Former Romney Spokesman: Don't Vote Against Obama Because Of Gay Marriage
The Huffington Post | By Sam Stein Posted: 05/23/2012 10:32 am Updated: 05/23/2012 11:23 am
Mitt Romney's ousted foreign policy spokesman Richard Grenell has penned an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal making the case that same-sex marriage will not and should not be the determining issue for voters this fall.
Grenell is openly gay. And when he abruptly left the Romney campaign before really ever getting started, the prevailing theory was that he had been pushed out by social conservative pressure. He doesn't address his departure in the op-ed, instead arguing that there are plenty of reasons for pro-gay rights Republicans to back Romney.
Thousands of Republicans privately voiced support for my appointment and were disappointed by the events that led to my resignation earlier this month. Some did so while admitting they disagreed with my support for gay marriage. But they too are passionate about a strong America, personal responsibility and independent religious institutions--issues that should be at the forefront of this year's presidential election.
Like many voters, I rarely agree with a candidate's every position. I can support Mr. Romney for president but not agree with all of his stated policies. I can be proud of President Obama's personal support for gay marriage and still take exception to his dismal national-security and economic records.
Millions of American voters will also evaluate both candidates' policies in total and come to the same conclusion: Mr. Obama doesn't deserve to be re-elected and Mr. Romney does.
While Grenell concludes by stating that President Obama's support for gay marriage is not a reason to oppose his re-election, the broader framing of the piece is more complex. At times, he seems to be disputing the notion that Romney will be the one to end up worse off from this debate. That might be because his piece is catered to a much narrower audience: those who were critical of the Romney campaign over his departure.
But it also might reflect the evolving politics of the issue. An ABC News/Washington Post poll this week asked respondents if they approve or disapprove of Obama's support for same-sex marriage. Fifty-one percent said they approved; 41 percent said they disapproved.
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