This week, Mitt Romney added a new anecdote to his stump speech. It’s proving to be a controversial decision.
Just yesterday, at events in Ohio and Iowa, the Republican said he remembered meeting a former Navy SEAL a while back, whom he recently learned was one of the four Americans killed in Benghazi, Libya.
The slain American’s mother does not seem pleased. Barbara Doherty, whose son Glen was killed in last month’s attack, told the NBC affiliate in Boston:
“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.”
The station sought a response from the Romney campaign, but did not receive one.
Romney has already faced criticism for exploiting the deaths in Benghazi for partisan gain last month, and Doherty’s criticism certainly won’t help the larger political dynamic.
Update: Producers for msnbc’s Martin Bashir spoke with Glen Doherty’s sister, who confirmed that Romney and Doherty had met at a party “two or three years ago” and that the campaign had reached out to his family through an intermediary. The family also knew there was a possibility Romney would be telling the story on the campaign trail.
Second Update: As of this afternoon, the Romney campaign has said the candidate will stop repeating the anecdote, respecting the mother’s wishes.