By Bryan Fischer
Follow me on Twitter: @BryanJFischer, on Facebook at “Focal Point”
Below is the link to the video of Eric Ferhnstrom’s interview with Chuck Todd of MSNBC, in which he blames me for Richard Grenell’s resignation. The transcript of the relevant exchange is included. What then follows is my email to Jonah Goldberg of National Review Online, in which I ask for a correction and an apology for the column he wrote attacking me. I waited for a reply from Mr. Goldberg, but did not receive one. Hence today’s column.
Eric Ferhnstrom blames me for Grenell resignation
Chuck Todd: “He resigned because he thought his effectiveness had been compromised. Is this having to do with the fact that some social conservatives appeared to publicly be going after him?”
Eric Ferhnstrom: “Well, I don’t want to speak for Ric, but I will say that of course, you know, there were voices of intolerance that expressed themselves during this debate. That was unfortunate. Mitt Romney has confronted those voices of intolerance. He did it last October, onstage at the Values Voter Summit, where he denounced some of the poisonous language that is being used by some of the same people who had criticized Ric Grenell’s appointment. So he has a record of taking on intolerant voices within his own party, and it’s unfortunate that in this case it led to the resignation of a person that we thought would have been a fine foreign policy spokesman for us.”
My email to Jonah Goldberg, for whom I have great admiration and respect:
Here is the link, with transcript, to a Hot Air piece which includes the clip of Eric Ferhnstrom blaming me for the resignation of Ric Grenell. I did not, as you wrote, "claim...credit for Richard Grenell’s scalp." FERHNSTROM is the one who said I was responsible. You wrote, "I don’t think Fischer deserves the 'credit' he’s claiming..." Jonah, I am not now and never did claim credit for this. Ferhnstrom is the one who assigned the blame/credit to me. He said this on Friday morning, and it was on Friday afternoon, on my program, that I responded with the quote you used.
As you are well aware, Tony Perkins, Gary Bauer, Matthew Franck, Dan Gainor and the Daily Caller all expressed reservations about the Grenell hire. Romney's team, in an Alinsky-type move, picked me as the target to personalize, polarize, freeze and demonize. I never took credit for his resignation; in fact I was quick to say that the voices of Tony Perkins and Gary Bauer carry far more weight than mine.
My point was simply that if THEY were going to blame a lone conservative voice - mine - for the Grenell resignation, it doesn't say much for the leadership qualities of the Romney team. You may disagree with that assessment, but you must admit it is a plausible construction and problematic if true. I'm hardly a "crocodile." I wrote one 140 character Tweet, and they put a bag over Grenell's head and fed him to the lions. That was not my doing, that was theirs.
You wrote, "The political idiocy of Fischer’s culture-war whoop over Grenell’s resignation should be apparent. If you want a politician to adopt your position, you shouldn’t then mock him for adopting your position. That’s not smart politics or lobbying; it’s public bullying as theater: 'Ha ha! I made you do it!'"
I was not idiotically celebrating, mocking, or offering a "culture-war whoop" or anything of the sort. I was pointing out that if, BY THEIR OWN ADMISSION, I single-handedly had driven him off their team, it doesn't say much for the courage of their convictions.
You also wrote, "As for Fischer, I’ve avoided making him the avatar of the 'religious right' the way some in the media have, because doing so gives Fischer far too much credit." I never claimed any credit for this in the first place nor was I looking for any. Crediting/blaming me was solely Ferhnstrom's doing, and his attack on me merited a response.
You owe me a correction and an apology, my friend.
Thanks again for coming on my program to talk about your new book, which is indeed terrific.
In fact, as I wrote earlier, the The Atlantic Wire not only blamed the Grenell resignation on me, it blamed me for President Obama’s Etch-A-Sketch move on gay marriage. I have never claimed credit for either of these two decisions.
Eric Ferhnstrom is the one running into my office hanging Ric Grenell’s scalp on my wall, and it’s the Atlantic Wire running into my office hanging Barack Obama’s scalp on my wall.
Meanwhile, I’ll just keep on minding my own business, which is telling people the truth and letting the chips - and the scalps - fall where they may.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)