The Washington Post

SEAL Mom to Mitt: Don’t use my son

Mitt Romney sure knows how to make friends and influence people.

He went to England, where he insulted the United States’s closest ally by questioning its preparedness for the Olympics. He went to Israel, where he insulted Palestinians by questioning their culture’s capacity for achievement. He went to Boca Raton, Fla., where he insulted 47 percent of the country because they voted for President Obama and are freeloaders he doesn’t have to worry about if he becomes president.

Now the Republican presidential nominee can add the mother of a slain Navy SEAL to his roster of those he has insulted.

At a campaign event in Iowa yesterday, Romney revealed that he’d met Glen Doherty, who was one of the four Americans killed at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last month.

“You can imagine how I felt when I found out” Doherty was killed, Romney said. “And it touched me, obviously, as I recognized that this young man that I felt was so impressive had lost his life in the service of his fellow men and women.”

Doherty’s grieving mother was decidedly unimpressed.

“I don’t trust Romney,” Barbara Doherty told Boston’s WHDH-TV. “He shouldn’t make my son’s death part of his political agenda. It’s wrong to use these brave young men, who wanted freedom for all, to degrade Obama.”

Romney has learned to be all things to all people on the campaign trail. He has yet to learn how to talk like a president, a person who knows his every word will be dissected and criticized and therefore practices a restraint that can be at once maddening and appropriate. What Romney did yesterday was not appropriate.

Romney’s campaign said this afternoon that he will “respect the wishes of Mrs. Doherty.” Good.

Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.


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