Mother questions Romney’s account of meeting former SEAL killed in Libya
The mother of a former Navy SEAL killed in the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya is criticizing Mitt Romney for using her son as a political “football” and is questioning Romney’s account of his meeting with him.
Barbara Doherty spoke with KIRO Radio’s Ross and Burbank Wednesday morning.
“I’m just upset that Mitt Romney is using this for his political gain and I don’t think it should be a political issue when four young men have died,” she said from her home in Woburn, Mass.
Romney told a story on the stump Tuesday in Iowa of meeting Glen Doherty, a security contractor at the embassy in Libya, at a dinner party.
“He skied in some of the places I had. We had a lot of things in common,” Romney said of Doherty. Both men are from Massachusetts.
“He told me that 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. You can imagine how I felt when I found out that he was one of the two former Navy SEALS killed in Benghazi on September 11th,” Romney said.
Romney was visibly emotional as he told the story, which got widespread play on national news.
But Barbary Doherty questions Romney’s account of the meeting and his motives for recounting the story on the stump.
“If Mitt Romney met him and was so moved by him, I’m just wondering why someone from his office never called to see what they could do and I have never received a note of condolence from anybody in that party,” she said.
Doherty said her son never mentioned meeting Romney, saying it most likely “wasn’t too meaningful.”
She’s not the only one questioning Romney’s account. A close friend of Doherty’s told The Ron and Don Show Glen had a much different recollection of the meeting.
“He said it was very comical,” Elf Ellefsen said in an interview with producer Libby Denkman. , “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.”
Ellefson said Romney’s use of Doherty for his campaign “makes him sick.”
“Glen would definitely not approve of it. He probably wouldn’t do much about it. He probably wouldn’t say a whole lot about it. I think Glen would feel, more than anything, almost embarrassed for Romney. I think he would feel pity for him.”
While it’s unclear just what political, if any, motivations Ellefsen has, it is clear on his Facebook page that he’s upset about the U.S. government’s role in security overseas and a critic of Romney.
Doherty’s mother told Ross and Burbank she didn’t want to disclose her own political leanings because she doesn’t want them to be a part of the conversation. She said she only learned of it from a reporter who came to the door to ask about it.
“I haven’t been listening to the news and I haven’t been turning on the TV because of everything that’s going on in our lives,” she said. “It upsets me because this isn’t something political. This is four wonderful young men who have sacrificed their lives for this country so other people could be free.”
Ron and Don producer Libby Denkmann contributed to this report.