This story from The Atlantic is stirring controversy among the very social conservatives Romney's trying to pull into the fold. Maybe Ric Grenell's an awesome campaign spokesman, but is this the smartest move for Romney right now? And what's your reaction?
Romney's campaign wouldn't say whether Grenell's sexual orientation was considered prior to his hiring, but implied it was not considered relevant.
"We hired Ric Grenell because he was the best qualified person for the job and has extensive experience representing the U.S. Mission to the U.N.," Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in an email. Romney has spoken up during the campaign on behalf of gay dignity, if not the contemporary gay-rights agenda. In a January debate, he said, "If people are looking for someone who will discriminate against gays or will in any way try and suggest that people that have different sexual orientations don't have full rights in this country, they won't find that in me."
Saul also passed along a supportive statement from former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, the neoconservative on whose behalf Grenell developed a reputation as an aggressive, combative advocate.
Grenell worked for the Bush Administration, and lives in California with his partner of nine years, Matthew Lashey, a media and entertainment company executive. The rest at The Atlantic.