It doesn’t get much more despicable than this. In his stump speech, Mitt Romney has begun telling a story of how he met Navy SEAL Glenn Doherty at a neighborhood party. Doherty was one of those killed in the attack on the U.S. embassy in Bengazi, Libya. In his account of the meeting, Romney says they casually discussed their mutual home state of Massachusetts, skiing, and other trivialities. However, his account may not be entirely accurate, which, knowing, Romney, would come as no surprise.
Romney apparently attended the party by accident, having arrived at the wrong address. It was at a neighbor’s home where he observed a party and assumed that it was one to which he had been invited. In his own words, he wasn’t particularly interested in going:
“I thought, ‘Oh, my goodness. I wasn’t planning on going to this, but we’ll look like we’re not social if we don’t show up.’”
So right off the bat, Romney couldn’t have cared less about these people, he was only concerned with how it would look if he took a pass, which is a pretty selfish attitude. But what’s worse is that his portrayal of the events has been contradicted by a friend of the family at the party who remembers the encounter very differently.
Elf Ellefsen was a friend of Doherty’s and remembers Romney going around introducing himself as “Mitt Romney, a political figure.” Ellefsen says Romney introduced himself to Doherty four times, apparently not remembering the previous introductions. Here is how Ellefsen described the evening and Doherty’s impressions of Romney:
“He said it was very comical,” Ellefsen said, “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.”
Ellefsen said Doherty remembered Romney as robotic.
“He said it was pathetic and comical to have the same person come up to you within only a half hour, have this person reintroduce himself to you, having absolutely no idea whatsoever that he just did this 20 minutes ago, and did not even recognize Glen’s face.”
Asked what he thought of his friend’s story being used on the political stump, Ellefsen said:
“Honestly it does make me 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.”
And as if that weren’t enough to condemn Romney’s brazen exploitation of a real tragedy, Doherty’s mother came forward today to tell Romney to stop talking about her son:
“I don’t trust Romney,” Barbara Doherty told WHDH 7. “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.”
A Romney aide said that Romney would stop using this story, but he has already re-told it a couple of times today, so Mrs. Doherty was correct to not trust him. She is also correct that it’s wrong to use such stories to advance a political campaign. Romney may think that he’s showing a softer side of himself but, in fact, he’s showing how insensitive and exploitative he can be.
It’s interesting to note that Fox News, who is generally quick to jump on stories about fallen heroes and the human interest aspects that come from their families and associates, has completely ignored the news about Doherty’s mother and friend, and their distaste for Romney’s actions.
Nevertheless, Fox continues its effort to turn the Libyan attack into a scandal that is somehow Obama’s fault. Throughout the day Fox aired segments of House hearings into what occurred. However, in almost every instance they only aired segments when Republicans were questioning witnesses, and they cut away when it was a Democrat’s turn. Fair and balanced, as always.