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EXPOSED: Romney Campaign Silenced Gay Spokesman To Avoid Confronting Hate Groups, Misled Reporters

Posted by on May. 3, 2012 at 12:39 PM
  • 15 Replies

EXPOSED: Romney Campaign Silenced Gay Spokesman To Avoid Confronting Hate Groups, Misled Reporters

Eric Fehrnstrom (L) and Ric Grenell

When presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s openly gay foreign policy spokesman resigned under pressure from right-wing anti-gay groups, the campaign sought to minimize the perceived damage by noting that Richard Grenell had not actually started yet on the job.

When a CNN anchor asked campaign spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom about Grenell,the top aide prefaced his remarks by saying: “First let me correct you. He wasn’t two weeks on the job. He was scheduled to start on May 1.” Other Romney-friendly media, vaguely sourcing the campaign, addressed Grenell’s departure the same way, implying that he left the job before he’d started it. When the Washington Post reported that Grenell was “kept under wraps,” Washington Examiner’s Byron York pushed back:

But Romney campaign officials say strongly that they did not keep Grenell under wraps or in any other way discourage him from taking the job. First, they point out that at the time (last week) in which Grenell was supposedly being held back, he was not yet an employee of the Romney campaign. Like a number of other new hires, officials say, Grenell was getting ready to move to Boston to begin work May 1. Romney officials fully anticipated he would begin his public role as spokesman then.

The only problem? Grenell could well have been set to officially become an employee of the Romney campaign on May 1, but he’d already started working for the team.

As Andrew Sullivan reported last night and the New York Times later confirmed, Grenell helped organize a Romney campaign conference call to pre-empt Vice President Joe Biden’s foreign policy speech last week. Sullivan reported that after Grenell’s voice was not heard on the April 26 call, which he’d helped set up, people started to ask questions:

Some even called and questioned him afterwards as to why he was absent. He wasn’t absent. He was simply muzzled. For a job where you are supposed to maintain good relations with reporters, being silenced on a key conference call on your area of expertise is pretty damaging. Especially when you helped set it up.

Sources close to Grenell say that he was specifically told by those high up in the Romney campaign to stay silent on the call, even while he was on it. And this was not the only time he had been instructed to shut up.

The Times added information to Sullivan’s story, also noting that the call was the “biggest moment yet for Mitt Romney’s foreign policy team”:

It turned out [Grenell] was at home in Los Angeles, listening in, but stone silent and seething. A few minutes earlier, a senior Romney aide had delivered an unexpected directive, according to several people involved in the call.

“Ric,” said Alex Wong, a policy aide, “the campaign has requested that you not speak on this call.” Mr. Wong added, “It’s best to lay low for now.”

It’s no wonder Grenell felt the need to resign from the campaign. The newly revealed information only bolsters his reasons: the campaign was clearly seeking to mislead the media to downplay Grenell’s departure. “It’s not that the campaign cared whether Ric Grenell was gay,” an anonymous Republican told the Times. “They believed this was a nonissue. But they didn’t want to confront the religious right.” If Romney campaign can’t stand up to a bigoted special interest on personell issues — for what they clearly thought was the best man for the job — how could a Romney administration be expected to make the politically tough decisions needed to successfully govern the country?

http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/05/03/475950/romney-campaign-misled-reporters-grenell/

by on May. 3, 2012 at 12:39 PM
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Replies (1-10):
PamR
by Gold Member on May. 3, 2012 at 1:05 PM
1 mom liked this

Speaks volumes, doesn't it?

sarebear31976
by on May. 3, 2012 at 1:06 PM
1 mom liked this

I think this may have had a lot to do with his disparaging tweets about Calista Gingrich and Rachel Maddow that came to light a couple of weeks ago, and less to do with his being gay.

sweet-a-kins
by Ruby Member on May. 3, 2012 at 1:07 PM

 They're members of a hate group

What do you get when you mix some homophobia, racism and sexism?

A modern day Bible banging republican...

The wife of the state senator who authored North Carolina’s Amendment One banning gay marriage, says her husband wrote the bill “to protect the caucasian ...
 
Marcus Bachmann’s Gay ‘Cure’ Jul 10, 2011 11:31 PM EDT ... therapy—a widely discredited technique meant to turn gay people straight—Marcus denied ...
A North Carolina Baptist pastor urges parents in a sermon to hit their sons to stop them from becoming gay.
 

 

 
matreshka
by Gold Member on May. 3, 2012 at 1:09 PM
5 moms liked this

"If Romney campaign can’t stand up to a bigoted special interest on personell issues — for what they clearly thought was the best man for the job — how could a Romney administration be expected to make the politically tough decisions needed to successfully govern the country?"

This is awful, the extreme right has the GOP in the palm of their hand and with events like this we are goin gto go backwards so many decades on tolerance and civil rights.

Jambo4
by Gold Member on May. 3, 2012 at 1:09 PM
2 moms liked this

... and gay Romney's aid, Grenell's words speak for himself:  "I want to thank Gov. Romney for his belief in me and my abilities and his clear message to me that being openly gay was a non-issue for him and his team." 

shimamab
by on May. 3, 2012 at 1:26 PM
Whether he left or was let go doesn't change the fact that his personal....as in none of our business....life affected his employment. :(
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Momniscient
by Gold Member on May. 3, 2012 at 1:29 PM


Quoting sarebear31976:

I think this may have had a lot to do with his disparaging tweets about Calista Gingrich and Rachel Maddow that came to light a couple of weeks ago, and less to do with his being gay.

I wondered this too. I read an article about this in another group (I'll have to see if I can find it) but I suspect that there is more to this.



godotherightthi
by on May. 3, 2012 at 1:55 PM

 Umm, it would be no surprise that the anti-gay groups would be opposed to Grenell being asked to take the foreign policy position.  If Romney were afraid of their opinion he wouldn't have put Grenell in to begin with.  The lack of logic in these articles just astounds me.

Citygirlk
by on May. 3, 2012 at 2:13 PM
2 moms liked this

that was a dumb move on their part having an openly gay guy part of him campaign could of given him points with the gay community and the just getting rid of him because of who he is just lost him a lot of votes. and to think that Romney was using his brain for once in trying to appeal to other people besides republicans, i know now for sure that hes lost this election.

sweet-a-kins
by Ruby Member on May. 3, 2012 at 3:48 PM

 until he FIRED him.....yea,,,awesome backbone and a man of principles...opps I mean a man that will bend to the will of homophobes...go romney

Quoting Jambo4:

... and gay Romney's aid, Grenell's words speak for himself:  "I want to thank Gov. Romney for his belief in me and my abilities and his clear message to me that being openly gay was a non-issue for him and his team." 

 

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