Did Mitt Romney’s Campaign Try To Silence Richard Grenell?


Richard Grenell claimed that he resigned from Mitt Romney's campaign because of the "hyper-partisan" debate about his homosexuality. Andrew Sullivan now reports, however, that Grenell may have been frustrated by the reaction within Romney's camp to the controversy, particularly how Romney campaign staffers tried to "silence" him.

According to Sullivan's sources, Romney's campaign asked Grenell, the candidate's foreign policy advisor, to stay silent on a conference calls with reporters about Romney's international policy. Apparently reporters wondered why Grenell was not on a call he coordinated. He was, however, on the call, but had been told not to speak out, up or otherwise make his presence known. Grenell, Sullivan writes, had been "muzzled."

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. Their response to the far right fooferaw was simply to go silent, to keep Grenell off-stage and mute, and to wait till the storm passed.

A couple other thoughts… If all gay Republicans who support marriage equality are banned even from speaking on other topics entirely (like Iran or Afghanistan, where Grenell is a fire-breather), who's left? The answer, I'm afraid, is no one. Grenell was prepared to stay silent on gay issues entirely and do his job. But that wasn't enough. Romney's anti-gay agenda is therefore deeper and more extreme than Bush's.

One has to wonder what Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom, who yesterday claimed Romney is against "intolerance," will have to say about this.


  1. Trev says

    “To my mind, it’s a mark of his integrity that he decided to quit rather than be put in this absurd situation.”

    Integrity? Decided? Quit?


  2. JimmyD says

    Gee Richard. And I’m guessing you’ll remain a Republican… because… you’re an idiot?

  3. Dan says

    i don’t seem to remember them “muzzling” him when he was attacking Rachel Maddow … i think this just might be a case of poetic justice, and i’m not too sympathetic.

  4. NaughtyLola says

    What is this? The guy was a misogynistic creep. Tell me why I should be supporting him, again?

    Pick another hero to rally around, because this guy ain’t it.

  5. Nat says

    “Gay conservatives and Republicans helped pioneer gay marriage as an issue – to some serious pushback from the gay left at the start.”

    Normally, I prefer cogent criticism, but: what alternate reality did Sullivan come from where this occurred?

    I am tired of these detestable tactics by gay conservatives. In every instance where the Republicans demonstrably undercut the argument that they are remotely tolerant, there is inevitably a swipe at the Democrats or the left.

  6. Oliver says

    Perhaps Grenell can get a job working for Rick Santorum. (I mean now that Grenell has learned to keep his mouth shut.)

  7. mike says

    Not sympathetic here at all. And this reminds me, again, the absurd excuses made when gay conservatives say we should be happy when we get so blessed to be included in a conservative’s campaign so that we can “make inroads”. There are too few conservatives who actually have the balls to stand up and include us without pause. The rest are cowards who have no principles, just like Romney.

  8. Jason says

    Your job is to sit there and be gay and make us look better than we actually are.

    You aren’t to actually DO anything….

  9. says

    I’m embarrassed for him. I don’t care for the man or his views, but that’s one of the most demeaning things I’ve ever heard.

  10. Latebrosus says

    “‘hyper-partisan'” debate about his homosexuality”? What? It was the radical religious right who got their panties in a wad about his homosexuality.

  11. Zlick says

    I don’t think the point is to be sympathetic to Grenell, but rather to be disgusted by the Romney campaign and the nutjob religious wacko right. There’s plenty of disdain to go around, and no need for a hero in every story.

    In fact, I rather like a tale where everyone is a villain, and it’s just desserts no matter who gets hurt.

  12. James Troia says

    Why is this news?

    A self loathing narcissistic gay guy was made to resign AKA FIRED by a MORMON.

    A mormon…

    Oh yeah..this is like totally new news.

  13. Mark says

    Which is worse–the religious fundamentalist bigotry, the GOP’s hypocrisy, or Grenell’s willingness to be a gay Uncle Tom?

  14. James Troia says

    One thing we can be thankful for, is Grenell isn’t going around whining..

    I wonder what kind of golden handshake he was given…

  15. Bart Von says

    To magnanimously include a gay in the GOP campaine, then muzzle him is demeaning. I don’t always ageee with Grenell, but this speaks volumes about Romney and how much pandering he will do to get elected. At this point I don’t know what he stands for since he’s been all over the map on virtually every issue.However, I don’t trust him in the least on LGBT concerns.

  16. VDUFFORD says

    He’s a TURD should not have resigned!
    He should have ran his mouth and screamed to every news outlet he could and he could have done it with integrity.Forced Romney to fire him.BOOM!…this would have been a far more powerful of a statement and exposed Romney’s true hypocrisy.

  17. says

    Dear Andrew Sullivan,
    Is there any naval you haven’t tediously gazed at ?
    What’s supposed to be “news” here ?
    Republicans are despicable.Period.

  18. Reggie777 says

    The Romney people will only reach for the etch a sketch once again to erase the past events.

  19. Bob says

    THE MORHOLES ARE ON A BIG DRIVE TO CREAT THE APPEARANCE OF ACCEPTING GAYS… because their image is everything to them, and members are tired of being called names over Prop8, etc.
    NEVER TAKE ANYTHING THEY DO AT FACE VALUE… If Mitt honestly thought he could get away with having Grenell, I might guess that the office of the “prophet” called him and reminded him that a Gay man who is having sex and wants to get married contradicts mormon policy.
    And maybe Grinell was in on the entire thing, which has brought him lots of publicity, and the chance to write a book.

  20. walter says

    attention lcr and goproud do you finally start
    getting the picture the repuks hate you and only want your vote and your money not you. is their acceptance worth your self respect and dignity?

  21. Swiminbuff says

    I don’t think the point is about him being a gay conservative. In fact I don’t have a problem with Grennel being a gay conservative. The problem is that Romney chose an openly gay man to be his National Security/Foreign Policy advisor and then did not have the balls to defend his choice on his merit when confronted with opposition from the right wing American Taliban who have way too much influence in the GOP. To me any President/CEO/Manager should have the balls to stand up for his staff and to defend his choices.

  22. walter says

    if mittens can’t stand up to the right wing of his party how will he stand up to russia, china north korea or iran? he is a ken doll all plastic no balls or a spine.

  23. Frank says

    Whenever I think of powerful gay republicans I think of this scene from “Angels in America”, not because of the closeted nature of the character, but because even in the face of truth he show denial and delusion in thinking that he’s different from all the other gay men who share his circumstance.

  24. jack says

    I have no respect for Grennel. Anyone who is an adult LGBT person and works for Republicans has to have a serious amount of self loathing.I am way past dealing with those people.

  25. jack says

    Who cares? By working for the republican party Grinell shows himself to be a self loathing homosexual.

  26. ThomT says

    Sullivan fails to acknowledge that the reason that Grenill was silenced was BECAUSE HE WAS GAY and they were hoping to “sneak” him into the campaign without the religious wacko’s realizing it. Grenill quit, regardless of what Sullivan says, because the campaign was being heckled about his homosexuality and Romney doesn’t have sufficient backbone to stand up to them and run his own show. This is what the country will get if they elect Mitt – someone who will have to check in with the religious right before making any decisions and will flip-flop all over the place trying to explain his decision making. Grenill was stupid to take the job in the first place and the campaign, regardless of what they say, was breathing a sigh of relief when he volunteered to leave on his own. Now we’ll all just have to sit back and see what Bryan Fischer and the AFA tell Romney to do next. It’s time for Mitt to grow a pair – the wingnuts hate Obama so much that they will vote for Romney even if he picks RuPaul as his running mate!