The father of Chris Stevens, the US Ambassador who was killed in Libya last month in Benghazi, stated that his son’s death should not be politicized during the presidential campaign.
Jan Stevens, 77, spoke with reporters during a telephone interview from his home in Loomis, California while preparing for his son’s memorial service next week, reports Bloomberg. Stevens stated:
“It would really be abhorrent to make this into a campaign issue.”
Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for President, has repeatedly criticized President Barack Obama for Ambassador Stevens’ death, saying that the State Department did not provide the Libyan US Consulate enough security.
The ambassador’s father, however, stated that politicians should wait for the findings of a formal investigation to come through before making any accusations or judgments. Stevens went on to say:
“The security matters are being adequately investigated. 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 added that he has been receiving briefings from the State Department as the investigation progresses. The question regarding whether the embassy attack and Ambassador Stevens’ death are being politicized came up during several Sunday morning TV talk shows.
The Huffington Post notes that senior campaign adviser for the Obama campaign David Axelrod stated of Romney on Sunday, “[There] is no doubt he is working hard to exploit this issue.” Axelrod appeared on Fox News Sunday, while Deleware Attorney General Beau Biden spoke on ABC’s This Week, saying a similar point.
Biden stated, “This is a tragedy when we lose an ambassador and three other personnel. This is not a moment in time where we should be politicizing these issues.”
While Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens’ father did not directly criticize Mitt Romney for starting the attacks in the campaign, but he asserted that the focus should be on his son’s memory, not the political implications of his tragic death. Stevens added:
I’m not sure exactly what [Romney’s] been saying and not saying, but our position is it would be a real shame if this were politicized. Our concern now is memorializing Chris and remembering his contribution to the country.”
Chris Stevens’ father is not the first to ask that his son’s death not be politicized, as the mother of a Navy SEAL killed in the same attack appealed to the Romney campaign last week, asking the the Republican candidate not mention her son’s name while on the campaign trail. Barbara Doherty, whose son died during the Benghazi attack, stated:
“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.”
Do you agree with Chris Stevens’ father that the candidates should stop politicizing the death of the US Ambassador, and to stop pointing fingers until the investigation into the attack is complete?