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Romney to stop citing Winchester SEAL meeting

Glen Doherty killed in Libya last month. His mother wants Mitt Romney to stop talking about an encounter with him.

Quigley family

Glen Doherty killed in Libya last month. His mother wants Mitt Romney to stop talking about an encounter with him.

Mitt Romney will stop telling a story on the campaign trail of meeting Glen Doherty, the Winchester native and retired Navy SEAL who was killed last month in Libya, after Doherty’s mother accused the Republican presidential nominee of attempting to use her son’s death for political gain.

“Governor Romney was inspired by the memory of meeting Glen Doherty and shared his story and that memory,” ­Ryan Williams, a campaign spokesman, said Wednesday. “However, we will ­respect the wishes of Mrs. ­Doherty.”

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Earlier, Doherty’s mother, Barbara Doherty of Woburn, questioned the former Massachusetts governor’s motives for talking about her son.

“I don’t trust Romney,” she told WHDH-TV. “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.”

She could not be reached for further comment.

During a campaign stop on Tuesday in Iowa, Romney recounted a chance encounter he had several years ago with Doherty, a Winchester native who was killed in the Sept. 11 attack on the diplomatic compound in Benghazi that also killed three other Americans, including the US ambassador to Libya,
J. Christopher Stevens.

Romney said he met Doherty at a Christmas party in San Diego, an account confirmed by Doherty’s sister, Kate Quigley.

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“You can imagine how I felt when I found out that he was one of the two former Navy SEALs killed in Benghazi on Sept. 11,” Romney said on Tuesday. “And it touched me, obviously, as I recognized that this young man that I thought was so impressive had lost his life in the service of his fellow men and women.”

Quigley said Tuesday her family is “fine with the way” Romney had used the account, adding that the family is “trying to stay out of the politics.”

She said on CNN the family is honored that both Romney and Obama paid tribute.

— Travis Andersen

Federal court reinstates Montana’s contribution limits

HELENA, Mont. — The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reinstated Montana’s campaign donation limits, telling the federal judge who struck down the limits that the panel needs to see his full reasoning so it can review the case.

The court intervened late Tuesday less than a week after the judge’s decision opened the door to unlimited money in state elections — during the height of election season. In response, US District Judge Charles Lovell issued a 38-page conclusion Wednesday that reinforced his earlier decision finding that the state’s limits are too low to allow effective campaigning. He suggested the state Legislature would have a ‘‘clean canvas’’ to perhaps establish higher limits that could meet constitutional muster.

The Ninth Circuit did not immediately respond, leaving the state limits in place for the time being, with Election Day less than a month away.

Montana limits range from $630 for an individual contributing to a governor’s race to $160 for a state House candidate. The amounts are adjusted each election cycle to account for inflation. The law also limited aggregate donations from political parties.

Conservative groups emboldened by the 2010 US Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision have made Montana the center of the fight over many campaign finance restrictions. The groups have persuaded a federal judge to strike down several laws as unconstitutional, including the cap on contributions given to candidates by individuals and political parties.

— Associated Press

Analysts see Jewish vote as crucial to Florida outcome

Two prominent journalists said on Wednesday that Jewish voters could play an outsized role in the presidential election, particularly in the battleground state of Florida, where they represent about 3 percent of all registered voters but 8 percent of the actual electorate, according to the Jewish Demography Project at the University of Miami.

There is no doubt that a majority of Jews nationwide and in Florida will vote for President Obama, said CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider, but the question is whether Republican challenger Mitt Romney can cut into the 78 percent support Obama received in winning Florida four years ago.

“The answer is yes,” Schneider said in an interview before he traveled to Boston to speak at the New Center for Arts & Culture, a Jewish programming hub. “If he were the same Mitt Romney that was governor of Massachusetts, he could win more Jewish voters. But many Jewish voters, like others, don’t trust him.”

Schneider said he expects Obama’s Jewish support level to dip into the 60s in Florida, tightening the race.

Schneider was joined on Wednesday evening at the New Center by Nate Silver, author of The New York Times’s FiveThirtyEight blog. Silver, in a separate interview, said despite the popular narrative that Jewish voters are heavily influenced by candidates’ positions on Israel, Jews are not single-issue voters and, in fact, tend to rate the economy as a higher priority. Silver argued that Romney’s strongly worded support for Israel “is not to win the Jewish vote. It’s actually more about winning over Christian conservatives.”

— Callum Borchers

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