It’s a seismic story that has already been picked up nationwide: Did US Senate candidate systematically lie about service in Vietnam or did he simply misspeak after years of standing up for and working hard for veterans of all wars? And most importantly, how does it affect his candidacy?
The answers to these and other questions will play out over the next few days as Blumenthal reels from an explosive story in The New York Times that reports the attorney general at best has left some audiences over the years with the impression he served in Vietnam and at worst, lied outright about it.
At the center of the controversy is a 2008 speech in which Blumenthal uses the phrase “When I served in Vietnam.” While it is still to be determined what impact this will have on Blumenthal’s US Senate campaign, his record is clear.
Blumenthal in the past has seemingly gone out of his way to point out he did not see action. As recently as the US Senate debate on March 1, Blumenthal clearly stated “serving in the United States military gave me a perspective as well, even in the reserves. Although I did not serve in Vietnam, I have seen first-hand the affects of military action, and no one wants it to be the first resort, nor do we want to mortgage the countries future….” Video is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEZm_Gc8-Xw.
Last week, The Shad pointed out that the campaign of Republican US Senate candidate Linda McMahon had begun to run negative ads against Blumenthal when up to that point, she had been concentrating on her GOP rival, former Congressman Rob Simmons. It’s clear now that the timing was not a coincidence. The McMahon campaign is the source of the video and information used by the Times.
Ironically, it may be Simmons that benefits the most from all of this. Simmons did in fact serve in Vietnam and his military record is well known. He is already in demand for interviews because of his record.
The Connecticut Supreme Court today will take up the case of Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz and whether she is qualified to be attorney general. It’s an appeal of a judge’s ruling that she did in fact, qualify. Republican state party Chairman Chris Healy is behind the appeal which screams “desperation.”
Keeping Bysiewicz off the ballot may be the only way Healy stop her from becoming AG.