Flanked by veterans at an afternoon press conference, Connecticut Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal (D) said he regretted mischaracterizing his military service during the Vietnam War.

"I regret that I misspoke and I take full responsibility," Blumenthal said. "But I am going to continue to fight for veterans because they have been disrespected and dishonored when they served in Vietnam and then returned to this country."

On several occasions, Blumenthal said he served in Vietnam during the war when in fact he was stationed stateside during the conflict, according to the New York Times.

"I am proud of my service in the United States Marine Corps," he said. "I always honor those who gave far more than I did."

Blumenthal said it was only a "few" occasions that he misspoke about his service.

He said he would not allow his record to be tarnished by the mistakes. "I will not allow anyone to take a few misplaced words and impugn my record of service to our country," he said.

His words were cheered several times by veterans who gathered to hear the speech.

Blumenthal also pushed back against the Times story. "The article denigrates service in the Reserves," he said.

He noted he couldn't be held responsible for the published reports about his service in Vietnam. "I can’t be responsible for all the articles, I may not even have seen them," he said.

Democrats rallied around Blumenthal Monday. He's expected to be the party's nominee in the race to succeed retiring Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.).