Romney aide quits

Mitt Romney

Buttons showing the likeness of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, are seen at a vendor stand outside a Romney campaign event at an oil company in Milwaukee, Monday, April 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Mitt Romney's national security spokesman has resigned after critics questioned his conservatism because he is gay.

Richard Grenell on Tuesday announced he has decided to leave Romney's campaign after just a few weeks. Grenell previously worked for neoconservative former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton, as well as other foreign policy hawks.

In a prepared statement, Grenell said his "ability to speak clearly and forcefully on the issues" was hurt by what he called "hyperpartisan discussion of personal issues." Grenell is openly gay, which has caused right-wing critics to raise questions about his conservative credentials.

Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades said the campaign was disappointed with Grenell's decision, saying he "had superior qualifications for the position he was hired to fill."


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