The outlook for Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s current Senate campaign has dimmed considerably tonight, thanks to an incisive Times report. Blumenthal has regularly referenced his service in Vietnam in speeches, appearances at veterans’ ceremonies, and assorted other events throughout his political career. The one minor detail he repeatedly left out? He never actually went to Vietnam. The Times has reported that Blumenthal received at least five military deferments and “took repeated steps that enabled him to avoid going to war,” landing a spot in a Washington D.C.–based Marine Reserve unit instead.
In public appearances, Blumenthal has said things like “We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam,” and “When we returned, we saw nothing like this,” among other recorded references to time spent overseas.
“An examination of his remarks at the ceremonies shows that he does not volunteer that his service never took him overseas. And he describes the hostile reaction directed at veterans coming back from Vietnam, intimating that he was among them,” the paper posits.
When questioned by the Times, Blumenthal admitted to misspeaking at one event, and said he may have done so on other occasions: “My intention has always been to be completely clear and accurate and straightforward, out of respect to the veterans who served in Vietnam,” he said.