Members of Congress use their plus-ones to the State of the Union to highlight their biggest political issues, so it was only a matter of time before a guest with a Benghazi-connection received an invite.
Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., is bringing along Charles Woods, father of Navy SEAL Ty Woods, one of four Americans killed in the 2012 Benghazi attack. Woods has been highly critical of the Obama administration and its handling of the incident.
Bridenstine’s office said that while House Republican leadership has encouraged members to bring people who “have been victims of Obamacare,” he’s bringing a “genuine victim of failed foreign policy.” Bridenstine also urged the formation of a House select committee to further investigate Benghazi. Back in December, family members of those killed and conservative leaders penned a letter to House Speaker John Boehner to establish a committee to investigate the attacks and aftermath. A proposed House resolution would do just that.
Bridenstine’s highlighting of an issue that conservatives have galvanized around comes at a time when outside groups have been pushing him to jump in the race to fill the seat about to be vacated by Sen. Tom Coburn. So far, fellow Oklahoma Republican Rep. James Lankford has said he’s running.