May 21st, 2010
09:30 AM ET
13 years ago

Parties in Connecticut get set to endorse

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Blumenthal is expected to win his party's endorsement."](CNN) - Democrats and Republicans gather separately this weekend in Connecticut to hand out party endorsements in the battle for Sen. Chris Dodd's seat. It's all part of the Democratic and GOP state party nominating conventions, which kick off Friday.

Polls indicate that state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is the overwhelming favorite over businessman Merrick Alpert in the fight for the Democratic nomination. But Blumenthal is under the gun this week, after the New York Times reported that he distorted his military service. 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.

On Tuesday Blumenthal acknowledged 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."

On the Republican side, former Rep. Rob Simmons, former wrestling executive Linda McMahon, and businessman Peter Schiff are vying for the GOP nomination.

Dodd, a five-term 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 2010. Polls taken prior to this week's controversy indicated that Blumenthal was ahead by more than two to one margins in hypothetical general election matchups against all three GOP candidates.

McMahon's campaign claimed credit Tuesday for giving the New York Times a video of a speech in Norwalk, Connecticut, in which Blumenthal says he served in Vietnam.

Endorsements for governor and other state wide offices will also be voted on at this weekend's conventions.

Connecticut holds its primaries on August 10.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: Richard Blumenthal
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Mike

    blumenthal should quit, who wants to vote for a liar who is supposed to be the attorney general for his state and now he wants to go to DC. He is a flaming liberal so I would not expect anything else from him.

    May 21, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  2. No Incumbents 2010

    Blumenthal's campaign is a sinking ship. His videotaped lies about serving overseas in Vietnam are an insult to every veteran.

    May 21, 2010 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  3. Bob Dog

    This guy Blumenthal sounds like a creep.

    May 21, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  4. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    I bet if we checked real hard we would find that most all politicians are lier's its the American way .

    May 21, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  5. TwM

    Not only should he withdraw from the Senate race he should resign as AG

    May 21, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  6. Barb

    We need to do better than this lyar if we want to keep Dems in the majority! Come ON!!!!

    May 21, 2010 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  7. Steve (the real one)

    This guy should be considered a disgrace by everyone who has ever served in the military. But then again Kerry was elected! So we will see!

    May 21, 2010 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  8. How do you elect a Senator to.....

    represent you if he is going to mis-speak to you?

    May 21, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  9. gt

    he is a liar.... simple...

    May 21, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  10. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    His comments about military service were certainly more honest than Bush's were.....

    Whatever happened to Bush's military records? Buried with Laura's vehicular manslaughter and DWI paperwork?

    May 21, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  11. stevegee

    Blumenthal is a career politician, and a liar. And the people of Connecticut see right through his spin to diffuse the controversy about his integrity.

    Vote for businessman Merrick Alpert. He's a Democrat, but at least he's honest.

    May 21, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  12. Judy in Iowa

    If he's the Democrats' overwhelming favorite, a Republican will win Connecticut. Missteps that start this early tell me loud and clear- this is not someone to be trusted. If he's willing to lie about serving in Vietnam, what else is he willing to fabricate in the future? He said, "But I will not allow anyone to take a few misplaced words and impugn my record of service to our country." A few misplaced words? He isn't even a Good liar.

    May 21, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  13. Steve (the real one)

    In the real world when one gets busted for "padding" a resume, that individual DOES NOT get hired! The same should apply here!

    May 21, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  14. Incredulous

    You have to vote for the Vietnam war hero.

    May 21, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  15. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Blumenthal has an uphill battle to fight. I was all for him, but he lied about his military service. I don't like swiftboat tactics, but misleading the public is dishonorable. As U.S. Army veteran, I would have been fine if Mr. Blumenthal didn't see combat in Vietnam. I support him because he is a veteran, just not the veteran he claimed to be. Maybe he should sit this election out.

    May 21, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  16. Gale

    I doubt if very many people even listen to their party's endorsement. It's called "he with the most payoffs wins" and people are sick of it!

    May 21, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  17. doug

    Blumenthal is a liar, I would think that is a great thing if you are running as a Democrat.

    Every Democrat is a liar so he is just showing that he is one of 'dem. He should run someone off the road with his car, and scream and yell franticly at someone he disagrees with in a totally rude and irrational way. It is all about being like those who will vote for you.

    May 21, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  18. Realistic Dad

    I'd bet the farm that Blumenthal gets the nod even though he's a chronological liar! Democrats just want the seat and the power. They don't care how they get it. There is NO moral standard in the Democratic Party, especially at the national level.

    May 21, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  19. Joan

    The Democrats could lose this seat if they go with Blumenthal. He's too easy a target now. Lying is bad enough but lying about being a war vet is just plain stupid. If he would do that, how many other things would he cover up. There should be lots of other good Democratic possibilities. It would be a shame to lose Sen. Dodd's seat.

    May 21, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |