Romney dropping ex-SEAL story after family complaint
October 10th, 2012
03:25 PM ET
8 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. Romney=Bush Era Part II

    Republicans have no shame. Anytime you use religion for political purposes, there is no limit to how low you will go smh

    OBAMA '12

    October 10, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  2. Borderless

    I think the mother has a right to tell Romney to stop using that anecdote and Romney was right to stop using it. Romney, having been warmly greeted by her son, would have had no way of knowing his mother was an Obama supporter and if he had I'm sure he would not have used the anecdote. That said, he should have reached out to her first and in that I think he made a mistake. I am sorry for the mother's loss of her son and I think it's awful that the carelessness of the Obama administration lead to that loss.

    October 10, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  3. Woman In California

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


    What personal experience? That of hiding out in Viet Nam while others DIED or became disabled? IF he were ANY kind of a man, he wouldn't have to "erase" anything, but because he isn't, he's had to hide his MA records, his olympic records, his cult and any mention of his time during the Viet Nam war. This is no leader, he's just a selfish breeder who as usual, was using someone else to make himself appear human and I'm glad he was CAUGHT this time.

    October 10, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  4. harry

    This Romney is Coward and can not be trusted at all.Romney ifs flip flop on evey day talks and on all mjor issues.At the same time his son is on trashy talks in this election.He has to learn to give RESPECT first and then talk for issues rather then President Obama.
    Romney is Power Hungry Failed Politician .He do not have any ideas and plans to bring jobs in to USA.If any one Votes for this crook will sure screw this country .Romney is JOB KILLER.

    October 10, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |

    Shame on You Willard! You'll say anything to get elected.

    October 10, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  6. John the Historian

    Willard is such flip flopper and now a liar after the debate. Is this typical of a mormon cult follower. I just wonder if he really thinks he will get 87 wives like the rapist con man Joseph Smith on this fictional planet of kolob.

    October 10, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  7. 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.

    October 10, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  8. Woman In California

    @ 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.

    I said the very same thing this a.m., as I watched my money disappear. This man is a disaster and more destruction will follow as no one knows, what direction he would take this country in. Beware of the devil by the name of Willard.

    October 10, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  9. Romney=Bush Era Part II

    I agree with the mother.... I do not TRUST Romney and America shouldn't either!

    OBAMA '12

    October 10, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  10. sonny chapman

    Shameful & in bad taste. Typical Neo-Con crap; trying to cash in on some one else's honor. Neo-cons must have a closet fear of being exposed as cowards. That's why they're always yapping about war.

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

    First and foremost you would think a man with any sort of religious background would have the respect to talk to the family and ask for permission to use the story, and perhaps at the same time offer condolensces on their loss. This isn't a trivial matter myviewis. Its someones tragic loss. Howard, have you been paying attention to the last 12 years, these losses that you pin on the president happened while a republican at the helm. While your saying your goodbye's save a special place for those who were supposed to be watching out for the American people, regardless of who assumes power in January,this group of people from the Bernake's to the wall street cronies who have somehow ended up in Washington should all be doing time, in real prisons, not the ones for the rich.

    To the family of these fallen heroes please accept the condolensces of a grateful continent.

    Lucid One

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


    There is not a problem with him telling the story. But the mother do not TRUST him

    So the problem is that the mother doesn't trust Romney but if the mother trusted Romney than it would be okay for Romney to tell the story??????????

    What if it were Obama who met this Navy Seal and told the story and the mother trust Obama than it would be okay?????

    October 10, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  13. Low key

    This had nothing to do with Obama get your facts right. stop the hate. You cant read it was the mother that requested the stop using her sons death as a political platform. Not Obama you just are a hatter if that was what you came up with out of this story.

    October 10, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  14. myviewis


    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.

    OMG, you didn't know that President Clinton got out of Vietnam because the Senator he worked for got Clinton excused with the agreement that Clinton would service in the ROTC but Clinton never kept his agreement.

    October 10, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  15. Reason

    It's one thing for the President to honor a soldier in a public ceremony. But to use a fallen soldier in a campaign speech is just plain wrong.

    October 10, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  16. harry

    Romney is a shameless ,thick skin greedy politician,will use any one any way to create and spread his lies.He has no moral.He better apologies to this seal family respect their emotions. Romney is capable to go any low level to get his votes and win to screw this ECONOMY and EMPLOYMENT.He is no different then Bush-Cheny and his IQ is as low as Sarah Palin.

    October 10, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  17. harry

    Shameful Republican candidate and can not be trusted.Has no Moral and Respect for Seal.

    October 10, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    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
    Oh puleeze babe, save your keystrokes. People like myviewis screwed will NOT open their eyes when get paid to keep them closed. Getting paid and/or willful stupidity are the ONLY reasons why they would post the unfounded tripe that they do on this and other sites.
    "Obama never volunteered to go to war either".Seriously dude? Idiots think they are the only ones with Google. GTFOOH.

    October 10, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  19. no vote for romney

    shameful. this man will say anything to any audience depending on
    who is in front of him. he was so rude and adlib in the debate it was

    October 10, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  20. Newme1

    @RS – Thank you!

    October 10, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  21. sharon

    I can't believe one of Romney's staff did not call and make certain this hero's family had no problem with his name being issued. I also cannot believe that Romney made it sound like he lost a good friend when it was a chance meeting.

    October 10, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  22. Bonnie

    I am one of the people don't trust Mr. Romney. He can talk or speak whatever he wants, it's his right.

    October 10, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "So the problem is that the mother doesn't trust Romney but if the mother trusted Romney than it would be okay for Romney to tell the story?????????? "

    Not really. The REAL point is that, according to his best friend, DOHERTY himself didn't really like Mittens. That's why you don't hear the MSM and CNN reporting on what Doherty's best friend said abotu this.

    October 10, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  24. unjust!

    this mother is NUTS!!! Never mind the administration lack of request of security!!! If the State Dept was doing their job this might of not happened!! Funny how shes been the one politicizing this! Going on talk shows and bad mouthing Mit! She must have been tap by Barry for an administration job! I've been flying fighter jets for 15yrs and did my part in Iraq and Afghanistan and to think my government didnt do everything in its power the help the souls is beyond me! For her not to be upset about the administration linking this to a youtube film is again beyond me! It is apparent this administration doesnt care about our boys overseas! SHAME ON HER AND SHAME ON THE ADMINISTRATION!!!

    October 10, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  25. MrBeenThere

    Look at the facts Mitt is a born Liar, Raise by the Mormon faith that teaches it OK's to lie. He remembers after a month that I know that guy and starts using it in his campaign. Maybe it's just not true and the family of a brave Hero doesn't want to raise a stink and politely ask him to shut his mouth...........

    October 10, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
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