Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) told the The Hill on Thursday that the resignation of a gay foreign policy adviser to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney shows that the right wing of the Republican Party views being gay as a “cause of horror.”
Ric Grenell, who served as spokesman for four U.S. ambassadors to the United Nations including John Bolton, resigned as a foreign policy spokesman for Romney this week. He is openly gay, as Roger noted in recently writing about the appointment.
Frank, who is retiring at the end of this term, said the incident shows that Romney and Republicans are in a “vehemently anti-gay mode” that’s out of step with most of America.
“It is only on the right wing of the Republican Party where the very fact that you’re gay becomes a cause of horror, but what’s interesting is that Romney is afraid of it,” Frank said. “It confirms that Mitt Romney has sold himself to the right wing, and is enthralled to them, and is worried about doing anything to offend them.”
He added, “In this case, right-wing bigotry beat Etch-A-Sketch.”
The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, and Campaign for Working Families’ Gary Bauer all denounced the hire as out of step with social conservatives. “Conservative pro-family leaders are disappointed because Grenell has been an outspoken advocate of redefining normal marriage,” Bauer wrote in a memo calling the hire an “unforced error” on the part of Romney.
Some contend that his resignation had more to do with numerous tweets he deleted from his account taking stabs at Hillary Clinton, Callista Gingrich and others.
One GOP adviser told The New York Times that the Romney camp saw Grenell’s sexual orientation as a “nonissue,” but “they didn’t want to confront the religious right.” The campaign has asserted that it tried to get Grenell to stay.
Frank charged that the incident damages Romney’s image as a business manager. “This is an extraordinary show of incompetence,” he said.. “It will redound to the benefit of the Democrats, without question.”