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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White House says Afghanistan trip not political


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

    Ric? How is that pronounced?

    May 3, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  2. 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 by keeping it at the top of the Ticker for 2 days.

    May 3, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. So liberal that I'm libertarian......

    I will be writing Ron Paul in.

    There is no way that I can vote for Romney or Obama in good conscience.

    The GOP still doesn't realize that there are enough Paul supporters that any candidate they put up besides Paul is a vote for Obama.

    It is very sad that the media went to such great lengths to keep Paul out of the game. "X is in first, Y in second, Z in fourth" I will never forget that, corporate media.

    And Ron Paul still isn't out. He may not get a brokered convention, but he has won enough states (5, yes?) that the GOP will have to let him influence the party direction.

    May 3, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  4. Innkahoots

    If you dont follow the tea party script, your out. I guess John Huntsman was right.

    May 3, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  5. roro

    Why any gay person, or even any woman, would be a Republican is beyond comprehension.

    May 3, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. Clinker

    He's an empty suit, just doing what he's told. Remind you of anyone named George?

    May 3, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. Ambrose Smith

    Does't this guy know that his own party hates his guts?? (But of course they will take his vote.)

    May 3, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  8. sassysticks53

    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 by keeping it at the top of the Ticker for 2 days.
    ---------------------------------------

    LOL! America has a right to know what the GOP is all about. Good job CNN! Just goes to show that you better not have half a brain and you better not be gay if you're with the GOP! If Romney wins the White House, he too will do exactly what Grover Nordquist and the Koch Brothers want him to do. Nordquist said they only need someone with "enough digits to hold a pen" to sign bills into law! They don't need a president – they want a robot who will do what he's told and sign what he's told to sign. Thank you CNN for exposing this story, even if I'm not surprised at all.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012 FOR SURE!

    May 3, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  9. Bob the whal eboy

    What a weasel Roney is hiding behind his sadness that this guy resigned. Romney says no to gay marriage, which IS saying no to equality (if anyone still hasn't figured that out), so why a gay person would work for the less-than-great-oh-so-wooden-one is beyond me.

    May 3, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. dashabq

    Don't forget... Romney likes to fire people!!!

    May 3, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  11. JuanVonDinklus

    Hire a gay, hide a gay and then act like you care!

    May 3, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  12. Marie MD

    Maybe instead of worrying and getting rid of the gay guy they should be worrying sbout using the President's campaign logo for their stupid little "hoe and blame" campaign when they are the ones hyping and blaming everyone but themselves.
    Maybe this guy is lucky to be outta there!!! Any lawyers who want to sue the RNC??????????

    May 3, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. sassysticks53

    LOL! Is anyone surprised by this story? Not me! If Romney wins the White House, he too will report directly to his bosses, the leaders of the GOP – Grover Nordquist and the Koch Brothers. Nordquist said they (the GOP) need someone with "enough digits to hold a pen" to sign bills into law! Romney would make the perfect robot for Nordquist and the Koch Bros. – no personality, droll, boring, knows zilch about foreign policy and will do exactly what the GOP facists want.

    May 3, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  14. Jean

    The question is, did Grinell jump or was he pushed? It's certainly suspicious and also disconcerting if he was pushed out for being gay. If he really was restricted from speaking, doing the job he was hired to do, then it seems he had no choice but to leave. Unfortunately this shows how easily Romney can be pushed around by various factions, like the extreme conservatives. They push and he jumps. No wonder Romney comes across as a flip-flopper..he is! Who's tune will he be dancing to if he becomes president?

    May 3, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  15. Lolo

    Poor America. The devils of the GOP are coming out in droves. Wake up America, these people are on a mission to destroy America period!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 3, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  16. YoursIsNoDisgrace

    This gives us a glimpse of the Romney Presidency. A rubber stamp for the NeoCons, Koch bros, and tea party.

    May 3, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  17. JDinTexas

    I am sure this was, somehow, Obama's fault.

    May 3, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  18. ART

    To all the log cabin Republicans how do they like you now?

    May 3, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  19. Patrick Richardson

    His resignation was conditional for Michele Bachmann's support.

    May 3, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  20. FED up

    The Romney camp is falling appart much like the Obama presidency. Much like our country and what it has stood for since its founding. I will be voting for Ron Paul even if I have to write him in. Ron Paul 2012!!!

    May 3, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  21. Ol' Lefty

    Why would any gay person even consider voting Republican?

    May 3, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. JIm Conley

    Mr. Romney has a big problem: A Mormon candidate is going to experience great difficulty in persuading the evangelicals to jump on his bandwagon. Some evangelicals just don't grasp Mormonism, and never will. Some view it as more of a cult as opposed to a mainstream religion. However, Mr. Romney is doing everything he can to bring them around, but then he goes and hires a very well respected and capable adviser who just happens to be gay. The evangelicals did not like this at all, and this is exactly why he was forced out. Some would throw their own mother under the bus in exchange for a few votes. Sad.....very sad.

    May 3, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  23. JDinHouston

    Romney the liberal hires the guy. Romney the panderer allows the guy to be forced out. I wonder which Romney is around today, seems to be a few of them. One thing I am learning about Romney, he follows orders well – um, so who would really run the country if he wins? Scares me, Romney seems to follow orders, not give them.

    May 3, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  24. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    I wouldn't put it by this whiny little dirtbag to have done this intentionally. The look on his smarmy face certainly gives that impression. Besides, why would Romney want a guy that shoots off his mouth and causes problems talking to people? Romney should fire the person that hired him in the first place.

    May 3, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  25. BLKMANinAmerica

    DUH...............please, the person is FAR better off anyway, Romney has just as much to offer this person as he does middle America.........................NOTHING!

    May 3, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
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