ABC’s Michael Falcone reports:
If Connecticut Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal thought his campaign had moved past the controversy over misleading statements he made about his service during the Vietnam War, he was wrong.
Blumenthal’s Republican opponent Linda McMahon released a new television ad on Monday using a clip of Blumenthal suggesting he served in Vietnam that asks: “If he lied about Vietnam, what else is he lying about?”
The 30-second spot comes on the same day Blumenthal, the state’s Democratic attorney general, is set to meet McMahon, the former World Wresting Entertainment CEO, for their first official debate of the general election.
“Would you lie about serving in a war?” the ad's narrator says. “Dick Blumenthal did again and again. He covered one lie with another.”
The ad features what the McMahon campaign said was a newly-uncovered video clip of Blumenthal embellishing his service during the Vietnam War period at a 2003 appearance in Bridgeport, Conn.
The New York Times first reported in May that the Democratic Senate hopeful had taken liberties with his military record — he did not serve in Vietnam, but received a series of deferments before joining the Marine Corps Reserve. Blumenthal acknowledged his misstaments, but largely dismissed them as a series of “misplaced words.”
Mindy Myers, a spokeswoman for the Blumenthal campaign characterized the ad as “another desperate attack from a losing campaign with nothing to say.”
“Linda McMahon's money can't buy Dick Blumenthal's genuine record of standing up and fighting for the people of Connecticut,” Myers said in a statement.
Though a Quinnipiac University poll released in mid-September suggested that for most voters — 60 percent of them — the Vietnam issue would not be a major factor in their decision on Election Day, the race has been tightening in the final weeks of the campaign.