Former Bush political adviser Mark McKinnon criticized the Romney campaign for its handling of former foreign policy spokesman Ric Grenell, who resigned from the campaign just weeks after being hired. Romney had been under fire from anti-gay activists on the far right for taking on Grenell, who is openly gay, and instead of standing up the haters, the campaign muzzled the Grenell, then grudgingly accepted his resignation in order to avoid a confrontation.
McKinnon, who also served on Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) 2008 presidential run and went on to found the group No Lables, told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell today that Grenell’s departure is “very unfortunate” and said Romney should have stood by his aide, because Americans want a president who has “clear convictions and stands behind his decisions”:
MCKINNON: It’s disappointing, it’s frustrating for a lot of us Republicans who would like to see more people like Grenell in positions of authority. … Clearly, he was being muzzled for some reason…and that seems to a response to pressure from the right.
These are examples where people like me would like to see Mitt Romney stand up and say, I don’t care what people think, this is my guy, I’m standing behind him, and I want him out front. We need to see more examples of that, because what people ultimately want in a president is somebody who’s strong, somebody who’s bold, somebody who has clear convictions and stands behind his decisions.
McKinnon added that “the problem was not edgy,” referring to Grenell’s controversial tweets disparaging women and political opponents. The “Romney folks were well aware of how edgy he was. And I think they wanted an edgy guy in the position.”