Blumenthal’s Damage Control Bungle

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About a week ago, Connecticut Attorney General/U.S. Senate Candidate Richard Blumenthal gathered a bunch of veterans around him to rebut suggestions that he had intentionally misled people about his Vietnam service. He admitted to using the phrase “in Vietnam” instead of “during Vietnam,” but urged on by the guttural objections of the men around him in uniform, he declined to apologize. Here is the transcript:

QUESTION: Dick, you said you take full responsibility, but do you think you owe people an apology for having misspoken?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

BLUMENTHAL: I regret that I misspoke, and I take full responsibility.

QUESTION: Is that the same thing as apologizing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

(APPLAUSE)

All the tough talk has now come back to bite him. A week later, Blumenthal is keeping the story alive by issuing the inevitable apology that he refused to offer before. “I have made mistakes and I am sorry,” he now tells the Hartford Courant. This is Damage Control 101. (Think Toyota.) Don’t draw things out. Admit fault. Move on. Blumenthal, it seems, is finally getting the memo.

Meanwhile, WWE boss Linda McMahon, who encourged the original story in/during story to the New York Times, appears to be inching closer to the Republican nomination, winning the endorsement Friday of the Connecticut GOP.

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