Blumenthal Defends Slippage in Connecticut Senate Race

Posted October 10, 2010 at 10:39am

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D) said Sunday that he always expected a competitive Senate race in trying to explain his dramatically diminished lead.

“We’ve said from the beginning that this would be a tight, tough, competitive race,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.” Blumenthal is running against Republican Linda McMahon, a former executive of World Wrestling Entertainment, and led by as much as 41 percentage points in January.

He blamed some of the slippage on money — McMahon has spent at least $22 million of her own wealth on the race and has indicated she would spend up to $50 million. She appeared in a separate interview on “This Week.”

“My opponent may have more money, but I’ve got 20 years’ worth of friends,” Blumenthal said.

Given that the Senate seat has been under Democratic control for nearly 50 years, 30 of them by Sen. Chris Dodd when he steps down this January, the closeness of the race has come as something of a surprise.

“What I know about people is that they vote for the person, not necessarily the party, and that is increasingly true these days,” Blumenthal said.

His lead was also hurt by his misrepresentation of his military record — Blumenthal indicated he had served in Vietnam, when all of his duties with the Marine Corps Reserve were in the United States.

“I have answered the question about Vietnam saying that I am sorry that I inaccurately described my military record,” he said. “I’m proud of having served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. And I think the voters of Connecticut are concerned about the real issues, and I believe that those are the issues that will be center in the election.”