Richard Grenell, Mitt Romney's newly appointed spokesperson on national security and foreign policy, has resigned, reports the Washington Post. In a statement obtained by the Post, Grenell thanks Romney for "his clear message to me that being openly gay was a non-issue for him and his team."
Conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin concludes that the resignation occurred because of pressure from anti-gay right-wing groups that resulted in Grenell being sidelined just as the anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death and otherforeign policy issues are dominating the news. "The ongoing pressure from social conservatives over his appointment and the reluctance of the Romney campaign to send Grenell out as a spokesman while controversy swirled left Grenell essentially with no job," Rubin writes.
TPM asked the Romney campaign for details on the resignation. Campaign manager Matt Rhoades sent the following response:
We are disappointed that Ric decided to resign from the campaign for his own personal reasons. We wanted him to stay because he had superior qualifications for the position he was hired to fill.
From Grenell's statement:
I have decided to resign from the Romney campaign as the Foreign Policy and National Security Spokesman. While I welcomed the challenge to confront President Obama’s foreign policy failures and weak leadership on the world stage, 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. I want to thank Governor Romney for his belief in me and my abilities and his clear message to me that being openly gay was a non-issue for him and his team.