The Mitt Romney campaign said the candidate would stop telling a story about meeting Navy SEAL Glen Doherty, who was killed last month in the Libya attacks, after Doherty's mother said she didn't want her son to be part of Romney's "political agenda."
In multiple stump speeches, Romney has talked about meeting Doherty at a party and connecting with him. "You can imagine how I felt when I found out he was one of the two Navy SEALs killed in Benghazi on September 11," Romney said in one speech.
In the same speech, Romney went on to describe how Doherty was actually in a different building across town from the consulate, but went there to help once he heard about the attack. "This is the American way," Romney said. "We go where there's trouble. We go where we're needed. And right now we're needed. Right now the American people need us."
Rachel Maddow Wednesday night took issue with Romney's ham-fisted effort to compare Doherty's sacrifice with his own run for office. "Part of the problem is, here, Mr. Romney equating his running for office with the bravery Mr. Doherty had displayed trying to save lives in the armed attack in Benghazi," she said.
Doherty's mother, Barbara, told WHDH 7 that she, too, objected to the use of her son as a campaign prop: "I don't trust Romney. He shouldn't make my son's death part of his political agenda," Barbara Doherty said. "It's wrong to use these brave young men, who wanted freedom for all, to degrade Obama."
In response, Romney's campaign said he'd stop telling the story.
Maddow noted that this is hardly the first time Romney has tried to profit politically from the Libya attacks, recalling his bungled response to the Obama Administration's handling of the attack, while it was still going on.
"Since before the attack was even over in Benghazi," Maddow said. "the Romney campaign has tried and tried and tried to make some political hay out of it, to take political advantage of the fatal attack on the American consulate in Libya. It started before the attack was over, before American deaths had been confirmed there. It has continued with Mr. Romney's efforts to loop into his campaign now one of the Americans killed in that attack, as a sort of unwilling political surrogate after he's died."