Sen. Blumenthal expresses regret for attending Communist awards show

Sen. Blumenthal says he does not stand in solidarity with the Communist Party

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Democratic Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal said in an interview on Friday that he regretted attending a communist award show last week. 

The senator spoke at the Amsted Award ceremony on Dec. 11, where he honored the recipients with an honorary certificate. Speakers at the event regularly encouraged attendees to register with the Communist Party.

"My understanding was that this ceremony was strictly a labor event,’' Blumenthal said Friday in a telephone interview with the Hartford Courant. "If I had known the details, I wouldn’t have gone. ... Let me just say very emphatically, I’m a Democrat and a strong believer in American capitalism. I have been consistently a Democrat and a strong supporter and believer in American capitalism.’'

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The event was hosted by the Connecticut People's World Committee Amistad Awards. CPWC is a Communist Party affiliate political advocacy organization.

"We invite you to join the Communist Party in this epic time as we make good trouble to uproot systemic racism, retool the war economy, tax the rich, address climate change, secure voting rights and create a new socialist system that puts people, peace and planet before profits," emcee Ben McManus told the audience during the event.

Blumenthal was introduced as a "special surprise guest" at the event. 

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Blumenthal went on to say that the award ceremony was just one of many events he was attending in a short amount of time. Blumenthal said that the awards' focus on labor were what attracted him, and his attendance had nothing to do with support for communism.

"I go to a lot of events, places, meetings, rallies, and ceremonies in Connecticut. I’m delighted to be invited anywhere, and in this instance, I was invited by local labor unions to honor these three individuals, and that’s why I was there," the senator told the Hartford Courant. "That’s pretty much it.’'