MIAMI (CBS4) – Approaching the November presidential election, Republicans continue to assail the oversight of the Obama administration in the attacks made against the U.S. Consulate in Libya, while the Democratic Party counters that the GOP is wrongly politicizing these sensitive events.
During Tuesday’s town-hall style debate, Mitt Romney challenged President Obama’s policy in the Middle East, citing a period of limbo before the act was defined as terrorism. The president refuted claims of substandard handling in Benghazi by bringing up his speech delivered in the Rose Garden in early September.
“The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden, and I told the American people and the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened, that this was an act of terror. And I also said that we’re going to hunt down those who committed this crime. And then a few days later, I was there greeting the caskets coming into Andrews Air Force Base and grieving with the families.”
Obama then continued to say it is not his job as president to play politics and any suggestion of such is offensive.
Outside of Hofstra University, however, the attacks continue to be a political issue.
A Florida paper, The Florida Agenda, has published an ad that displays what is said to be the slain body of Ambassador Christopher J. Stevens being carried through the streets of Benghazi. The publication is LGBT-oriented, and the ad attempts to sway members of the LGBT community to vote for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Funding for the ad has come from the Broward County Log Cabin Republicans, who believe the Obama administration has not provided ample protection of LGBT community members and allies overseas. And although there is no substantial evidence, the ad alleges the terrorist attacks are connected to homophobia.
R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of the national Log Cabin Republicans, has made clear his disapproval of the campaign ad produced by its Broward County chapter and wrote a letter to the Florida Agenda in rejection of the LCR local branch’s position.
And though Cooper proposes there are myriad reasons to vote Republican in this election, he sees the ad as “fallacious, grossly inappropriate, and irresponsible.”
The families of the four Americans killed in Libya define their children’s actions as being out of onus and not political partisanship. And yet their deaths continue to be exploited in calls to action for advancement in the 2012 presidential race.
Mother of Navy SEAL Glen Doherty has asked Mitt Romney to remove her son from his lineup of speeches, and he has respected her wishes.
Now Chris Stevens’ family is calling for the same.
As the family prepared for the memorial service Tuesday, they said that Stevens’ work was non-partisan. Thus, the ceremony’s focus was on fond memories of Stevens and his work in the Middle East.
Dr. Anne Stevens, the ambassador’s sister, declared that while her older brother was a registered Democrat, he enjoyed his work under presidents and secretaries of state, Republicans and Democrats alike. She, therefore, considers the politicization of his death as nonsensical.
“Chris’s mission to work with the people of the Middle East, most recently in Libya, was to benefit the whole world,” affirmed Anne Stevens.
She hopes that the incidents in Libya will allow for a greater understanding of cultures and that all will continue in their aim to work better together.
Said Dr. Stevens, “Both the Republican and Democratic parties want this.”