Blumenthal to Address Vietnam-Era Service in News Conference

This afternoon, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal will hold a news conference, where he is expected to dispute a New York Times report that he once lied about his Vietnam record.

Blumenthal was easily leading a pack of Senate candidates in a recent poll, and that report seems to have given hope to Republicans pursuing control of the Senate.

The clip the Times article refers to was recorded at a 2008 event, and captures the AG saying he had served "in Vietnam" when he served six months in Parris Island, S.C., and six years in the reserves.

Republican opponents have pounced on the news.

On Monday night, the campaign for Linda McMahon, who is running as a Republican for the Senate seat, issued a statement

The headline was “In Case You Missed It: McMahon Strikes Blumenthal In NYT Article.”

"It's very clear to us, over the past few weeks and months as we've begun to research Mr. Blumenthal in earnest, there are some deeply troubling discrepancies between the image he's portrayed publicly and the truth," said Ed Patru, a spokesman for former wrestling executive Linda McMahon, who is seeking the GOP nomination.

U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons, a Vietnam veteran, is also running for the seat. His Senate campaign of Republican released a statement on Tuesday saying that the "stunning revelation" about Blumenthal is raising questions about the viability of his candidacy and might make "this the race that could deliver a Republican Senate majority."

Simmons' campaign said he served 19 months in Vietnam with the Army, earned two Bronze Stars and "has never needed to pad his resume."

Blumenthal’s campaign issued a statement on Monday night, addressing the report.

"The New York Times story is an outrageous distortion of Dick Blumenthal's record of service. 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,” the campaign said. “Dick has a long record of standing up for veterans.”
His news conference is scheduled for 2 p.m. in West Hartford at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post.

On Tuesday, they sent a link to a YouTube link of a speech he made where he said he did not serve in Vietnam.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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