GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s sexism is old news at this point, but hey, it’s election season and he has to stay in the news, right? Romney doubled down on the misogyny last Thursday by hiring Richard Grenell as his national security and foreign policy adviser. Grenell, formerly of the Bush administration, kicked off his first week on the job by deleting a bunch of sexist shit from his Twitter account.
Sexist tweeters, raise your hands!
Romney’s hiring of Grenell has been controversial among right-wingers because the new adviser is openly gay. The thinking is that, perhaps, this move will help Romney appeal to LGBT Republicans and be read as a “shout out to the homosexual lobby.” While some gay voters might have been psyched by this hire initially, many of them probably got un-psyched once Grenell was revealed to be a complete douche with a track record of snarky sexism. Behold, a collection of his tweets (captured by ThinkProgress before he deleted more than 800 of them, natch):
I can’t decide which is douchier: Is it the trashing of Hillary Clinton, Rachel Maddow, Jessica Simpson, and Callista Gingrich’s looks? The open mocking of condoms? Or maybe it’s the dig at the “first daughter,” a 13-year old girl? Grenell has since apologized for what he referred to as his “tongue-in-cheek” remarks:
my tweets were written to be tongue-in-cheek and humorous but I can now see how they can also be hurtful. I didn’t mean them that way and will remove them from twitter. I apologize for any hurt they caused.
Ah, the ol’ “it was just a joke” response. Grenell, who is known as a “master of spin,” has been spinning his tweets (and deleting them) all week. While he and his Twitter followers may very well have found his jokes about Madeleine Albright and clip-on hair HILARIOUS, it doesn’t change the fact that he has a public record of sexist “humor”—a record that clearly didn’t bother the Romney camp.
On its own, this tweetapalooza might seem frivolous. After all, I myself tweeted about a failed attempt at soup just last night, but that doesn’t mean I necessarily have strong opinions about soup (OK, I do, but that’s neither here nor there). In the context of the “War on Women,” however, Grenell’s remarks are much more telling. Romney has been flapping his gums all over the place lately, telling anyone who’ll listen that he cares about women voters and is not the sexist jerkstore we think he is. While most of us probably didn’t believe him before, his claims that he is the candidate most concerned with women’s issues resonate even less in light of his hiring of Grenell.
Grenell may have scrubbed his Twitter account and his personal website, but his douchiness remains. And while Romney doesn’t seem to care, women voters certainly should.