Just this month Richard Grenell was hired by the Romney campaign as the Senior Advisor on Foreign Policy. Mr. Grenell received “sterling recommendations” from Bush-era foreign policy figures, and has an “impressive resume.” He served as the U.S. spokesman at the United Nations for four ambassadors during the Bush administration. Recognizing that his sexual preference could be an issue for some Republicans, Mr. Grenell disclosed in his interview that he was gay. He knew that “it could be an issue.” The Romney campaign personnel assured Mr. Grenell that it would not be an issue.
On April 24th Mr. Grenell was described by Andrea Saul, a campaign spokeswoman for the Romney campaign, as “the best qualified person for the job and has extensive experience representing the U.S. Mission to the U.N.” Mr. Grenell was scheduled to officially begin his employment with the Romney campaign on May 1, 2011. However he was proud to announce that he had been hired just 11 days before, on April 19th. Sadly, for Mr. Grenell, he felt compelled to resign before he ever became an official advisor to the Romney campaign.
One of the first responsibilities of Mr. Grenell was to organize a conference call that took place last Thursday, April 26th. Dozens of news outlets from around the globe were on the call whose purpose was to dissect and denounce the President’s record on National Security. To the surprise of the participants on that call, Mr. Grenell’s voice was not heard. Most thought he was not participating in the call. The truth is that he was listening from his home in Los Angeles, but had been instructed by the Romney campaign to remain silent.
Mr. Grenell has resigned from the Romney campaign. Ms. Gitcho, of the campaign, said that Mr. Romney, “has condemned voices of intolerance within the party. We tried to persuade Mr. Grenell to stay on, and we were disappointed that he chose to resign.” Jim Talent, a Romney campaign adviser, called the episode a loss for the Romney campaign. He said “People with the kind of expertise that Ric has, don’t grow on trees.”
The message is clear. Mitt Romney doesn’t want to hear from anyone, no matter how qualified, if you are gay. Even if you are the “best qualified person for the job,” even if you have “extensive experience” on foreign policy matters, being gay makes your thoughts and opinions, unimportant and irrelevant. By asking Mr. Grenell to be quiet during the very call he organized, the Romney campaign made a bold statement about the importance of homosexual voices in the Republican Party. By saying that the Romeny campaign has “condemned the voices of intolerance” while silencing the voice of Mr. Grenell, the Romney campaign has proved its willingness to join the chorus of intolerance. The Romney campaign suggests that the resignation of Mr. Grenell is disappointing. Yet it was the Romney campaign that made it intolerable for Mr. Grenell to remain a part of the campaign, simply because of his sexual preference. Having been the reason that Mr. Grenell resigned, the Romney campaign positions itself as a promoter of intolerance, and yet suggests that it is offended by intolerance. This is a perfect example of Mitt Romney being a flip-flopper.
For the limited number of homosexuals who were part of the Republican Party, it should be clear now that if you vote for Mitt Romney for President, he’ll be glad to have your vote, but he has no interest in hearing your voice.