By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com May 27 2012 1:35 PM ET
Former Mitt Romney campaign aide Richard Grenell denies he was forced out because of hostility to him as a gay man.
In an interview with The Desert Sun of Palm Springs, Calif., where he and his partner have just bought a home, Grenell says he resigned as Romney’s national security spokesman after just two weeks because discussion of him being gay had overshadowed his work.
“I resigned because I’m very passionate about foreign policy and national security issues,” he tells the paper. “When the messenger becomes part of the message — if you really care about these issues — you should step aside.”
Many social conservatives had objected to the Republican presidential candidate’s hiring of an openly gay man. Grenell acknowledges he received criticism from right-wingers, but says it came from liberals as well.
“The far left doesn’t want a gay person to be conservative and the far right doesn't want a conservative to be gay,” he says. “Some of the most hateful, mean-spirited intolerant comments about me being the foreign policy and national security spokesman for Governor Romney ... were coming from the left.”
Grenell also says he will continue to support Romney even though President Obama has come out for marriage equality. “I think I am like most Americans in that we’re multidimensional,” he tells the Sun. “We have varied views and we don’t fit comfortably in a one-dimensional box that either the news media or some extremists on the left or the right want to put us in.”
Read the full interview here.