May 18th, 2010
01:43 AM ET

Allegations about Blumenthal's military service rock race

A New York Times story alleging that Democratic candidate Richard Blumenthal lied about serving in Vietnam added fuel to a contentious Connecticut senate race Tuesday.

Blumenthal's campaign criticized the story as an "outrageous distortion," while political opponents demanded answers.

"The New York Times story is an outrageous distortion of Dick Blumenthal's record of service," campaign manager Mindy Myers said. "Unlike many of his peers, Dick Blumenthal voluntarily joined the Marine Corps Reserves in 1970 and served for six months in Parris Island, SC and six years in the
reserves. He received no special treatment from anyone."

The New York Times story says Blumenthal, who is currently Connecticut's attorney general, never served in Vietnam but said he did in several speeches before veterans groups and military families. The story also claims that it appears that Blumenthal did nothing to correct numerous media profiles that
described him as a Vietnam veteran.

Reached by phone Monday night, Blumenthal told a reporter that he had always said he was a "Vietnam-era" veteran, and that his intention was always to be straightforward about his military service, according to an article published on the website of the Greenwich Time, a newspaper in Connecticut.

"I've always said that I've served in the Marine Corps Reserve during the Vietnam era. If I said anything otherwise on very rare occasions, I may have misspoken," he said.

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Filed under: Politics
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Mei


    May 18, 2010 at 2:05 am | Report abuse |
  2. Let's Get the Hell Out of There!!

    This is a common problem. Over-statements of military service in order to gain votes should be punshed.
    Anything that is "non-factual" should have a strong negative impact for anyone running for political office.
    For example, anyone with a law degree that claims to be educated is a liar. Just another vocational degree.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:12 am | Report abuse |
  3. Anthony

    Another want -to -be hero. Just like John Kerry. Doesnt pass scrutiny. Lies will catch up with you sometime, especially id you are a politician! This is the same as I saying "I was a 747 pilot, I also flew everything from DC3's from DC10s. Heck I even landed the Space shuttle once! – I just didn't say I did it on a flight simulator... my mistake... I never cease to be amazed how politicians believe they can fool people!

    May 18, 2010 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
    • SBLITE

      Wow. Swift boating still, are we? The fact is John Kerry did serve in Vietnam, did brave enemy fire and did serve with courage and valor. So said the men who served with him. How strange that republican operatives who scored points in the short term by the long discredited Swift Boat Campaign, have made the myth a fact at least in this one poor fellows mind. We a right to our own opinions, but facts live outside of opinion.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:14 am | Report abuse |
    • retphxfire

      Swiftboaters, like birthers, have been shown for what they are, untruthful. Sen. Kerry served honorably in every sense, his service record is now public record and reflects all his comments were correct. Why is it that some groups just can't be reasonable or rational when they disagree with someone's political agenda and have to resort to lies in an attempt to discredit? It usually backfires and the group never regains their credibility, IF they had any in the first place.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Tad Pole

      Although, if I were to take it out of context, I could truthfully claim that you (just now) did state, "I even landed the space shuttle once". You better not try to run for public office, I have the skeletons from your closet now. 😉

      May 18, 2010 at 7:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. crppplll

    This is just like my claim that I am a Vietnam War Criminal doesn't hold up to scrutiny.In 1968-1969 I was part of the war effort serving 13 months in Hue, Vietnam while we were bombing innocent civilians in North Vietnam . That doesn't make me a War Criminal or does it?

    May 18, 2010 at 3:09 am | Report abuse |
  5. RH

    @Anthony: John Kerry actually served in active duty. What are you talking about?

    May 18, 2010 at 3:11 am | Report abuse |
  6. flycatcher

    Okay This is the first time I ever heard of a Marine Corp service record comprised of 6 Months in Paris Island usually referred to Boot Camp and then on to 6 years of reserve service. In 1970 Vietnam was still actively a combat zone so I think many would have join the Marines for a program where they didn't have to go into combat. Okay I was a swab so Marines help me out here did such a program exist and if so I have to believe it was special treatment.

    May 18, 2010 at 3:19 am | Report abuse |
    • df312

      Nothing unusual here.He just enlisted in the reserves instead of the regulars. Six month reservist, they were called. They had to go to drills and annual camps for 30 days every year for six years. They went through the same boot camp and ITR (infantry training regiment) that we regulars did. During Nam, some reserve units were actually activated (26th Marines) and did a lot of combat time. No idea who this guy is, I live in Utah.

      May 18, 2010 at 6:09 am | Report abuse |
  7. yesmaam

    I have many friends who served in nam. I don't think any of them are as well off as this scheister. "If I said anything otherwise on rare occasions, I may have misspoken." Are you kiddin' me? Rare occasions?! May have?! What a loser! Anyone who votes for this bumb should be put in the looney bin along with him.

    May 18, 2010 at 3:35 am | Report abuse |
  8. K. O. Pectate

    Then he came from Viet Nam and invented the internet.

    May 18, 2010 at 3:48 am | Report abuse |
    • retphxfire

      Ahhh, another one who has a problem with just moving on. Perhaps we should use some misquoted and inflated comment from a conservative, then just beat it to death.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Neutralizer

      Yup! Al Gore went to Vietnam, not as a combat soldier, he was armed with pen and paper; JOURNALIST for the military – thanks to his OLD MAN who pulled all the strings so STIFF AL won't be shot at by Vietcongs. The life of privileged son. Al Gore is a FORTUNATE SON. I think the song FORTUNATE SON by CCR was written for people like Al Gore who went to Nam but safe from harm compared to average soldiers who went there.

      May 18, 2010 at 5:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Martin Borrmann

      Or George Bush – who never even went. What a great fighter pilot.

      May 18, 2010 at 6:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Glenn

      Al Gore invented the Internet. Not Kerry.

      May 18, 2010 at 7:26 am | Report abuse |
  9. derek

    why didnt he think of his opponent's redirective researh ?

    May 18, 2010 at 3:52 am | Report abuse |
  10. retphxfire

    If the story is true, which we will hopefully find out after sifting through the rhetoric from the 'talking heads', then he should withdraw and not dishonor himself any further. If the story turns out to be false, then the Times needs to do some internal housekeeping and investigation.

    May 18, 2010 at 3:59 am | Report abuse |
    • K. O. Pectate

      Well the NYTimes prints lies everyday but never against Democrats.
      Rumour has it Blum was under sniper fire with Hillary in The Balkans.

      How stupid do they think we are?

      May 18, 2010 at 4:36 am | Report abuse |
  11. eric

    Liar, liar, pants on fire!

    May 18, 2010 at 4:04 am | Report abuse |
  12. Bob Ramos

    I served from 1957-1961 in the USAF but never in Vietnam. While I am a Democrat, it is one thing to say, "I served in Vietnam" and another to say, "I served during the Vietnam War era". Also, I simply cannot understand how one can serve in the Marines and not be called to active duty in Vietnam at a time when every able bodied man was needed. This fellow had better explain a lot more.

    May 18, 2010 at 4:08 am | Report abuse |
    • df312

      I was on active duty in the Corps (4th Marine Regiment, mostly) from 2/61 to 1/65 when I was released from active duty. There was a two-year period of inactive reserve status. It was my unit that went to Nam 3/65. I sat at home on my seabag for two years expecting to be called, but wasn't. In 68 I went down and tried to re-up, but they wanted fresh bodies instead. Go figure;

      May 18, 2010 at 6:13 am | Report abuse |
  13. don finklebeath

    Vietname-era? Ok, I am Iraq-era ... I THINK A FAT LADY JUST RUN PAST ME WTIH A BIG HUGE CAKE

    May 18, 2010 at 4:39 am | Report abuse |
  14. K. O. Pectate

    Apparently a press release from the Blumenthal Campaign office says:

    The candidate misspoke about misspeaking.
    Thank you

    May 18, 2010 at 4:54 am | Report abuse |
  15. steve5150

    I can,t wait to hear about all the metals he got.

    May 18, 2010 at 5:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Martin Borrmann

      Why would he get metal? OOOOHhhhh, you mean "medals."

      May 18, 2010 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |
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