Conn. Democrats have decision to make, professor says
HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - The Democrats of Connecticut's coming decision on whether to support state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal will speak to their views on integrity, a former senatorial candidate wrote Wednesday.
Murray Sabrin, a finance professor at Ramapo College in New Jersey who sought the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2008, called Blumenthal a "serial liar" in a commentary published on his Web site.
A New York Times report published Monday said Blumenthal has lied about serving in Vietnam. Blumenthal claims he simply "misspoke" a few times.
"The Democrats of Connecticut have a choice: Will they support, as their nominee for the U.S. Senate, a serial liar, or will they say enough is enough and reject his prevarications," Sabrin wrote.
"And if the Democrats do rally around Blumenthal, this will say volumes about the Democratic establishment's character and integrity.
"Moreover, if Blumenthal wins the U.S. Senate seat, the people will get what they deserve -a lying, power hungry statist to represent them in the Washington DC, where serial liars and plunderers rule the country."
Another commentator, Fox News' Neil Cavuto, wrote that Blumenthal deserves a break.
"Everyone's made the guy out to be a liar at worst -- an exaggerator at best -- for saying he served in Vietnam when he didn't," Cavuto wrote.
"Indeed, in several speeches, that's exactly what the front-running senatorial candidate said: That he was in Vietnam. In some speeches.
"But here's the thing: Not all speeches, and not all the time. Which violates the cardinal rule of lying: That you keep telling the same lie. Blumenthal did not."
Monday's Times report said Blumenthal obtained five deferrals that kept him from being sent to Vietnam. Those deferrals allowed him to continue his schooling and begin his professional career.
Republican Senate candidate Rob Simmons released a statement.
"As someone who served, I respect Richard Blumenthal for wearing the uniform, but I am deeply troubled by allegations that he has misrepresented his service," it says.
"Too many have sacrificed too much to have their valor stolen in this way. I hope Mr. Blumenthal steps forward and forthrightly addresses the questions that have arisen about this matter."
The report notes remarks made by Blumenthal at a 2008 ceremony for veterans and senior citizens who sent presents to soldiers.
"We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam," Blumenthal said.
"And you exemplify it. Whatever we think about the war, whatever we call it - Afghanistan or Iraq - we owe our military men and women unconditional support."
The report adds that at another rally in 2003, Blumenthal said, "When we returned, we saw nothing like this. Let us do better by this generation of men and women."
Campaign manager Mindy Myers fired back at the Times.
"The New York Times story is an outrageous distortion of Dick Blumenthal's record of service," she said.
"Unlike many of his peers, Dick Blumenthal voluntarily joined the Marine Corps Reserves in 1970 and served for six months in Paris Island, S.C., and six years in the reserves. He received no special treatment from anyone."
From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.