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.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

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. rs

    Maybe Mr. Romney can whistfully remember and talk about some of those people whose jobs he sent to China instead.

    October 10, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  2. Margo

    What a putz...just can't like him no matter what

    October 10, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. myviewis

    So Romney can't speak of his meeting this young man? Romney met him and spoke of that, how is that wrong??? I can see if Romney were using this young man's story in his campaign and had never met him for it to be wrong but the fact is that Romney did meet him and Romney is speaking of something that happened to him and how he feels honored to have met this young man that died trying to safe our Ambassador.

    This is so ridiculous that people can't speak of their personal experiences because it involves Obama.

    I guess Romney will have to erase his personal experience to not offend Democrats.

    October 10, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  4. iTALIAN NONNO

    Romney should be ashamed of himself, trying to make the unfortunate death of the Seal, a politically advantageous point for himself. He's never served in the military himself,..what a coward.

    October 10, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  5. Gotta Be Kiddin

    Romney up in the polls – stock market in the tank! People – check on your 401ks! I think they were doing pretty good when Obama was perceived as winning.

    October 10, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  6. 1twinsfan

    Hey Mitt, did you know of those young men who died in Viet Nam in your place?

    October 10, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. myviewis

    iTALIAN NONNO
    He's never served in the military himself,..what a coward
    ---------------------------

    And neither did President Clinton and President Obama ( Obama could have volunteered but didn't) so I guess they too are cowards in your opinion.

    October 10, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  8. Boo

    This guy will lie and exploit anyone or anything to get elected.

    October 10, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  9. Howard

    UNLIKE ROMNEY ... WHEN OBAMA SCREWS UP ... PEOPLE DIE ...

    Obama was given a chance ... and, in the past 4 years, he has nearly destroyed America. NOW, it's time for Barack and Michelle to abdicate their throne, so Mitt Romney can begin repairing the excessive damage caused by Obama's terrible policies. Good bye Barack, Michelle, Nancy, Harry, Jarret, and Axelrod, and all the unelected czars ... and, GOOD RIDDANCE TO YOU ALL ... I'm sure you all will find another way to pick the pockets of hard working Americans !!!

    October 10, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  10. Elephant Memory

    Romney has no shame, no substance and should be ashamed of himself. Using the death of one of our heroes for political gain. One week after the debate as I said he is putting both feet in his lying mouth. Yesterday it was his lie on abortions, what next.

    October 10, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  11. FactCheck

    So Romney can't speak of his meeting this young man? Romney met him and spoke of that, how is that wrong??
    -----
    How pathetic of you. Romney was using a young man's service to his country for political gain. I would wager large sums that you have never served your country and have never lost a loved one who has.

    October 10, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  12. rs

    myviewis-
    You are correct that Mr. Obama didn't serve. Mr. Obama was too young for Vietnam, and already a professor at U. of Chicago when Bush began the craziness in Iraq.The big difference between Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama is that there was a war going on when Mr. Romney elected to "convert" the French. Also, I haven't seen Mr. Obama advocating for more useless wars as Mr. Romney is doing. I am sure none of the Romney boys will fight in those wars either.

    October 10, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  13. rs

    Howard-
    Get real. The man that destroyed America was Bush- the man the GOP can't even manage to mention these days. He's responsible for the deaths of more than 6,000 American soldiers and 125,000 innocent Iraqis. Really think Obama can top that screwup?

    October 10, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. samuel

    There is not a problem with him telling the story. But the mother do not TRUST him. And I feel the same. Just when you think you can vote for him....he moves. I am uncomfortable with this. And I am sure he will cut the the mortages exempt to keep rom increasing the taxes on the rich and increasing defense spending ! I dont trust this man...I wish I did.

    October 10, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  15. 4moreyears

    This man should be ashamed of himself. Anything for a vote. SMDH

    @Myviews well the one thing abt Clinton and Obama is that they were too young for any drafts. Mitt Romney protested and supported the Vietnam War and then ran off to France to dodge being drafted. So you see you can't be for something and then run from it. I don't here the other two saying they were for any wars. But then again MItt is coward and really doesn't stand for anything. Only for things that benefit him. You don't care if he lies. I was always told if you lie then you will steal and vice verse. He has a very spotty record but then you were probably against Obama in 2008? Tell the real Mitt Romney to stand up please. OPEN YOUR EYES

    October 10, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  16. Snoopz

    "Romney should be ashamed of himself, trying to make the unfortunate death of the Seal, a politically advantageous point for himself. He's never served in the military himself,..what a coward."

    So, by your standards, Obama shouldn't say anything about anyone from the military, either?

    October 10, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  17. Snoopz

    Italian Nonno – so, by your standards, Obama should never mention a member of the miltary, either.

    October 10, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  18. Malory Archer

    myviewis

    So Romney can't speak of his meeting this young man? Romney met him and spoke of that, how is that wrong???

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Because the man's MOTHER who is in MOURNING FOR HER SON isn't comfortable with it, THAT'S how it's wrong.

    October 10, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  19. 1doctor

    I accidently stumbled into a conversation with a man I realized was Warren Beatty one time in the Frankfurt airport. He and I both visited Germany. We both skied in the Austrian Alps. We were on the same flight to Prague That does not mean I can say "I know" him. Romney is shameless. And he will twist and tangle the facts and weave a vicious web of lies. One problem though...the web will snare him. This story is the beginning of the end for him.

    October 10, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  20. Malory Archer

    myviewis

    iTALIAN NONNO
    He's never served in the military himself,..what a coward
    ---------

    And neither did President Clinton and President Obama ( Obama could have volunteered but didn't) so I guess they too are cowards in your opinion.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    President Clinton was a conscientious objector and made no secret of that. America wasn't embroiled in a war when President Obama came of age and could have volunteered. The challenger on the other hand, protested IN FAVOR OF the Vietnam war, but ran off to France and let someone else take his place.

    October 10, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  21. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Mitt is the same twit we saw in July. The desperate unhinged GOBP tea potty wants to forget that fact.

    October 10, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  22. Critical Thinking

    Im sure his intent was to honor this young man but the haters will once again jump on this. Probably will be the opening story on tonight network news..sad, so very, very sad.

    October 10, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  23. RS, CA

    The Obamas should hurry up and retire to their $35 million house in Hawaii that his socialist friends and buying him. There and then he can bemoan the situation of "the poor."

    October 10, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    And the part that CNN deliberately leaves out is Doherty's best friend relating Doherty's story of the time he met Mittens. He said Mittens came up to him 3 or 4 times within the space of about an hour or so giving the same robotic meet-n-greet gladhanding introduction of himself, word for word, and that he found it insincere, fake, impersonal and fairly pathetic. Yeah...Mittens was so impressed with Doherty and so thankful for Doherty's service to the country that HE COULDN'T REMEMBER HAVING INTRODUCED HIMSELF TO THE GUY and therefore did it several times as if he was meeting him for the first time all over again.

    October 10, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  25. Woman In California

    I've said it before and I'll say it again NOTHING is too low for a Romney.

    How classless he is to even speak of the military after his shameful behavior during Viet Nam. Even worse is the fact, his useless, spoiled, ill mannered sons continue to follow in his footsteps. I'm glad the family asked him to leave their son alone as he was a true American hero and having Willard use his name, just degrades everything he died for.
    What a low life he is and I hope veterans remember how he deserted them and return the favor in November.

    October 10, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
1 2 3