a crowd motivated. Mitt will forever be known as the one that lost to President Obama. This Republican pick might be wealthy but it's the worst pick in many many years. Fortunately they all know the pick is useless and there are no alternatives at this time.

    May 3, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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