Romney reveals he met former Navy SEAL killed in Benghazi

VAN METER, Iowa Tue Oct 9, 2012 6:45pm EDT

1 of 15. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally at the James Koch Farm in Van Meter, Iowa October 9, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

VAN METER, Iowa (Reuters) - A day after blasting President Barack Obama's handling of the deadly assault by militants on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya last month, Mitt Romney revealed on Tuesday that he had met one of the four Americans killed in the attack.

The Republican presidential candidate departed from an otherwise upbeat campaign speech to recount a chance meeting with Glen Doherty, a former Navy SEAL who was among three Americans who died with U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens in the attack on September 11.

Romney said he and his wife, Ann, were at their vacation home in La Jolla, California around Christmas a couple of years ago when they received a flyer inviting them to a neighborhood party.

On the night of the party, Romney saw lights on at a nearby house and people on the porch. The Romneys went there.

"We came in, they had dinner, we had dinner together, we got pictures of everybody," Romney recalled. "It turns out this was not the neighborhood party. This was a family having a party with their friends."

There were several military people at the party; Doherty was one of them. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, said he learned that Doherty was from his home state. Doherty told Romney he had served in the Middle East, cared about the people there and looked forward to returning.

"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 11," Romney told the crowd in Iowa, pausing for a moment. "And it touched me, obviously, as I recognized that this young man that I felt was so impressive had lost his life in the service of his fellow men and women."

Romney did not identify Doherty by name, but his campaign later confirmed that Romney was referring to Doherty, 42, who lived in Encinitas, California.

Romney said the death of Doherty, who was working as a security contractor in Benghazi, was an example of America's leadership role in the world and why it must be maintained.

The Republican nominee has been telling personal stories on the campaign trail lately to try to show a warmer side to his sometimes stiff personality, and counter Democrats' portrayals of him as an elitist who is out of touch with the concerns of most Americans.

Romney did not know for sure that Doherty was the same former SEAL he had met until his neighbor reached out during the past week to tell him, his campaign said.

Romney said he had read reports that the two former SEALS at the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Doherty and Tyrone Woods, were in a separate building and had rushed to the consulate building under attack.

"They went there. They didn't hunker down where they were in safety," Romney said. "They rushed there to go help. This is the American way. We go where there's trouble. We go where we're needed." (Editing by David Lindsey and Christopher Wilson)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (38)
Bel47 wrote:
Then, you, Mister, your policy is too bold and even more dangerous.

Oct 08, 2012 9:42pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
flashrooster wrote:
This guy is a megalomaniac menace. The world will be a much less safe place if Romney wins the Presidency. Just when we were getting our credibility back. Obama is so worried about the radical right labeling him an ‘angry black man,’ but he needs to get angry. Romney is traveling around the country lying about him and his record. Obama needs to get angry and put this lying, spoiled, elitist, scoundrel in his place.

I’m angry. I’m angry at the lies that Romney and the Republicans are telling the American people and I’m angry at the way the Republicans are abusing our country and our Constitution to further their own wealth and ambitions. Romney’s a freak. His wife is right. There’s reason to fear for Romney’s mental health. He’s lost his soul. His mind is next.

Oct 08, 2012 9:43pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
americanguy wrote:
The thing I find weak and dangerous, is a guy named Mitt Romney, who dodged the draft by declaring he was a minister in the Mormon Church, and that their religion did not believe in fighting in a war or serving in the military.
I find that very weak and dangerous.
Even Bill Clinton did not hide behind a religion to avoid service and stay in the US, while others fought or had to leave to avoid prison.
Romney as President of the world’s super power? A man who said God does not allow military service?
Worse than dangerous, a recipe for WW3 and destruction of the US.

Oct 08, 2012 10:01pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.