Romney has yet again flip flopped, this time in his claim last year that he does not discriminate against homosexuals. He has now thrown his chosen foreign policy spokesman, Richard Grenell who is openly gay under the bus.
Romney was criticized by the homophibic Right, notably Bryan Fisscher of the group American Family Association. While publicly the Romney campaign is claiming that this was wholly Grenell's choice and that they did not push him out in anyway-indeed they claim that they wanted him to stay but that "he made his own choice" it is also being reported that Grenell was being frozen out of policy discussions, suggesting he was "encouraged" to make the "choice" that he did.
Again, publicly they are pretending otherwise:
"The Romney campaign issued only a short on-record statement on Grenell’s decision to resign, explaining that campaign officials had urged him to stay on."
“We are disappointed that Ric decided to resign from the campaign for his own personal reasons. We wanted him to stay because he had superior qualifications for the position he was hired to fill,” Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades said
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0512/75821_Page2.html#ixzz1tnGiuiwA
Whether or not they urged him to stay the fact that he was kept out of the loop during the recent foreign policy discussions probably made hin feel less welcome. Indeed, there is the unfortunately quite plausible suspicion that Grenell was just a token:
“I gathered Ric was frustrated that Team Romney wouldn’t aggressively engage Obama on foreign policy. Ric was kept from talking to the press as a spokesman typically would. They seem to have decided to concede foreign policy to Obama, and therefore didn’t need an aggressive spokesman,” said Whiton, a former Newt Gingrich adviser who described Grenell as a “friend.”
“This confirms the worst of what people think of team Romney. It seems in retrospect like Grenell was hired to check some diversity box, but was then kept in the closet because others were offended,” said Whiton. “It’s very strange that foreign policy strategy and related issues were not run to ground before Ric was hired. It’s frankly incompetent management.”
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0512/75821_Page2.html#ixzz1tnHGNIll
"Ari Fleischer, a former George W. Bush press secretary, also raised an eyebrow to The Washington Post about Grenell’s absence during the first major foreign-policy moment of the 2012 general election."
“Why wasn’t Rick the spokesman in the last couple of days, when foreign policy was paramount? That’s the piece I don’t understand,” Fleischer told the paper. “I don’t know why he wasn’t the spokesman on foreign policy for the last several days. It’s something that nobody understands.”
Other Republican operatives and foreign policy veterans have privately expressed surprise since Grenell’s appointment over the apparent lack of vetting involved in his selection, and consternation over how he would function as a campaign spokesman in light of his own PR problem."
"Regardless of the clear fissures over Grenell specifically, Romney’s camp did have an opportunity to publicly bat back comments by Fischer and a few other conservative critics before the issue came to a head after the spokesman’s departure. Instead, several Republicans said privately, the campaign signaled a concern that evangelicals, who have remained the holdout to Romney among the GOP base, would be upset if the candidate or his campaign proactively disavowed the criticism of Grenell, even if that wasn’t actually the case."
“This was an unforced error, and one that could have been avoided if the Romney campaign had simply said early on we have 100 percent faith in Ric Grenell to do his job,” said Chris Barron, one of the co-founders of the group GOProud. “Does anyone in the world doubt that if had been an evangelical or a Mormon or a Jewish person that the Romney campaign would not have defended that person? It is hard for me to comprehend why the Romney campaign chose to leave Ric Grenell hanging out there the way that they did.”
"He added, “Every campaign when you’re at this moment where you’re making the transition from the primary to the general election looks for their Sistah Souljah moment. And this could have been Romney’s Sistah Souljah moment. He could have said, look, this is a guy who was spokesman at the United Nations. This is a guy who served under John Bolton … and by God, I’m not going to let a handful of extremists bring him down.”
The impact, Barron said, was specific: “This is a great day for Obama.”
This was just vintage Romney trying to please both the homophobes and large number of Americans who are not homophobes. As usual splitting the baby failed. While it was a great day for Obama it Bryan Fischer declared victory as his homophobic campaign was a success. He declared that Romney would not nominate another homosexual to a high ranking post again. Every reason to think he's right. For those who wonder which way Romney compromises this was a good example of what to expect. He compromises to the Right, every time.