LOS ANGELES — The tenure of an openly gay spokesman for Mitt Romney’s campaign lasted less than two weeks.
On April 19, Romney’s campaign announced it had hired Richard Grenell, 45, as its foreign policy spokesman. On Tuesday, Grenell tendered his resignation, citing a “hyperpartisan discussion of personal issues that sometimes comes from being on a presidential campaign.”
Grenell never had a chance to make an impression with the public in this job. Last Thursday, the Romney campaign held a conference call with reporters to blunt a foreign policy speech that Vice President Joe Biden was about to deliver. Although Grenell was on the phone, he did not speak.
Grenell, an unabashed supporter of gay marriage who has a longtime partner, was attacked by evangelical Christian conservatives who, like Romney, oppose gay marriage, and claimed Romney was compromising himself on the issue by hiring Grenell.
“The message Gov. Romney appears to be sending to the pro-family community ... is ‘drop dead,’” wrote Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, which was designated as a “hate group” in 2010 by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its anti-gay comments.