Mitt Romney’s “Emotional” Story about Navy Seal Not Well Received by Friend, Mother

Glen Doherty was killed in Benghazi on September 11, 2012

Yesterday, while campaigning in Iowa, Mitt Romney told a story about a chance meeting he had several years ago with Glen Doherty, a former Navy Seal who originally came from Winchester, Massachusetts.

Except Romney didn’t use the man’s name. I was immediately struck by that last night when I saw video of Romney telling the story and supposedly getting choked up when he revealed how “heartbroken” he was when he learned that Doherty had been killed in the consulate attack in Libya. I figured Romney probably didn’t even remember the Doherty’s name.

The way Romney told the story was that he and Ann had been at their home in San Diego and had been invited to a neighborhood Christmas Party. They got the address wrong and ended up at a different party–at Glen Doherty’s home.

Romney said he and his wife, Ann, walked to the house, joined the other guests for dinner and pictures, then had an epiphany: “Turns out this wasn’t the neighborhood party,” Romney said, drawing laughs. “This was a family having a party with their friends. So we were a little embarrassed, but they treated us well nonetheless, and I got to meet some really interesting people.”

“One of them was a guy from my home state of Massachusetts,” Romney continued, referring to Doherty, “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.”

And then the “punch line”:

“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.”

The audience oohed and ahhed. Here’s the video:

As usual, the real story is a little different than one Romney has been telling recently in hopes of appearing more compassionate and empathetic. One of Glen Doherty’s close friends, Elf Ellefsen heard about the party in question directly from Doherty. Ellefsen told his version of the story on a radio show on KIRO FM in Seattle.

Ellefsen said Doherty recalled meeting Mitt Romney years ago, but the account was much different from what the Presidential candidate retold in Iowa.

According to Ellefsen, Romney introduced himself to Doherty four separate times during the gathering.

“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.”

In response to a question, Ellefsen said he didn’t care for Romney exploiting his friend’s life and death for political reasons.

“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.”

Back in Massachusetts, Romney was chided by Barbara Doherty, Glen Doherty’s mother, who told Boston NBC affiliate WHDH:

“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,” said Barbara Doherty, Glen’s mother.


55 Comments on “Mitt Romney’s “Emotional” Story about Navy Seal Not Well Received by Friend, Mother”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Romney has agreed to stop mentioning Glen Doherty’s story in his stump speech after his mother complained.

    “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,” campaign aide Kevin Madden told BuzzFeed.

    This might sound awful, but I don’t believe Mitt Romney is capable of feeling “inspired.”

    • HT says:

      JMO, but if Rmoney had any decency or the respect that he talks about, he should have checked with the family before he bandied the poor man’s name in a political setting. That he did not is a measure of the man – crass through and through.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I was really stunned that Romney told the story and didn’t seem to remember Doherty’s name. He didn’t use it anyway.

      • ecocatwoman says:

        If he was truly saddened to learn of Doherty’s death, why didn’t he find out the mother’s/family’s phone number & call to express his sympathy? A caring person, especially of his “stature” would have done that. Is this behavior simply typical of the privileged wealthy?

      • Fannie says:

        Exactly, but nobody tells Mitt what to do.

  2. dakinikat says:

    This-coupled with the Issa McCarthy hearings–are part of the October surprise package to make the state department look bad before the foreign policy debate. I can’t believe how orchestrated this all is … it’s like the luftwaffe of slander campaigns. I’m glad the mother put an end to it. Pelosi said the reasons the embassies weren’t protected was because the Republicans axed the budget requests from the state department.

    This is simply propaganda on parade. My guess is they’ve orchestrated crap with Fox and the WSJ too.

    • bostonboomer says:

      How does this make the State Department look bad? I think it makes Romney look bad.

    • Allie says:

      I agree – the Republican election machine is going to drag this up every chance they get. They want to make the State Department and administration look bad and honestly Obama and Hillary are not helping things with all the confusion. All I know is the embassy requested more security and instead they had some taken away? Was that entirely due to budget cuts? Couldn’t they cut security in Paris instead?

      My mother – the Fox-news-addict – made a stunning statement at Sunday dinner, to the effect that Hillary let it happen and was solely responsible, blah blah blah. Fox has Mom believeing it was deliberate on her part, which I of course said was ridiculous. {sigh}

      • They want to make the State Department and administration look bad and honestly Obama and Hillary are not helping things with all the confusion.

        This is what I was talking about regarding the Obama admin “mucking” it up…it is ridiculous that Romney and Fox are using this crap against Obama and his Foreign policy, but the thing that does not help is the various comments from Obama and his admin’s side.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Allie……This “Hillary & Obama allowed it to happen” is the same thing I’m hearing down here in HillbillyRedNeckbanjoVille. My response when I hear this sort of horseshit is “WHY?”, “What purpose is served by Hillary or Obama allowing an attack on a U.S. Embassy?”.

        Sadly, this is the same mindset that proclaims “Obama is a radical muslim who is here to destroy freedom and bring sharia law to the U.S.” or that the “BLS cooked the books on the Unemployment numbers to help Obama win the election”. Again the question that should be asked of people who make these nonsenscial claims is “WHY?”. Why would a secret radical muslim wait until his second term to unleash his devious plans to destroy the U.S. ? Why would a secret radical muslim take out Osama Bin Laden and send drones to kill high level Al Quaeda operatives in Afghanistan and Pakistan, if he’s really a secret radical muslim? And why would Obama wait until the September 2012 jobs report, a month before the election, to “cook the books”, why not start cooking the books 6 months ago?

        It’s all nonsense that can only be accepted by people who are willing to suspend reason. The folks in my family who utter these nonsensical things about Obama are not stupid, but when it comes to Obama they’re totally unreasonable.

      • dakinikat says:

        There’s every indication that the state department had asked for increased funding for diplomat safety and that the Republicans wanted it cut …

        so, I find this all in the category of crocodile tears … especially Romney going around claiming that he’s attached to this poor marine. Then why support the Ryan budget cuts of these things?

  3. bostonboomer says:

    I guess I should have written about the Beghazi hearings instead of writing this post. Ooops!

  4. Silent Kate says:

    I think the story seems pointless. Yes, I know a kid that had a leg blown off in the war….soooooo. What is he trying to say? He would never go to war nor would his sons! It’s kind of like saying one of my friends is black, or Jewish, or something else. It doesn’t make you a part of anything and it certainly doesn’t make you a better president. I just don’t get what he thinks he will gain from this.

    • bostonboomer says:

      He was trying to humanize himself by talking about real people. He’s just no good at it. He can’t even remember people’s names.

      • Silent Kate says:

        Well, he’s not human so that is just not possible!

      • Wasn’t there another mother that requested Romney not mention her dead son in his speeches? If my memory is right it was during the GOP debates…maybe I am wrong. I still feel out of sorts.

      • Allie says:

        I’m also thinking this is not the first time Rmoney has exploited military casualties. And BB – I am glad you posted this as I do not watch cable news anymore. It will be interesting to see what the hearing accomplishes (or not)…

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I agree BB. The whole point of him relating that story was self-serving bullshit. The personal info he related concerning the Navy Seal was info that could have easily been given to him by someone else. Hell, if he couldn’t remember his name 3 times on the night he met him, who the hell believes he could remember it years later. Romney is a 1st class bullshitter!!!

      • ANonOMouse says:

        What Romney was really saying was “Hey you commoners, I’m kind-of-sort-of like you.I know I didn’t serve in ‘Nam, but I did protest FOR that war then I received 4 deferments, otherwise known as rich-outs and I went off to Paris to save souls near the Riviera . By the way, I’m for the war in Afghanistan too and I’d like to shove some troops back into Iraq, because I love the military, from a distance. Still, you must remember that I’m just like you because I talked to a Navy Seal once who later died bravely in service to his country, and that’s the closest my cowardly ass will ever come to valor, but don’t forget I shook his hand, 3 times, so maybe it rubbed off”.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    OT– Romney has now switched positions on abortion one more time–tells reporters he will defund Planned Parenthood on day 1. He may not realize that would require legislation. According to Ed Schultz, this would switch number 10 on this particular issue.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Katrina vandenHeuvel ‏@KatrinaNation
      The “Real” Romney resurfaces in Buckeye state with threat to defund Planned Parenthood. He’s been consistent on that one.

    • I really hate Romney…and all the other Muthafukkerz!

      • bostonboomer says:

        I love you, JJ. Are you feeling a little better?

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I hear ya JJ!!

      • I don’t know what is wrong with me, maybe it is low sugar? I didn’t eat much today. Oh well, still trying to keep up though. 😉

      • HT says:

        JJ hang tough. I had what I thought was the cold from hell for four lousy days. Then I felt better – for one day. Must have been the time when it was moving from my head down into my torso. I then had to suffer through two weeks with the flu from the ninth circle of hell. Been off stride for more than three weeks, which is totally unusual – normally flu hits and it’s 48 hours. Anyway today is day two when I’m finally feeling like my old self (not that it’s a good thing, but it’s comfortable) so I’m hoping it’s over. In my two days of freedom (I finally ate something after a week of no food). I’ve had many people tell me they have gone through the same thing – total exhaustion, sinus headaches, cold, flu and all the wondrous associated symptoms, not leaving the house because one doesn’t have the energy, nor a facility that is close enough. All this to say, it does finally flush through your system and you will be up and fighting in no time. Seems to be one heckuva nasty virus.

      • bostonboomer says:

        That sounds exactly like my cold. I wish it would end, but today I’m running a temperature again.

      • HT says:

        BB Take heart, it will get better, at least I think it will. This is only my second day so I have my fingers crossed. Drink lots of fluids – ginger ale was my friend, because it was the only thing I could keep down – even water triggered. It’s been almost four weeks with my issues and I’m tired of it. I’m hoping it’s over, whatever it is. Tomorrow should tell. That’s why I haven’t been commenting but I have been reading. Just no energy to use the fingers to type. I’m ashamed, but I haven’t vacuumed, cleaned, dusted, cleared the spider webs or prepared for winter – my lawn furniture is still outside and tonight we get our first frost.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      He said months ago, when he was listing what he would do on his first day. I clearly remember him saying “I will defund or shut down Planned Parenthood on Day 1.”

  6. Fannie says:

    STOP IT ROMNEY, just Stop it…………the Doherty’s do no approve, and neither do I.

  7. RalphB says:

    Here are the latest polls from the battleground states:

    Florida: Obama 49%, Romney 45% (University of North Florida)

    Nevada: Obama 47%, Romney 46% (SurveyUSA)

    Nevada: Obama 51%, Romney 47% (Public Policy Polling)

    New Hampshire: Obama 48%, Romney 48% (Rasmussen)

    Ohio: Obama 45%, Romney 44% (SurveyUSA)

    Pennsylvania: Obama 51%, Romney 46% (Rasmussen)

    Wisconsin: Obama 51%, Romney 49% (Rasmussen)

  8. ecocatwoman says:

    OT, but this was such an interesting piece about the mockumentary, Janeane from Des Moines. She went to Republican rallies in Iowa & spoke with the candidates during the primary campaign. None of them got back in touch with her to try to help her & “her husband” out. Give it a listen: http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2012/10/10/romney-bachmann-janeane