Blumenthal accepts responsibility for ‘a few misplaced words’

BLUMENTHAL ACCEPTS RESPONSIBILITY FOR ‘A FEW MISPLACED WORDS’…. Connecticut Attorney General and Senate hopeful Richard Blumenthal (D) hosted an event this afternoon to respond to reports of misleading rhetoric about his military service. While he expressed “regret” for his errors, Blumenthal’s tone was more defiant than contrite.

“On a few occasions, I have misspoken about my service and I take full responsibility,” he said, surrounded by a group of veterans. “But I will not let anyone take a few misplaced words and impugn my record of service to our country.”

Of course, I’m not sure if anyone actually has tried to “impugn” his service, but the message was representative of the underlying message: Blumenthal doesn’t intend to be put on the defensive about this controversy.

He fielded questions from reporters — a good move, since the alternative would have looked awful — and emphasized that he “misspoke” on occasion, sometimes saying “‘in’ instead of ‘during,'” but his errors were “absolutely unintentional.” He also stressed the fact that his service in the Marine Reserves was not the result of special treatment.

Blumenthal was repeatedly interrupted by applause from his veteran allies. They became especially animated when a reporter asked if the state AG would apologize. He did not.

Will the response help get the story under control and save his candidacy? If I were a betting man, I’d give Blumenthal pretty good odds of persevering.

Greg Sargent’s take was very much in line with my own: “Whatever the truth, he insisted with a great deal of conviction that his lapses weren’t intentional. And the evidence so far suggests that in other settings, he didn’t intend to mislead. Perhaps most important, no Dems are cutting and running right now. They seem to have closed ranks behind him. Botttom line: It seems clear he’ll survive.”

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.