Signorile: The Richard Grenell Fiasco Exposed Romney’s Cynical Move

Michelangelo Signorile has a great piece on yesterday's resignation of out gay Romney spokesman Richard Grenell, which extremist right-wing 'pro-family' hate groups like the American Family Association are holding up like a "skinned jackal."

GrenellWrites Signorile:

Actually, I believe this is a big win for progressives and for gay journalists and commentators as well. We drew out the conservative leaders in addition to Fischer, like Family Research Council's Tony Perkins, Gary Bauer and other commentators on National Review and Daily Caller, by bringing forth and continually highlighting the true facts about Grenell, which, to most Americans, are completely acceptable, but which, in the eyes of the evangelical right, make him a radical homosexual. As I wrote in a post last week, Grenell isn't just gay, like some other gay Republicans who stay quiet about their homosexuality. He's a gay man who very publicly expressed that he wants to get married to another man and who believes President Obama isn't adequate on LGBT rights.

Why is it that a win? Because Grenell was being used for cover by a candidate with abhorrently antigay positions, a man who has promised to "propose and promote" a federal marriage amendment if elected president. I don't buy the argument made by some that it was a measure of progress that Romney hired a gay man as his foreign policy spokesperson when he's using that gay man to make himself appear moderate to independents while he's promising the GOP base that he'll make gay people into second class citizens. Actual progress in the GOP will come when their presidential candidates stop bowing to bigots and refuse to sign their extremist pledges. Otherwise, it's all window dressing.

Yes, and:

This entire fiasco presents a hard truth to our media, which seems to want to think otherwise: Mitt Romney is anti-gay, no matter what he supposedly truly believes (and can we please not forget he's a devout Mormon?). He can't be anything else and keep the support of his party because the chasm that separates the GOP base from the rest of America is now bigger than the Grand Canyon.

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  1. Paul R says

    Sorry, that argument is convoluted. It’s hard to believe that Romney concocted an elaborate hiring of a gay man. Grenell is similarly scummy and self-serving. Also, the GOP base accounts for a large portion of the US public–say, 40 percent–so I’m not sure what huge divide he’s talking about.

  2. VDUFFORD says

    Are we taking about the same guy Richard Grenell didn’t WE crucify the guy right here in comments on Towleroad calling him every foul name one could think of.I’m quite sure we all realized that the GOP was antigay .But some how WE made Grenell the fall guy and HE RESIGNED… why is the question? Was it because of the CRAZY right wingers or the venom from us the LBGT community?
    Somebody PLEASE get the real story!

  3. says

    Yes, I’m sure it was the LGBT community and Towleroad commenters who have such immense influence over the Romney campaign.

    They’ll do anything we want!

    That must be why Romney signed on to promote a ban on marriage equality. Because we wanted that.

    Please, trolls, take your meds!

  4. sara says

    @Vdufford No one crucified Grenell that I saw. He made apparently over 800 sexist tweets that he was rightly called on and he deleted them. He aligned himself with a candidate who has given support to NOM and who signed an anti gay marriage pledge. In the meantime he very much wanted to get married. Enough that there was a National Review article suggesting that he was ‘unhinged’ because of his desire to get married and he shouldn’t be trusted.

    If you’re still confused about why Grenell was let go, then maybe you just have some comprehension issues or are willfully blind. There’s a statement made by GoProud that said that when Grenell was being attacked by the right, he felt that he didn’t get any support from Romney and he got very frustrated on that.

    From Chris Barron of GoProud: “It is hard for me to comprehend why the Romney campaign chose to leave Ric Grenell hanging out there the way that they did.”

    Even Barron is not deluded enough to not call it what it is, Romney was too afraid to lose his evangelical base to take a stand. That is how Romney will be on LGBT issues if he’s president.

  5. Oliver says

    Grenell is a tool and I have zero pity (or respect) for him (you lie down with dogs you wake up with fleas). The bigger picture here is what a total weakling Mitt Romney is – what a pansy-ass. No wonder he ran off to France (in his little Mormon get-up) to avoid the draft. Ironic that Romney takes his marching orders from that closet-case, Bryan Fischer (of the American Family Association).

  6. VDUFFORD says

    We must not have read the same comments but they were very hateful to any human being! Look at these comments on my comment words like troll…all ready more to come I am sure.
    And as far as comprehension I would like to hear the story from Grenell, not second hand. Maybe he did give gave his end of it to GoProud? For the record I can’t stand Romney or most any republican including Grenell.But something about this story is does not add up.The fact that we are talking about deleted tweets is almost laughable.If the 800 tweets were deleted who has the proof that they ever existed?
    I just wanted the whole story here. I hope you wanted that also?

  7. says

    The whole story is neither complicated nor surprising. The anti-gay right-wing of the Republican party (which, for the most part, IS the 2012 Republican party) didn’t like an openly gay man working for their candidate. They put pressure on, and Grenell quickly resigned, his resignation not contested by Mittens.

    The criticism of Grenell from the “left” (including gay people) was over a gay man who claims he wants to marry supporting and working for a candidate who not only opposes marriage equality but supports a constitutional amendment that would nullify all existing same-sex marriages. His misogynist tweets just made him seem juvenile and creepy; but the problem for the GOP wasn’t his tweets (they’re not opposed to misogyny) but his gayness. The idea that he resigned because we made him “the fall guy” is ludicrous LCR spin. He made himself the fall guy by attempting to work as an openly gay man in an anti-gay party.

  8. say what says


    if he wasn’t a mysoginist then yeah but this guy was a liability to romney in the general if straight with the same mysoginist past

  9. jim says

    I really, really, REALLY hope this Grenell thing is made into an issue once the Obama vs Romney carnage picks up after the conventions! Appointing him was pandering, not defending him & allowing him to “resign” was pandering. Blatant both times. Romney has no integrity whatsoever, and this needs to be hammered home relentlessly–there are a helluva lot of swayable independents out there who will vote in November.

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