Blumenthal: Vietnam Fib 'Absolutely Unintentional'

Says Times insulted Marine Reserves

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted May 18, 2010 2:07 PM CDT

(Newser) – Richard Blumenthal held a press conference today responding to allegations—made in a front-page New York Times story today, summarized here—that he repeatedly lied or misled the public about serving in Vietnam. Blumenthal said he had "misspoken" on a "few occasions" and that it was “absolutely unintentional,” the Hartford Courant reports. "I regret that and take full responsibility, but I will not allow anyone to take a few misplaced words and impugn my record of service."

He also attacked the article, saying it “denigrates service" in the Reserves. "It really implies there were some special favors or treatment involved,” he said. “I looked them up in a phonebook," he said of how he joined. "No special help. Unlike many of my peers, I chose to join the military and serve my country.” According to the Times story, Blumenthal's unit stayed home, performing tasks like cleaning parks and holding Toy for Tots drives. The Marine Reserves “were seen as a shelter for young privileged men,” said one professor.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announces his candidacy for the US Senate in this Jan. 6, 2010 file photo.   (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)
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