Richard Blumenthal video: 'I did not serve in Vietnam'

Here's some video of Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal -- who is under fire for the embellishing his war record -- stating clearly in a high-profile setting earlier this year: "I did not serve Vietnam."

The video, which was sent over by the DSCC, will be central to Blumenthal's damage control efforts in the wake of a stunning New York Times report saying Blumenthal never served in Vietnam despite repeatedly suggesting otherwise. The pushback from the Blumenthal camp, the heavy favorite to win the Senate race, will be that Blumenthal did not intend to deceive.

To be clear, the video does not get Blumenthal off the hook for his previous claims to have served. But the video, which is from a debate in March, suggests that Blumenthal was not wedded in all settings to maintaining the fiction that he did active duty:

In the vid, Blumenthal says:

"Although I did not serve in Vietnam, I have seen firsthand the effects of military action, and no one wants it to be the first resort, nor do we want to mortgage the country's future with a deficit that is ballooning out of control."

The Times, however, unearthed repeated instances of Blumenthal stating clearly, or leaving a very strong impression, that he had served abroad.

In a sense, the above video only makes the story more bizarre: Blumenthal is a highly-regarded lawyer who clearly knows how to wield language effectively, and in the setting of a debate, he clearly had no interest in deceiving his audience. Yet in other multiple settings he did just that, either through incompetence or by design.

It still remains to be seen whether his candidacy can, or should, survive this.


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