Romney dropping ex-SEAL story after family complaint
October 10th, 2012
03:25 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney dropping ex-SEAL story after family complaint

(CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is dropping a new addition to his stump speech after the family of the deceased man he mentions in the story raised an objection to it.

A campaign official told CNN that Romney will no longer use the anecdote, which he introduced on Tuesday while campaigning in Iowa and recounted again at a town hall meeting in Ohio.

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Romney said he and his wife accidentally stopped in at a party in his neighborhood, but the mix-up led them to meet "some wonderful people," among them former Navy SEAL Glen Doherty.

"He came from Massachusetts, where I'd been governor, had family there," Romney said at his Mount Vernon, Ohio event on Wednesday. "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."

"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," Romney continued. "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."

Romney did not mention President Barack Obama in his story, but Doherty's mother said in an interview with Massachusetts television station WHDH that she was uncomfortable with the GOP candidate telling the story.

"I don't trust Romney. 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," Barbara Doherty, told CNN affiliate WHDH.

His sister separately told CNN affiliate WCVB that she did not have a problem with Romney's story.

"It was nice what he said. Being an American hero is bipartisan," said Doherty's sister, Kate Quigley. "I am happy for it, and I was honored by Obama's coming home ceremony."

The Republican presidential candidate told the story at two events on Tuesday – one in Iowa, and a second in Ohio – and once Tuesday morning. All three events were before the WHDH report received national attention.

Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul gave CNN a statement on Wednesday morning.

"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," Saul said.

The mother of Sean Smith, another American killed in the attack which claimed Doherty’s life, will speak out for the first time on CNN’s “AC360” on Wednesday at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET.

– CNN Political Producer Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report


Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Mitt Romney • Ohio
soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. Namejkane sfl a vote for lady parts romney the tax cheat and lyin lady parts ryan willcut your moms medicare and soc sec . .can you afford to pay for them???

    Romney the tax cheat will say anything and do anything to get elected ,he is the lowest form of. Human life ,by the way ,the gop and lyin Ryan voted against the veterans bill that would have benifited our American hero . Throw the gop traitors out in three weeks.

    October 10, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  2. Khaleeshi

    Romney is a pathetic opportunist – it was probably a lie anyway. The Seal's mother doesn't trust Romney either.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    October 10, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. The Real Tom Paine

    Romney did the right thing by abiding by the family's wishes, but he should have asked permission before he ever opened his mouth. Common courtesy seems to elude him when there is something he wants.

    October 10, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  4. CBR

    Sharon, you are smarter than all of Romney's campaign staff and the candidate himself. You do not use anyone's name as part of your campaign remarks without asking permission. Common sense would tell you that.

    October 10, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  5. Tony

    Myviewis, surely you are kidding. Any decent person would have asked the family first. Shouldn't he respect the privacy of a grieving family? Then again, we are talking about Romney here. He does not care what the common people think.

    October 10, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. Namejkane sfl a vote for lady parts romney the tax cheat and lyin lady parts ryan willcut your moms medicare and soc sec . .can you afford to pay for them???

    Romney ,Ryan and the rest of the gop trash need to be swept out in Nov.

    October 10, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  7. Sounds LIke The Fringes of Alzheimer's

    Elf Ellefsen, a friend of Glen Doherty's for 20 years, said that Romney introduced himself to Doherty four separate times during the gathering because he couldn't actually remember meeting him just minutes before.............. 4 separate times!

    "He said it was very comical," Ellefsen said, "Mitt Romney approached him ultimately four times, using this private gathering as a political venture to further his image. He kept introducing himself as Mitt Romney, a political figure. The same introduction, the same opening line. Glen believed it to be very insincere and stale."

    Ellefsen said Doherty remembered Romney as robotic.

    "He said it was pathetic and comical to have the same person come up to you within only a half hour, have this person reintroduce himself to you, having absolutely no idea whatsoever that he just did this 20 minutes ago, and did not even recognize Glen's face."

    October 10, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  8. How would you feel?

    Romney gives the impression that he will say and do whatever it takes. I have not really watched his campaign until recently, but even in these past two months his shifting and inappropriate statements and timing are shocking.

    October 10, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  9. RMONEY

    I will do anything to become president, that includes lying, using people and flip flopping on important issues. I also don't worry about poor or elderly people because they rely on government handouts. Handouts to Big Oil companies are okay though. Please elect me so I can ship your job to China. Mitt the flipper
    .

    October 10, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Romney will do anything to get elected, so sad to stoop that low.

    October 10, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. myviewis

    Tony

    Myviewis, surely you are kidding. Any decent person would have asked the family first. Shouldn't he respect the privacy of a grieving family? Then again, we are talking about Romney here. He does not care what the common people think.
    -----------------------------

    Based on the article, it says that his sister did not have a problem with Romney's story but the mother makes reference to her not trusting Romney. Would the mother feel different if it were Obama telling the story in his political campaigne?????

    October 10, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    myviewis

    rs

    myviewis-
    You are correct that Mr. Obama didn't serve. Mr. Obama was too young for Vietnam
    ---------–

    And why couldn't Obama volunteer to serve in the military in the 1980's or 1990's??? Vietnam was long ago but the military is still active and Obama could have joined right after he graduated high school. Aren't people volunteering these days to serve in the military??? You don't have to wait for there to be a war to volunteer.
    *******************************************************
    Did you? If you did not, please be quiet.

    October 10, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  13. Lilli

    There is a GOD! This lie was the most disrespectul.....the family mourning their loss and Romney tried to use it for political gain. Shame on him!!!! He's always trying to find a connection with the military!! There is NONE!!! He has never served and neither has his 5 sons! He want get this vets VOTE!!!

    October 10, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "I've been flying fighter jets for 15yrs "

    Yeah right. Pushing 6 year olds out of line so you can be first on the kiddy ride that goes slowly in a cicle and get to choose the airplane instead of the magic pony...that doesn't count. You'll have all the FAux Noise red meat you can get over the next couple weeks though as Issa and his crew conduct kangaroo hearings in the House while refusing to provide witness lists and other key information to their Dem colleagues and then interrupt witnesses during testimony whenever they begin to say anything that doesn't fit into their predetermined narrative and conclusions.

    October 10, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  15. Maxx

    Mitt introduced himself to the guy 4 times in one evening – the guy is in his own (rich) world.

    October 10, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. VoiceOfReason

    I can not believe the hate filled accusations flying around in here. Shame on you all. The only thing I see as our President has successfully done is to divide this Great Nation even further. :( There was so much hope and change in the beginning and he was supposed to be this great uniter! I am saddened to see that he has only perpetuated even more division and spread bigoted rhetoric. God, please continue to bless this once great nation!!

    October 10, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  17. Name Ron Simmons

    Romney and today's GOP will politicize anything that they believe will get them votes. Shows what little character they have.
    Throw them out in Nov.

    October 10, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  18. Ron in California

    Yes he should have asked the family, but I really don't think he meant any harm.
    The public and the media keep asking him to tell personal stories, then he does and gets attacked.
    Obama mentions his dead grandmother all the time, I wonder if he got her permission, comon people this is petty crap.

    October 10, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  19. Speaking out of turn, again.

    Speaking out of turn, again.

    October 10, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  20. Trumiph, the dog

    Obama didn't ask Big Bird's permission, Romney didn't a dead soldier's family's permission. I'm so sick of using things for political gain. This country deserves it's bad karma.

    October 10, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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