Published May 18, 2010
Democratic Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, once thought to be a shoo-in for the seat being vacated by Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) finds himself on the political ropes after a newspaper exposed a past incorrect statement regarding his service in Vietnam, and Republicans are smelling an opening, FOXNews.com reported Tuesday.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), who heads the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said Tuesday, "I think it's a blockbuster revelation," and predicted, "I think it's definitely going to make that race more competitive."
Blumenthal's campaign disputed the report in the New York Times as an "outrageous distortion" of his service in the Marines, saying he served six months on Paris Island and six years in the reserves. Blumenthal, according to the Times, said he had misspoken at a 2008 event in Norfolk during which he said he had served in Vietnam.
At the event, Blumenthal, advocating for troops returning from war, clearly said, "We have learned something very important since the days that I served in Vietnam...whatever we think about the war, whatever we call it -- Afghanistan or Iraq -- we owe our military men and women unconditional support."
Cornyn's Democratic campaign counterpart, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) offered a critical vote of confidence for Blumenthal Tuesday, saying his lifetime of support for veterans was what really mattered.
"I think he's corrected the record in the past. I think his actions standing up for veterans for a long time speaks volumes," Menendez said. "I'm sure he will continue to stay in the race...and we'll continue to support him."
Blumenthal was scheduled to appear at a news conference later Tuesday with veterans at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in West Hartford.