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Richard Blumenthal Apologizes for Vietnam Statements

5 years ago
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Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has formally apologized for repeatedly referring to himself as a Vietnam veteran or referencing his return from Vietnam, even though he served stateside in the Marine Reserves after receiving five deferments from joining the military.

Blumenthal is the Democratic nominee to fill the Senate seat of Sen. Chris Dodd, who is retiring.

"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 wrote in a statement e-mailed to the Hartford Courant. "I have firmly and clearly expressed regret and taken responsibility for my words."

He continued, "I have made mistakes and I am sorry. I truly regret offending anyone."

The discrepancy between Blumenthal's service record and his public statements was the subject of a front-page article by the New York Times last week. On the day after the Times published its story, Blumenthal held a press conference at a veterans' hall, where he defiantly refused to apologize for his remarks.

"On occasion, I have misspoken about my service record and I regret that and I take full responsibility," he said at the press conference, where veterans stood behind him. "But I will not allow anyone to take a few misplaced words and impugn my record of service to our country."

After nearly a week of criticism from veterans groups and local editorial boards, Blumenthal's campaign's spokeswoman e-mailed the new statement to the Hartford Courant Sunday night, but only after the newspaper e-mailed the campaign to ask if an apology would be forthcoming.

Filed Under: The Capitolist

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