May 24th, 2010
08:38 AM ET
4 years ago

Blumenthal: 'I'm sorry'

'I truly regret offending anyone,' Connecticut Attorney General and Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal said in a statement issued to a newspaper Sunday night.
'I truly regret offending anyone,' Connecticut Attorney General and Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal said in a statement issued to a newspaper Sunday night.

(CNN) - Democratic Senate candidate and Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has apologized for misstating his military record during the Vietnam War.

"I have made mistakes and I am sorry. I truly regret offending anyone," Blumenthal said in a statement sent to the Hartford Courant Sunday night. "I will always champion the cause of Connecticut's and our nation's veterans."

Blumenthal's comments come one week after the New York Times reported that he distorted his military service record. The article alleges that Blumenthal lied about serving in Vietnam and says that he never served in that war, even though the candidate has claimed he did in speeches before veterans groups and military families.

Blumenthal acknowledged last Tuesday that he has not always accurately described his military service during the Vietnam War.

"On a few occasions I have misspoken about my service and I regret that and I take full responsibility," Blumenthal said while surrounded by Vietnam veterans at a news conference in West Hartford. "But I will not allow anyone to take a few misplaced words and impugn my record of service to our country."

Blumenthal served in the Marine Corps Reserves during the Vietnam War, and was stationed stateside. He says he mistakenly said he served "in" Vietnam rather than "during" Vietnam in his previous speeches.

The absence of a strong apology in his remarks last Tuesday fueled criticism from Republicans and even some Democrats.

Last Friday night, at the Connecticut Democratic state party convention, Blumenthal acknowledged that "I have made mistakes," according to media reports, adding that "I regret them. And I have taken responsibility."

In the statement to the Courant, Connecticut's largest daily newspaper, Blumenthal said that "at times when I have sought to honor veterans, I have not been as clear or precise as I should have been about my service in the Marine Corps Reserves."

"I have firmly and clearly expressed regret and taken responsibility for my words," added Blumenthal, who's served as Connecticut attorney general for nearly two decades.

Notwithstanding the controversy, Blumenthal easily won the state Democratic Party's endorsement at the convention. Democratic candidate Merrick Alpert, a businessman, ended his bid for the Senate after trailing badly in the vote count for the party endorsement.

Connecticut Republicans backed Linda McMahon as their Senate nominee, endorsing the former professional wrestling executive at the state GOP convention Friday night. But McMahon, who has spent tens of millions of her own money so far on her Senate bid, will still face a challenge for the Republican nomination in Connecticut's August 10 primary. Former Rep. Rob Simmons, who came in second in the endorsement battle, said he would challenge McMahon in the primary.

Businessman Peter Schiff, another GOP candidate, failed to capture enough votes at the convention to qualify for the primary, but indicated he might launch a petition effort to get his name on the August primary ballot.

Polls conducted prior to the past week's controversy indicated that Blumenthal was ahead by a more than two-to-one margin in hypothetical general election matchups against all three GOP candidates.

The race is to succeed Sen. Chris Dodd. The five-term Democratic senator announced in January that he would not run for re-election this year. Dodd had been considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats in this November's midterms.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: 2010 • Connecticut • Popular Posts • Richard Blumenthal
soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. RESIGN NOW SCUMBAG

    "I have made mistakes. I regret them. And I have taken responsibility. On a few occasions I have misspoken about my service and I regret that and I take full responsibility, but I will not allow anyone to take a few misplaced words and impugn my record of service to our country."

    Mistakes? Misspoken? Misplaced words? You lied. You knew you were lying when you did it. Those were not mistakes. The words were not misplaced. You did not misspeak. You expect us to believe it was coincidence that your "mistakes" occured while addressing honorable men and women who put themselves in harms way to protect our freedom? Scumbag.

    And, you have not taken responsibility. You haven't even asked for forgiveness. Grow a pair and resign now. THAT would be taking responsibility.

    May 24, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  2. Holding Up A Mirror

    As I understand it, in the same speeches where he conveyed that he was "in Vietnam", he later stated unequivocably that HE WAS NOT.

    This seems support his assertion that he didn't strive to mislead his audience.

    May 24, 2010 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  3. RB

    What a surprise! Another lying politician. I'm amazed.

    May 24, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  4. gt

    he is big liar....who wants to vote for liars ,, we got to many of those in washington now... just go away ,,, far away ,,,

    May 24, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  5. inofritzn

    "He says he mistakenly said he served "in" Vietnam rather than "during" Vietnam in his previous speeches."

    How come these worthless news outlets keep using that "mistaken" phrase and not the one where he says When WE returned from Vietnam? Ooooo thats right, they're in bed together

    May 24, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  6. JK Ashburn, VA

    There's the usual political cop out. "sorry if I offended anyone."

    Dude, offending someone and being a self-serving liar are two different things. Your character is flawed. No one is offended by that. You simply cannot be trusted.

    May 24, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  7. SkiDoc

    Question: What is the most dangerous place on earth?

    Answer: Standing bewtween Richard Blumenthal and a TV camera.

    This worm is cut out of the same cloth as Eliot Spitzer – scumbag holier-than-thou hypocrite.

    See ya....Dick. Even liberal Connecticut won't put up with you.

    May 24, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  8. USN

    He said he's sorry for getting caught, so it's all better now . After all he's a dem , this behavior is expected and OK aslong as the lie promots agenda , Right ?

    May 24, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  9. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    The sincerest form of apology would be resignation and retirement from the public eye, things Mr Blumenthal seems unwilling to do–he's not that sorry...

    May 24, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  10. No Incumbents 2010

    Nothing that liberal Blumenthal says now will change the fact that he is a LIAR. How Connecticutt could even consider sending a LIAR to the Senate is beyond me. Blumenthal has offended every military family in the United States and he has proven that his word cannot be trusted. Peter Schiff is not a career politician and will be integrity and accountability to government.

    May 24, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  11. Bubba

    Not going to be his proudest moment, but he did serve and everyone in the military back then was part of the war effort. As a guy, I can tell you it's tempting to brag and boast sometimes, but this is a little over the line. Twenty lashes with a hippo's junk for him, and then get back to work.

    May 24, 2010 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  12. honestabe

    Just a small elite group of only
    FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND
    U.S. military personnel served
    IN VIET NAM during the war.
    This guy pulled strings to keep
    from going.
    Next time you whinning liberals
    start bashing Cheney again for
    avoiding Viet Nam service remember
    this draft dodger of your's .
    And by the way, before you get on
    your foul mouth high horses......
    yeah.....I was there.

    May 24, 2010 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  13. Wake UP

    Typical democrat liar, just like Obama. When you will you obamabots question your leadership?
    They want big govt to have more power and to control us...but all they do is lie, cheat, and steal.

    Obama maybe should offer him a job to drop out like he did to Sestak.

    May 24, 2010 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  14. Ron in California

    He's sorry he got caught! As a Viet Nam ERA vet iam am often asked were you in "NAM"? I always answer truthfully....No, I wasn't. The Army chose other duty for me and I served proudly.
    Anyway why lie....someone who was there can tell if you are lying.
    Unfortunately, there is an old jike...How can you tell if a politician is lying?? His lips are moving.

    May 24, 2010 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  15. Fair is Fair

    "The absence of a strong apology in his remarks last Tuesday fueled criticism from Republicans and even some Democrats."

    Even some democrats?? EVEN???

    What this man did – stolen valor – is beyond reprehensible. My son is in Afghanistan dodging IED's and you belittled his service and that of his brothers and sisters in arms with what you did. You're disgusting, Blumenthal.

    But we're talking Connecticut here... so he'll probably get elected.

    May 24, 2010 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  16. Steve in North Carolina

    Yeah he's sorry all right! I hope Connecticut elects somebody with more integrity than this clown!

    May 24, 2010 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  17. ja

    sick of self righteous so-called leaders, lying overt stealing, marital infidelities and sill being able serve and exact punishment upon others, what will the children think and do

    May 24, 2010 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  18. Dan Margolis

    I, for one, am finished with the self-serving, lying, finger-pointing style of politics that has infested our system of government. NO incumbent will receive my vote, regardless of party-affiliation or platform. If the new leaders elected to office exhibit the same behavior, they will lose my vote as well. It is time that we put a stop to it – it is destroying everything – environment, economy, our future.

    May 24, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  19. Jaimondrow

    First of all, he's done. Lying about something like that for political game is about a slimy as it gets. Oh, please don't let the alternative be even worse...

    May 24, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  20. wbn

    Nobody can ever say, "I lied about the matter." He didn't make mistakes or make the truith unclear. Of course, in politics (and even in court!), people will always counter with, "So, you are a liar; what else are you lying about." True, others don't really encourage honesty, and may even lose faith in us when we admit to having told lies, but it's still best and right to just admit it.

    May 24, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  21. doug

    I don't get it, he's a Democrat, they represent liars and those void of morals and values, has he really done anything wrong for someone running as a lib?

    Think about it, an unstopable political force in the tri state lib area is a Democrat who would win any election in this area hands down, John Gotti Jr. He is a living lib legend, Democrats raise their children to idolize mobsters around here, for a child to grow up into organize crime, even if it is hidden by being called a state or government job, is a Demolib parents greatest dream. Oh, and trying to take out a Republican, Curtis Sliwa, is also something every Democrat in America supports.

    May 24, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  22. Joshua Ludd

    Well, he still did more than the majority of the chickenhawks in the white house who got us into Iraq and Afghanistan.

    May 24, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  23. OTGOLFER

    How can a person vote for a person who cannot admit that he knowingly lied and misrepresented himself about his service time. Saying that he "misspoke" doesn't cut it. Imagine you were in a job interview, the interviewers catch you in a lie, you won't get hired if you say you misspoke. If you stand up and admit you lied, you have a better chance to get hired. At least you showed you have the integrity to be totally honest and fix the situation.

    May 24, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  24. Ben in Texas

    The same huge ego that gets these guys into politics is what drives them to self-destruction. Intellectually they understand that their lives are under a microscope as soon as they jump into the political arena, but they can't resist doing things that that will bring them down. It must be that part of the reason they get into politics is to wallow in greed, lying, sex, drugs, and all the other self-destructive behavior.

    On the other side, voters must be prepared to accept a certain amount of human folly from their politicians, because none of them is immune. If we expect any politician to be better than those who elect them, we will always be disappointed.

    May 24, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  25. Liar lian pants on fire

    "But I will not allow anyone to take a few misplaced words and impugn my record of service to our country"

    Liar liar pants on fire. He did not misspeak – he LIED. And he did it on numerous occasions and in different ways over many years - he talks of being spat upon as a returning Vietnam vet – LIE. he spoke of his service IN VIETNAM over a span of several years – ALL LIES.

    As a Vet 1966-1969 I find his behavior in contempt; and I find his so called apology lame; and I find his emboldened statement of defending "my ecord of service to our country" to be arrogant.

    Sorry, this is not the type of person we need in office at this time – no sense of truth – humility – or honor

    May 24, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
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