Cornyn: Service allegations 'a blow' to Blumenthal

The Senate's top GOP campaigner said Tuesday that allegations Connecticut Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal (D) misrepresented his service record could help Republicans.

"I think so," National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) said when asked if a New York Times report saying that Blumenthal had misrepresented his service in Vietnam would help Republicans.

"It sounds like quite a blow to his candidacy," he added.

Cornyn said he would reserve full judgment until Blumenthal, the state's popular attorney general, makes a statement explaining the discrepancies.

But if the details are true, "he owes people an apology."

Still, Cornyn, said he believes the GOP had a good shot of picking up the seat before the Blumenthal allegations came forth.

"I always felt like there was still a reasonably good chance of picking up Connecticut," he said. "This certainly makes those prospects better."

The Times report says that Blumenthal had claimed he had served in Vietnam, while records indicate he never was deployed there. He did serve in the military reserves during the Vietnam War, after having received some deferments.

Before the report, polls showed Blumenthal as the strong front-runner over GOP opponents Linda McMahon and Rob Simmons.

The charges, however, could be extremely damaging to his campaign.

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) stood by Blumenthal earlier Tuesday.

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