May 26th, 2010
01:41 PM ET
5 years ago

Biden jokes about Blumenthal controversy

Washington (CNN) - Add Vice President Joe Biden to the list of people speaking out about the controversy surrounding Democratic Senate nominee and Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal's misstating of his military record during the Vietnam War.

"I was not in Vietnam. I don't want to make a Blumenthal mistake here. Our attorney general from Connecticut, God love him," said Biden, according to a pool report of a Tuesday night at an event at the vice president's residence for wounded troops.

"I have a bad habit of saying exactly what I think," added Biden, apparently acknowledging the tendency for his off the cuff comments to land him in trouble.

Early last week the New York Times reported that Blumenthal distorted his military service record. The article alleged 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.

A day after the release of the article, Blumenthal acknowledged he had not always accurately described his military service during the Vietnam War. Blumenthal served in the Marine Corps Reserves during the Vietnam War, and was stationed stateside. He said 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.

"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."

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."

The campaign of Linda McMahon, the Senate candidate endorsed by the Connecticut Republican Party, is circulating media reports of Biden's comments to members of the media.

-CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2010 • Connecticut • Joe Biden • Popular Posts
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. No sense of humor

    Those who sacrificed their lives in Vietnam don't think it's funny.

    May 26, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  2. Johnny DC

    This is yet another example of how politicians – Democrat and Republican – will make egregiously false statements during a campaign season just to gather more and more votes. Then, when proven false, they ultimately have to admit their misstep or blame someone else.

    Obama did it with countless unfulfilled campaign promises of changing the system, and now this guy tried to get away with the same maneuver. Only difference is that he got caught in time to not get elected, whereas we are only just now finding out that Obama was nothing but an empty politician.

    May 26, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "I have a bad habit of saying exactly what I think,"

    I wish Sarah Palin woudl do the same. She'd have to be silent.

    May 26, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  4. Sgt. USMC

    It has got to be policy to have a "not so bright" VP. That way people will be reluctant to replace you. Either way you gotta love Joe. I wouldn't trade him for that other VP who ruined our country... you know who, the Dick.

    May 26, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  5. TOTUS 4 PRESIDENT

    Every time Biden, God love him, uses the term "God love him", you can simply replace this with "the stupid idiot fool"!

    May 26, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  6. Kevin in Ohio

    Yeah, real funny, Joe.

    You liberal hatemongers decried Vietnam Vets as "baby-killers", and now you all patronize us through your claims of "supporting the troops". Blumenthal exposed left wing extremists for the liars they truly are. America is finally waking up.

    May 26, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  7. Tulsa

    I love Joe. He's as genuine as they come. None too subtle, I'll agree, but you can count on him to be honest.
    Great choice for VP.

    May 26, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  8. Ben S. Pauls

    Blithering idiot Biden, if you were smart you'd stop speaking off the cuff, don't you know? Blumenthal is a plain-out liar. Doesn't that matter in CT?

    May 26, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  9. Laura, Massachusetts

    It is hard to believe that one could say "in" Vietnam rather than "during "Vietnam in more than one instance...Also, did he tell people he was stationed stateside or did he give the impression he boarded a plane was left the country to fight in the war...

    This is what needs to be reported on...

    May 26, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  10. zeus

    Joe Biden should give hope to AG Blumenthal that no matter how many stupid things you say or do it will not prevent you from ever becoming a U. S. Senator !!!

    May 26, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  11. valwayne

    So VP Biden and the Democrats think lying about serving in Vietnam is just a big joke? I wonder if the people of the state of CT agree? I guess we'll find out in Nov?

    May 26, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  12. jay in denver

    To all the righties who are expressing their shock and outrage over Biden's comments, I offer this historical quip:

    "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan, August 11, 1984.

    Sauce for the goose, gang. Get over yourselves.

    May 26, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  13. Pam

    Why can't anyone ever just admit a lie and say I screwed up. I would be more willing to forgive that. Just say I mislead you and I sicerely apologize. I was trying to make myself sound better and it was a stupid thing to do. He did not misspeak. He lied. Own up and most people are willing to forgive Cover up and most people not forgive.
    Just that simple.

    May 26, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  14. Dan J

    A plagiarist defending a liar. How fitting.

    May 26, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  15. Enough

    Democrats new definition for a lie = Misspoke...........either way a lie is a lie coming out their mouths. Blumenthal should not be running, he is blatant liar who refuses to admit he LIED!

    May 26, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  16. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    He could be the next Biden; saying what he thinks and making mistatements that get him on shows like The Daily Show. As long as he represents his state well in the Senate, there is little to complain about.

    May 26, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  17. TH - ATL Conservative

    No, not a lying politician? For real?

    May 26, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  18. Blumenthal coul dbe sent to Afghanistan

    Richard Blumenthal's lack of Vietnam combat experience should be rectified – send him to Afghanistan to serve.

    May 26, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  19. SocialismBad

    Yeah Crazy Joe... You're just one joke after another! To think he's just one heart beat away from the Presidency makes me shudder.

    May 26, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  20. rwdragon86

    Biden makes Dan Quail look like a genius. Why did the president pick such an albatross to have hanging around his neck? He is truly an idiot.

    May 26, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  21. DIANA

    Gotta love that Biden. I'm glad he's our Vice President. I don't see all the hoopla about the lie. Yes, it was bad but, not as bad as telling people that Sadam had weapons of mass destruction and we needed to attack now. The first example no lives were lost, the second example, countless lives were and are still being lost.

    May 26, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  22. Marc

    And the Rightwing, neocon, conservatives come out in 5, 4, 3, 2, ......

    May 26, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  23. JOhn

    The whole thing was a media created event, nothing more. The guy service in the Marines During Viet Nam. In every one of those speeches he stated that he did not go to VN. Nobody came away from those speeches thinking he did until the media took a few clips out of the speech where he should have said "during" and not "in". The story is disengenous at best, which is what Biden was jokeing about.

    THe guy serviced his country in the Marines during Viet Nam, how is that ever a bad thing. Is there a single Marine that thinks where you are stationed makes you a marine or not. Non issue from a partisan party that has nothing to run on but name calling, phony issues and hate.

    May 26, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  24. moth2

    Well the way I see it, he could have embelished things a little for the hero moment to obtain recognition. I will say this, many were given recognition by the DOD for serving during the TIME of the VN war, which i did not i agree with. So you could see how easy it would be to mix up words. The government made the mistake with this. others during the time were able to hang their hat on the phrase, while those of us who were actually there were pissed for the mistake by those who attempted to be included, when they were not.

    May 26, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  25. Ken West

    Biden is totally misrepresenting the VA stance on combat related injuries. My farther recently passed away from Cancer, his second bought, he came home from the war with several bullet holes, and a shattered hip from shrapnel. Only later to find out they had been dumping liquid cancer on the marines for years.

    My point is that we are currently fighting with the VA for window benefits after he was already on 100 % disability due to his first fight with Cancer. The process is not acceptable despite the improvements made over the last 20 years.

    May 26, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
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