October 4th, 2010
02:00 PM ET
12 years ago

Vietnam controversy resurfaces in Connecticut

(CNN) - Republican Linda McMahon is trying to seize the offensive in the hotly contested Connecticut Senate race, unveiling a new ad slamming Democratic state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal over distortions in his Vietnam service record.

The new ad, which will air statewide, made its on-line debut only hours before the two candidates are scheduled square off in their first debate. It raises questions about Blumenthal's credibility as a politician.

"Would you lie about serving in a war?" the narrator asks. "Dick Blumenthal did, again and again. ... If he lied about Vietnam, what else is he lying about?"

The ad shows Blumenthal in Norwalk, Connecticut, in 2008 saying, "we have learned something very important since the days that I served in Vietnam."

It also displays a clip of him in Bridgeport in 2003, telling a crowd, "when we returned (from Vietnam), we saw nothing of this gratitude."

In May, the New York Times reported that Blumenthal had repeatedly distorted his military service record. A Times article alleged that Blumenthal lied about serving in Vietnam and said that he never served in that war, even though Blumenthal 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 in Vietnam. He served in the Marine Corps Reserves during the Vietnam War, and was stationed stateside.

Blumenthal said he mistakenly said he served "in" Vietnam rather than "during" Vietnam in his previous speeches. He said in a statement 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 revelation helped transform what was expected to be an easy Democratic win into a tight contest. A Quinnipiac University survey released last week showed McMahon trailing Blumenthal 49 to 46 percent among likely voters, with four percent undecided. Blumenthal's three-point advantage was within the poll's sampling error, and down from a six-point margin in a Quinnipiac survey conducted earlier in September.

Blumenthal Campaign Manager Mindy Myers nonetheless dismissed the latest ad as "another desperate attack from a losing campaign with nothing to say."

"Linda McMahon's money can't buy Dick Blumenthal's genuine record of standing up and fighting for the people of Connecticut," Myers said in a statement.

McMahon and Blumenthal are campaigning for the right to retiring Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd's seat. Dodd, who was first elected to the Senate in 1980, announced earlier this year that he would not seek another term in office.

Filed under: 2010 • Connecticut • Linda McMahon • Richard Blumenthal
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Rush

    What is Linda'a military record?

    October 4, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  2. Steve in North Carolina

    I'd take a wrestler over a liar any day!

    October 4, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  3. LouAz

    If a politican tells a lie, how would another politican know ?

    October 4, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  4. Old Farmboy

    I'm not in Conneticut so it really don't matter to me, but if he served stateside, where was he coming from when he said

    "when we returned (from Vietnam), we saw nothing of this gratitude."

    Personally, I believe he was fully aware of what he said....

    October 4, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  5. Ouch

    That is a pretty low lie to tell. If he had an ounce of honor in his body, he'd concede the race.

    October 4, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  6. 4America1

    There is no place in public sevice for liars. Be a man and admit your lies and then resign.

    October 4, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  7. Cosmo

    Pretty ironic for a person who is running as a businesswoman who sells a product that is basically a lie.

    October 4, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. KDirty

    You have to be kidding me. Linda McMahon offers absolutely nothing for the state of Connecticut. She got bored of professional wrestling (as we all do, eventually...) and decided she needed more attention, and that she had enough money to buy it. She's a joke.

    October 4, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  9. Lou

    Nothing is more pathetic than a person taking credit for military experience they never had. My friends were shot at in Iraq and had friend die in front of them while I stayed here and played video games.

    The lowest thing I can do is pretend I was there.

    October 4, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  10. 29 Days until Socialism dies in the United States

    Well, it's a true ad. If you don't like it then don't lie about your military record... REPEATEDLY. I wonder why it took this long to come out? Has the liberal news media been giving him a free pass?

    October 4, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  11. Brian

    Kinda like the WWE lying that they had no idea that their employees were taking steroids? Who was running the WWE?

    October 4, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  12. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    What does that have to do with any of the issues? He DID serve in the military DURING Vietnam. So it was a distortion yes but he did in fact serve the nation a lot more than McScam with her FAKE wrestling steroid-promotions.

    October 4, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  13. jae

    mrs. mcmahon, how did you handle all of the allegations associated with WWF or WWE? Like when brett harts brother was killed because your husband thought it was a good idea to bring him into the ring the way they did with no safety net. also, all of the steriods that ruined alot of peoples lives for the sake of ratings? What am I saying, that is the american way

    October 4, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  14. gt

    no anything ... day anything... no back bone...lets have a cage match .. winner takes all

    October 4, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  15. Dennis

    What lies have Linda Mcmahon told? She is in fake wresling right? A fool and his money..............................

    October 4, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  16. cliff

    What? A Democrat who tells lies?
    That's unheard of!!!!!!!

    October 4, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    CNN's really doing everything in their power to avoid any damage to the chosen mid-term election narrrative about "woe to the Dems." C'mon CNN...you love reporting about the GOP raking in the dough...why you skipping the $16M record-breaking month of Sept the Dems had? Doesn't dovetail nicely enough with the "enthusiasm gap" meme?

    October 4, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  18. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Hey, Linda, What was Vince doing during NAM? Working on his deferment so he could help run Daddy's business? So we have a woman who lied about her education background on an application for appointment to the State Board of Regents claiming her opponent is unfamiliar with the truth.
    While I give her and Vince credit for digging themselves out of the financial hole that the old WWWF (now known as WWE) got them in, and while she is definitely a savvy business person, she sure does not have what it takes to be our next Senator.

    October 4, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  19. Marge

    This shows the type of scum bag McMahon is. In a speech he mention Viet Nam three times. Twice he said Viet Nam area. Once he omitted area. Probably a slip of the tongue. If he was trying to say he was a Viet Nam veteran he would not have used the word area after two of the mentions. But that doesn't stop the lowest of the low, again trying to make a mountain out of a molehill, that didn't even exist in the first place. The more she places herself in the slime pit she is making the more the people realize they have a piece of crap running for the post. Yuk the slime seems like it is running all over her and you hate to even look at her picture.

    October 4, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  20. Brian

    I have a question... what argument is there against McMahon? She was a very successful business owner, is used to running under a budget, and was the employer of probably thousands of people. I don't know a lot about either candidate, but just based on the fact that she was such a successful business owner, and that Blumenthal lied about serving in Vietnam, I would pick Linda McMahon

    October 4, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  21. No More

    Show me a truthful democrat, and I'll show you a LIAR.

    October 4, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  22. carrotroot

    McMahon is playing the roll of the Heel who plays dirty to win.

    October 4, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  23. Matt Thomas

    Fine story, just wondering why you needed to put 'quotations' around the word 'lie?' Is there any doubt it was a lie? Or are you just simply showing your bias by trying to cast doubt on the topic? Was it just a little white 'lie' and therefore not really all that bad? As a 20 year Marine Corps Veteran I am ashamed of his comments, and wish he would withdraw from the race.

    October 4, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  24. richunix

    Attorney General Richard Blumenthal ; it was not a wise move to claim to have served in a war zone when in fact you never did. For me, I served during the Vietnam (72-75) War in Germany, but I served in combat during the invasion of Iraq (Iraqi Freedom 2003). One should not be ashamed of his/her military record, just tell the truth it's far easier than maintaining a lie.

    October 4, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  25. Stryker

    There has never been an Attorney General who worked so hard, and with such great regard for the people of Connecticut than Richard Blumenthal. If we had a Senate full of men with his intgrity and respect for people and the law, our country and it's people would be in a much better place.

    October 4, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
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