HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - A New York Times report published Monday says Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has claimed he served in Vietnam though records show he never did.
Blumenthal, who is running for U.S. Senate after serving five terms as attorney general, told the paper he has misspoken about his service. Blumenthal is a Democrat seeking the Senate seat being vacated by Chris Dodd and has been one of the highest-profile attorneys general since he took office.
The report says Blumenthal obtained five deferments that kept him from participating in the Vietnam War.
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."
The deferments allowed Blumenthal to finish his schooling and begin his professional career, the report says.
From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.