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Richard Grenell, openly gay Romney campaign aide, quits

Grenell, the campaign's spokesman for national security issues, quit less than two weeks after starting the job.

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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney addresses the Newspaper Association of America in Washington, DC, on April 4, 2012. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Richard Grenell, Mitt Romney’s openly gay campaign spokesman for national security issues, quit the campaign today less than two weeks after starting the job, the New York Times reported.

Social conservatives had criticized Romney for hiring a gay man and a supporter of same-sex marriage, the Boston Globe reported.

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“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,” Grenell said in a statement, according to the Boston Globe. “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.”

While Romney accepted his resignation, “we are disappointed that Ric decided to resign from the campaign for his own personal reasons,” Matt Rhoades, Romney’s campaign manger, said in a statement, according to the New York Times. “We wanted him to stay because he had superior qualifications for the position he was hired to fill.”

Previously Grenell was spokesman for the American mission to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, the Boston Globe reported.

The Obama campaign wasted no time in calling attention to the intolerant factions within the Republican Party, the Boston Globe reported. “Today we learned that in the year 2012, a Republican nominee for president can’t have a gay person as spokesman,” Teddy Goff, the Obama campaign’s digital director, wrote in a tweet, according to the Boston Globe.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120501/richard-grenell-gay-romney-campaign-aide-quits