Ric Grenell Fired, or Maybe “Self-Deported”

WaPo’s neocon blogger, Jennifer Rubin, is very disappointed in her hero Mitt Romney. After having defended Romney’s hiring of openly gay foreign policy spokesman Ric Grenell and suggested Mitt was too brave and honorable to bend to bigoted social conservative criticism, she’s now having to report that Grenell is gone, apparently because Team Romney wouldn’t let him do his job:

According to sources familiar with the situation, Grenell decided to resign after being kept under wraps during a time when national security issues, including the president’s ad concerning Osama bin Laden, had emerged front and center in the campaign.

Pieces in two conservative publications, the National Review and Daily Caller, reflected the uproar by some social conservatives over the appointment….

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 later did an update indicating that the Romney campaign had slightly redeemed itself:

The Romney camp has now responded via campaign manager Matt Rhoades: “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.”

That is a perhaps too subtle retort to those calling for Grenell’s head, that he was not hired to advise on gay issues but on foreign policy matters.

Whatever. It doesn’t much matter if Grenell was fired or was made so uncomfortable that he decided to “self-deport.” It’s one less thing Rick Santorum will have to ask Romney for in the meeting they are due to have on Friday.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.