Once someone gets publicly exposed as a liar, it makes it very difficult for them to regain trust. “If he lied about Vietnam,” Linda McMahon’s new ad asks about Richard Blumenthal, “what else is he lying about?” And that’s a pretty good question:
The New York Times reports that the release of this ad, which hits the airwaves today, intended on shaking up Blumenthal ahead of a scheduled debate tonight:
Just hours before the first formal debate in Connecticut’s United States Senate contest, the Republican candidate, Linda E. McMahon, released a new video showing her Democratic opponent, Richard Blumenthal, suggesting that he had served in the Vietnam War even though he did not. The video the McMahon campaign obtained shows Mr. Blumenthal, the state’s attorney general, delivering an address that it says occurred in Bridgeport in 2003 to express support for American troops overseas. “When we returned, we saw nothing of this gratitude,” Mr. Blumenthal said. …
It was circulated on the Internet on Monday morning and was set to be broadcast by television stations later in the day, according to the McMahon campaign. The attack was unleashed as Ms. McMahon, the former chief executive of World Wrestling Entertainment, was preparing to debate Mr. Blumenthal on Monday night in Hartford.
Republicans close to the McMahon campaign said the goal was to personally shake up Mr. Blumenthal, a once ubiquitous presence in Connecticut who has significantly curtailed his public appearances after The New York Times published an article in May describing how he had misrepresented his military service over the years.
Will Blumenthal get angry and address this issue tonight in the debate? Or will he wait to see whether McMahon finds a way to work it into the conversation? Blumenthal apologized for his repeated allusions to service in Vietnam when he never left the States, a foolish series of lies that undermined the honorable service he did perform in uniform for his country. He may have to apologize again, and hope it kills the issue for good. But if he instead decides to get combative over the issue, McMahon will get the chance to remind him and the voters in Connecticut that those lies go back for years, and that it speaks directly to his character and honesty.