Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is a Democrat running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Senator Chris Dodd. On May 17 the New York Times ran a story revealing that Blumenthal had falsely claimed, apparently on several occasions, to being a Vietnam veteran. He did serve in the Marine Corps Reserve during the Vietnam war but was not sent to Vietnam, or anywhere else outside the U.S.
On Tuesday, Blumenthal was defiant and unrepentant as he held a news conference to claim that on a few occasions he “mispoke about my service,” and:
I will not allow anyone to take a few misplaced words and impugn my record of service to our country.
In response to a reporter’s question Blumenthal insisted that he unintentionally misspoke.
Analysis from a personal perspective
I’m the same age as Blumenthal and I was in the Army during Vietnam. Like Blumenthal I was not sent there. The war was the most explosive political/social issue and news story of our youth, even in an era marked by wrenching social upheaval. The war loomed large in our personal lives every day. I know and Blumenthal knows that the story he’s trying to sell, that he – or anyone of our generation – could now say “unintentionally” that he served in Vietnam when he didn’t is utterly preposterous.