Richard Blumenthal, current Attorney General of Connecticut and Democratic candidate for Senate, has a problem. A big problem.
Blumenthal is considered the overwhelming favorite to keep Chris Dodd’s seat in Barack Obama’s hands.
But, if this NY Times report is true, Blumenthal’s days should be numbered, because he has flat-out lied about serving in Vietnam, a tale Blumenthal often tells on the campaign trail:
At a ceremony honoring veterans and senior citizens who sent presents to soldiers overseas, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut rose and spoke of an earlier time in his life.
“We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam,” Mr. Blumenthal said to the group gathered in Norwalk in March 2008. “And you exemplify it. Whatever we think about the war, whatever we call it — Afghanistan or Iraq — we owe our military men and women unconditional support.”
There was one problem: Mr. Blumenthal, a Democrat now running for the United States Senate, never served in Vietnam. He obtained at least five military deferments from 1965 to 1970 and took repeated steps that enabled him to avoid going to war, according to records.
This should put an end to Blumenthal as a candidate. But “should” never really meant much for Chris Dodd, so we’ll see.
Here is part of Slate’s profile of Blumenthal in 2000: “At 24, Blumenthal turned down the directorship of VISTA. He enlisted in the Marines rather than duck the Vietnam draft.” In fact, according to the Times’ report, he enlisted in the Marine Reserves only after all his deferments had expired and it was clear he would be drafted.
Here is the partial bio of Rob Simmons, former Republican Congressman and leading contender for the Republican nomination: “Rob’s public service career began when he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1965 as a Private, and spent 19 months in Vietnam where he earned two Bronze Star Medals.”
Simmons didn’t take long to Tweet:
Linda McMahan, another Republican candidate, has posted the video of Blumenthal’s famous statement (no embed available, I guess she wants you to visit her YouTube channel).
Found an alternative post of the video with embed enabled:
The McMahon campaign is taking credit for the opposition research which broke the story, per Politico:
Pulling back the curtain on journalistic sausage-making usually hidden from voters, a Republican Senate candidate is taking credit for the front-page New York Times story accusing Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of “plainly untrue” remarks about Vietnam service.
The campaign of World Wrestling Entertainment co-founder Linda McMahon, who is seeking the Republican nomination to run against Blumenthal, is doing little to discourage suggestions it provided the sort of opposition research to The Times that is known around campaigns as an “oppo dump.”