Mitt Romney will stop mentioning ex-Navy SEAL killed in Libya in speeches

October 10, 2012

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio -- Mitt Romney will stop mentioning a former Navy SEAL killed in the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Libya last month in his campaign speeches, according to aides, after the man's mother said the GOP presidential candidate should stop invoking her son's name.

"I don't trust Romney. He shouldn't make my son's death part of his political agenda," Barbara Doherty said in a statement broadcast Wednesday on WHDH-TV in Boston. "It's wrong to use these brave young men, who wanted freedom for all, to degrade Obama."

Barbara Doherty's son Glen was killed last month in the consulate attack.

Asked about Barbara Doherty's comments, Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said, "Governor Romney was inspired by the memory of meeting Glen Doherty and shared his story and that memory, but we respect the wishes of Mrs. Doherty."

Campaign aides later clarified that Romney will no longer mention of Doherty while campaigning after doing so at least three times this week, most recently on Wednesday in Ohio.

As he was wrapping up a town hall meeting here with factory workers, Romney recalled meeting Doherty a few years ago at a neighborhood Christmas party near Romney's beach home in La Jolla, Calif.

"He came from Massachusetts, where I’d been governor, had family there," Romney said. "He also had skied in some of the places, snow skiing that I had found during the Winter Olympics in Utah, that I’d skied at. And we had a nice chat together."

Romney told the crowd that after serving in the Navy Doherty had continued working in the Middle East as a private security contractor. "And you can imagine how shocked I was to learn that he was one of the two Navy -- former Navy SEALs killed in Benghazi, just a couple of weeks ago. And I read on CNN International that when the report came that our consulate had been attacked, that he and the other SEAL that was killed with him, that they were in a different place, they were about a mile away, an annex somewhere else in the city. And when they heard that the consulate was under attack, they went to the attack. They didn't hunker down and hide themselves. No, they went there. That’s what Americans do. When there’s a challenge, when there’s a threat, we go there. When things are tough, we don’t give up, we keep fighting. There’s a saying that I've found pretty compelling. Clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose."

Romney told a similar version of his meeting with Doherty during a campaign stop Tuesday in Iowa. 

Glen Doherty's sister, Kate Quigley, had a different take on Romney's words. "It was nice what he said," she told she told WCVB. "Being an American hero is bipartisan." 

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Ed O'Keefe · October 10, 2012