By Carole on May 18, 2010
With his lie about serving in Vietnam exposed, Connecticut Attorney General and Democratic Senate Candidate Richard Blumenthal went into major damage control mode today trying to explain why he has claimed he "served in Vietnam" when he did not. In a press conference not-so-coincidentally held at a Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall, Mr. Blumenthal surrounded himself with men who actually served in Vietnam, invoked his own son who is currently serving in the Marines and then tried to minimize his lie by stating, "Now on a few occasions, I have misspoken about my service and I regret that and I take full responsibility. But I will not allow anyone to take a few misplaced words and impugn my record of service to our country."
While answering questions from the press, he continued to repeat the phrase "misplaced words" at one point claiming he was "unaware of those misplaced words when they were spoken. In fact I was unaware of anyone taking note of them and only when they were brought to my attention very recently did I become aware of them." His carefully prepared statements might almost convince someone that these words were "misplaced" by something beyond Mr. Blumenthal's control...almost.
His campaign had already begun the spin last night shortly after the story broke issuing a statement that read in part, "Unlike many of his peers, Dick Blumenthal voluntarily joined the Marine Corps Reserves in 1970 and served for six months in Parris Island, SC and six years in the reserves. He received no special treatment from anyone." Unfortunately for Mr. Blumenthal, he is not being accused of receiving special treatment. He is being accused of lying about serving in Vietnam and there is video evidence to prove that's exactly what he did.
His campaign's statement also included the charge that the New York Times story that originally exposed the lie was "an outrageous distortion" of Mr. Blumenthal's service record but again, that is not the issue at hand as no one has disputed his actual record except for Mr. Blumenthal himself when he claimed to have served "in Vietnam".
Appearing on Fox News Channel today, Republican Rob Simmons who is running for his party's nomination in the Connecticut Senate race acknowledged that while there is honor in serving in the reserves as Mr. Blumenthal did, "South Carolina is not South Vietnam." And that is a fact that no amount of spin including terms like "misplaced words" will be able to change.
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