Fallout: Forgiveness and Frustration

Even before Richard Blumenthal expressed regret that he "misspoke" about being a Vietnam veteran, some former servicemen were defending him.

"What he's done in office probably overwrites the opinion of whether-or-not," said Rick Martin, of Bristol. "I'm an ex-serviceman. He's done a good job, and at this time I'd have to say he still has my vote."

Another proud veteran, Eric Pierce of New Britain, said he hadn't known whether Blumenthal was a Vietnam veteran.  "I knew he was a marine and although we're marines, we're not all - we do make mistakes sometimes, unfortunately.  He misspoke," Pierce said.

As a Vietnam veteran himself, with a Purple Heart to his name, Bristol Mayor Art Ward said Blumenthal consistently portrayed himself as a Vietnam era veteran, not a Vietnam veteran.

"There was an association there as far as being supportive of the troops coming home and an understanding of what they were going through with the political environment at that time, relative to the Vietnam War," Ward said.  He hoped Blumenthal could recover.

"Veteran" is on Sebby Lombardo's license plate.  "But I was not a combat veteran, but i was in the Korean conflict so if I were him," Lombardo said, "I woulda said the same thing - oh yes, I'm a veteran, I served in Korea."

Adam Gaski of Burlington had thought Blumenthal was an actual Vietnam veteran. "Well, I'm disappointed, to be honest with you," Gaski said.

Some non-veterans were even less understanding.

"You think all this time that he was serving and doing all this stuff," said Mercedes Benjamin, "and now that he wasn't, it's kind of depressing  It changes a lot of people's outlook on it, actually."

Some people are still processing their reactions. "I like him, I think he's got a very difficult job," said Kevin Carrignan of New Hartford, "and hopefully what he said in the past is true and if it isn't, it kinda goes toward his credibility for future positions."

"He's running against McMahon, right?" asked Brook Davis of Bristol. "I'd rather go with McMahon, but did he lie?"

Others still see Blumenthal as a role model for politicians.

"Richard Blumenthal has done a lot for the state," said Nykole Gonzalez . "He's one of the few who's stepping up to try to make this state better."

Demetrian Estes tried to put things in perspective. "To me he's doing a great job, going after big businesses that are dong corrupt stuff, so I think it's OK," he said. "Everyone makes a mistake.   Slip of the tongue, that's all it was."

Contact Us