Richard Grenell was chosen last month by Mitt Romney to be his spokesman for foreign policy and national security. On Tuesday, Grenell resigned his post suggesting that conservative backlash due to his sexuality had prevented him from being successful in his role.
Grenell is openly gay and said in a statement, “Even though I welcomed the challenge before me to confront the failures in foreign policy of the Obama Administration and weak world stage leadership, my ability to discuss both forcefully and clearly on those issues has been diminished greatly by the hyper partisan discussion of personal issues that arise in presidential campaigns.”
Grenell is widely known throughout conservative circles and in 2001 was the spokesman to the U.N. for President Bush. He was also a director of communications for four different U.S. Ambassadors to the U.N. One of those Ambassadors was John R. Bolton, one of Grenfell’s staunchest supporters.
Before Grenell was chosen for his post, he was a consultant on a voluntary basis for the Romney team, but from the get go, the hiring of Grenell was controversial. Immediately following the announcement that he would join Romney’s team, Grenell was forced to take entries off his account on Twitter that a number of people considered offensive. The posts mentioned Hillary Clinton’s appearance and Newt Gingrich’s hair.
Long time political reporters also complained that Grenell’s conflictive style, which at times included freezing reporters from stories and calling editors was not easy to work with. However, those who were most against Grenell were the social conservatives. He was called a loose cannon and was said to have a gay agenda.