Blumenthal Issues Apology For “Mistakes” Regarding Vietnam-Era Service
Just under a week after the story about Connecticut Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal’s repeated mis-statements about his military service during the Vietnam War, we have an apology:
After nearly a week of criticism following revelations that he misrepresented his military record and five days after a press conference in which he expressed regret for his misstatements, Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Richard Blumenthal apologized.
“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,” Blumenthal said in a statement emailed to the Courant late Sunday by his spokeswoman, Maura Downes. “I have firmly and clearly expressed regret and taken responsibility for my words.
“I have made mistakes and I am sorry. I truly regret offending anyone,” Blumenthal said. “I will always champion the cause of Connecticut’s and our nation’s veterans.”
Blumenthal, who has been Connecticut’s Attorney General for the past 20 years, has been under intense fire since the New York Times reported last week that he had, on several occasions through the years, incorrectly stated that he served in the Vietnam War. In fact, Blumenthal received five draft deferments, the Times reported, and was a member of the Marine Corps Reserves who served in the U.S. during the war.
The lack of an apology provided fresh fuel to his critics, with several veterans groups, editorial boards, Democratic state Sen. Ed Meyer and New Haven Mayor John DeStefano urging him to say he is sorry. The Courant sent an email to his campaign Sunday afternoon asking if an apology would be forthcoming and, several hours later, the campaign released his statement.
Blumenthal seems to have survived at least the initial barrage from this story, not the least because he did not have a serious challenger for the Democratic nomination for Senate. How much further the story goes at this point depends largely on the voters in Connecticut.