The father of Christopher Stephens, the United States ambassador who was killed in the attack in Libya last month, said Saturday that it would be "abhorrent" for his son's death to be politicized in the presidential campaign.
In an interview with Bloomberg News, Jan Stevens said the attack on Benghazi and the ensuing investigation has no place in the upcoming election.
"The security matters are being adequately investigated," Stevens, who is getting briefings from the State Department on the investigation, 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."
Since the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Mitt Romney has been critical of President Obama's response to the tragedy, slamming the president for lapses in security at the American compound.
On Sunday, a number of Obama campaign surrogates appeared on Sunday talk shows to hit back at the Romney campaign's criticism.
"[There] is no doubt he is working hard to exploit this issue," senior campaign adviser David Axelrod said of Romney during an appearance on "Fox News Sunday."
Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden made a similar point on ABC's "This Week."
"This is a tragedy when we lose an ambassador and three other personnel," Biden said. “This is not a moment in time where we should be politicizing these issues."
While Stevens would not directly criticize Romney for invoking the attacks in the campaign, he reiterated that the focus should be on his son's memory, not the political implications of his death.
"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," Stevens said. "Our concern now is memorializing Chris and remembering his contribution to the country."
Last week, the mother of a Navy SEAL killed in the attack made a similar appeal to the Romney campaign, asking the Republican to stop mentioning her son's name on the campaign trail.
"I don't trust Romney. He shouldn't make my son's death part of his political agenda," Barbara Doherty, whose son, Glen was killed in Benghazi, said. "It's wrong to use these brave young men, who wanted freedom for all, to degrade Obama.”
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