The father of former U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, who was killed in an attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya last month, said that it would be “abhorrent” to politicize his son’s death in the presidential campaign.
The Romney campaign has tried to politize the incident in an effort to try to chip away at one of President Obama’s strengths: foreign policy. Romney himself has repeatedly attacked Obama and his administration’s response to the Sept. 11 Libya attacks. But Jan Stevens, Chris Stevens’ father, criticized using the issue for political gain and urged patience for full investigation to complete, Bloomberg news reports:
“It would really be abhorrent to make this into a campaign issue,” Jan Stevens, 77, said in a telephone interview from his home in Loomis, California, as he prepares for a memorial service for his son next week. […]
The ambassador’s father, a lawyer, said politicians should await the findings of a formal investigation before making accusations or judgments.
“The security matters are being adequately investigated,” Stevens said. “We don’t pretend to be experts in security. It has to be objectively examined. That’s where it belongs. It does not belong in the campaign arena.” Stevens said he has been getting briefings from the State Department on the progress of the investigation.
Citing the Bloomberg report, top Obama campaign aids David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs said on Sunday that Romney is indeed politicizing Stevens’ death and agreed with his father’s assessment. “We ought to follow ambassador’s family and allow this investigation to run and get to the bottom of it,” Axelrod said.
Last week, after the mother of a former Navy SEAL who was also killed in the Benghazi attack, asked Romney to stop recounting a meeting he had with her son in his campaign speeches, the Romney campaign complied.
Yet it’s unclear whether the Romney camp will acquiesce to Stevens’ father’s wish, as his top aid said that Benghazi attack “opens up the opportunity” to attack the President on foreign policy.