(Photo: REUTERS/Jim Young)
The mother of a U.S. Navy SEAL veteran killed in last month's Libya consulate attack has asked GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney to stop using her son's name in his political speeches.
"Governor Romney was inspired by the memory of meeting Glen Doherty and shared his story and that memory. We respect the wishes of Mrs. Doherty though," Kevin Madden, a spokesman from the Romney campaign, shared with BuzzFeed after learning about Barbara Doherty's wishes.
Doherty lost his life on Sept. 11, 2012 in attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, where he and three other Americans were killed by Islamic terrorists, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Doherty was working as a security contractor in the Libyan capital, and reportedly rushed to help at the consulate at the time of the attack.
"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," Doherty told Boston news station WHDH-TV in response to the candidate sharing at a family farm speech in Iowa about the time he met former her son a number of years ago.
"This is the American way," Romney said in his speech. "We go where there's trouble. We go where we're needed."
He continued: "You can imagine how I felt when I found out that he was one of the two former Navy SEALs killed in Benghazi on Sept. 11. And it touched me, obviously, as I recognized that this young man that I thought was so impressive had lost his life in the service of his fellow men and women." He added that the news had broken his heart.
The GOP candidate recalled how he had first met Doherty at his neighbor's family party a number of years ago. He described the military veteran as "a relatively young guy, compared to me. He was a former Navy SEAL. He was living in San Diego. Learned about him, he talked about his life, he also skied a lot. He'd skied in some of the places I had, and we had a lot of things in common. He told me he keeps going back to the Middle East. He cares very deeply about the people there. He served in the military there, went back from time to time to offer security services and so forth to people there."
Romney's campaign confirmed that the presidential will no longer refer to Doherty's story in respect of the mother's wishes.