Blumenthal calls misrepresentation of Vietnam military service ‘absolutely unintentional’ and the result of ‘misplaced words’

Jon Ward Contributor
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Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal on Tuesday sounded a defiant tone even as the candidate for the U.S. Senate acknowledged he had misrepresented his service in Vietnam, saying his false statements were “absolutely unintentional.”

“On a few occasions I have misspoken about my service, and I regret that and I take full responsibility,” Blumenthal said at a press conference in a West Hartford VFW Hall, surrounded by veterans in red jackets.

“But I will not allow anyone to take a few misplaced words and impugn my record of service to our country,” he said.

Blumenthal’s highly choreographed press conference was aimed at limiting the damage from a story published late Monday in the New York Times that showed he has made false statements in the past that he was a soldier in the Vietnam War.

Blumenthal, a Democrat who has been considered a near lock to win the seat being vacated by Sen. Chris Dodd, a Democrat, said in 2008 that he “served in Vietnam.” He made other statements that were vague and misleading.

Overnight, Blumenthal’s candidacy has become a question mark.

“He’s got serious trouble,” said Martin Frost, a former Democratic congressman from Texas, on MSNBC. “He’s got to decide whether he’s staying in the race.”

On Tuesday, Blumenthal said he misspoke “on a few occasions out of hundreds” and said his misstatements were “absolutely unintentional.”

He called them “a few misplaced words, ‘in’ instead of ‘during.’”

“I was unaware of those misplaced words when they were spoken,” he said. “Only when they were brought to my attention … did I become aware of them.”

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