Grenell Fiasco Exposes Bitterness Toward Romney Is Still Burning In GOP Circles

Richard Grenell’s seat is still warm but the backlash to his hasty departure has already stirred up some ugly debate in the Grand Old Party. Last week, Mitt Romney’s senior advisor got flack for defending the gay spokesperson, even as the candidate was saying he had wanted Grenell (left) to stay on.

Talking to CNN after Grenell’s resignation last week, Romney senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom said that “wherever there are voices of intolerance within the party… it’s disappointing. And the governor has taken the opportunity in the past to denounce those voices of intolerance.”

Syndicated right-wing columnist and radio host Steve Deace went after Fehrnstrom moments later,  tweeting “What Romney’s spokesman did tonight was bring aid and comfort to the enemy, which is the act of a traitor,” and more than a dozen other items about the conciliatory comment.

Deace (right), who helped Mike Huckabee beat Romney in the 2008 Iowa primary, is an avowed Promise Keeper with some not-so-nice views about homosexuality:

“I think that we are dealing with a movement that wants to redefine the moral code in America. I don’t believe, for example, there such a thing as gay people. There are two different kinds of people there are men and there are women. I barely made it out of community college, but the last time I saw the male and female form naked it appears they do have parts that fit together for a purpose. So I reject the premise that anybody is anything other than male or female.

The idea of sexual orientation not a biblical concept. In the Bible we have a sin orientation and all of us have one. Before God saved me, I would have frankly had sex with any woman that was willing to. So we all have a sin orientation. For me, it is living the life that God has called me to live and we are better off when we listen to Him and worse off we don’t–regardless of what kind of behavior that you want to engage in.”

Meanwhile, the next day on Fox News, Romney called Grenell a “capable individual” and explained that he hired people “not based upon their ethnicity, or their sexual preference or their gender but upon their capability.”

But they could be fired for their race or orientation, right Mitt?

Back when Grenell was brought on, American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer tweeted, “Romney picks out & loud gay as a spokesman. If personnel is policy, his message to the pro-family community: drop dead.”

The Mormon frontrunner may not embrace such hate-filled talking heads, but he’s forced to tolerate them to appease his more reactionary base. What’s that old saw about lying down with dogs?