Following the resignation of openly gay Romney campaign foreign policy spokesman Richard Grenell, who was roundly criticized by conservative activists for his sexual orientation, the Romney campaign has tried to spin the issue by saying that his resignation had nothing to do with him being gay. However, the campaign told him to keep quiet on a major foreign policy call with reporters and never defended him from the attacks. When Grenell announced his resignation he noted, “My ability to speak clearly and forcefully on the issues has been greatly diminished by the hyper-partisan discussion of personal issues that sometimes comes from a presidential campaign.”
As one Republican adviser told the New York Times that while campaign staffers didn’t see Grenell’s sexual orientation as an issue, “they didn’t want to confront the religious right.”
After Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association called Grenell’s resignation a “huge win” for the Religious Right, he later wrote that since Romney is partial to “political convenience” over “political conviction,” conservatives must keep up the pressure on him “since the governor has demonstrated in the Grenell affair that he is maneuverable”:
So Romney went the full Etch-A-Sketch on us twice. He campaigned in the primary as a champion of natural marriage. Then as soon as he locked up the nomination, he shook the tablet clean and hired a same-sex marriage zealot as his spokesman. Then when the windsock shifted directions again, he shook the tablet once more and all traces of Richard Grenell disappeared. If the governor is not careful, he’s going to sprain his wrist one of these days shaking that thing.
Gov. Romney is a politician rather than a statesman. While he will not do the right thing out of political conviction, he will do the right thing out of political convenience. This represents both a great challenge and a great opportunity for the pro-family community, since the governor has demonstrated in the Grenell affair that he is maneuverable.
The Grenell resignation represents a huge win for the forces defending the family in America, since it will be a long time before the governor appoints another homosexual activist to a prominent position in his campaign.
Since Gov. Romney will do the right thing when it is politically expedient, it’s our job to make it politically expedient for him to do the right thing on as many issues as possible. Let’s get cracking.
Yesterday, conservative talk show host Janet Mefferd also welcomed the news of Grenell’s resignation, saying that Republicans shouldn’t hire God-hating gays because they intend to trample over the rights and freedoms of Christians.
Like Fischer, Mefferd also went after Romney, saying that since “he evolves all the time, he flips all the time, he comes to new understandings all the time” and “doesn’t seem to have much of a core,” he may be willing to side with either “gay activists” or opponents of gay rights depending on who carries the most political weight.
Mefferd said, “I don’t what to be misunderstood on this, but if you continue to push the Republican Party to the left on the gay rights issue, we’re all dead—I mean, not dead literally—but Christians will pay the price for this”:
I think it was appropriate that he resigned, I think it was inappropriate to put him in that position in the first place as the presumptive presidential nominee for the GOP, the reason I say this and I’m going to reiterate it because I want to be clear what my objection is, my objection is the whole issue we’re seeing in our culture with gay rights trumping freedom of religion and freedom of speech, and it’s on the march, and we’ve seen it in a lot of different instances across the country. I think it’s foolish for the party that has stood up in defense of marriage so strongly, oh by the way the Democrats stood up for marriage once upon a time in DOMA although it’s fallen out of favor now, but you can’t be the party of freedom and the Constitution if you’re not going to understand that the Constitution enshrines the First Amendment and not gay rights.
When you have people who are gay activists on the Republican side, what happens? What do you think is going to happen? You’re going to have people, especially somebody like Mitt Romney, he evolves all the time, he flips all the time, he comes to new understandings all the time, this is the problem with having a nominee that doesn’t seem to have much of a core and that ends up being a problem for people who actually want principle to trump votes. Not every Republican feels that way, by the way, and I’m not trying to be mean to individual people, I don’t what to be misunderstood on this, but if you continue to push the Republican Party to the left on the gay rights issue, we’re all dead—I mean, not dead literally—but Christians will pay the price for this.
They hate the Bible, they hate God, they hate you, but that doesn’t mean we have to roll over and die, it doesn’t mean we have to be quiet on the issue, it’s about freedom, it’s about freedom for Christians to follow the word of God.