GOP uses Blumenthal’s advertisements against him

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) used the release of Connecticut Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal’s (D) first three TV ads to remind voters about the mischaracterization of his military service during the Vietnam War.


“It’s notable that when it came time to film his campaign commercials, Dick Blumenthal was apparently able to recall with exact precision specific instances, out of tens of thousands of cases, where the attorney general’s office aided a handful of Connecticut residents,” NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh said in a statement. “Yet when it came to his repeated claims that he served in Vietnam and the numerous news articles that subsequently reported those false claims, Dick Blumenthal claimed that his memory suddenly escaped him.”

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It will likely remain the GOP’s main point of attack.

Blumenthal’s campaign released a trio of ads Tuesday featuring Connecticut residents raving about the work he has done fighting insurers or other work he’s done on behalf of constituents since becoming the state’s top law enforcement official in 1991.

Democrats said the ads are meant to play up wide advantages in character over Blumenthal’s Republican opponent, former WWE executive Linda McMahon, as evidenced in a Quinnipiac University poll last week.

That poll showed Blumenthal maintaining a 56-31 margin over McMahon, even after a report emerged suggesting Blumenthal had, at times, misrepresented his military service record.

The Q-Poll found 53 percent of Connecticut voters were satisfied with Blumenthal’s explanation of the matter and that he was found to have more of the requisite experience needed to be the state’s next senator.

A spokesman for McMahon said Blumenthal’s ads were an attempt to “reshape his image” after the recent controversy over his military service.

“Dick Blumenthal knows he’s in trouble and that is why he is spending money to reshape his image,” said Ed Patru, a McMahon spokesman. “People don’t agree with his claim that lawsuits create jobs, and he has a major credibility problem as a result of his fabricated military record. His numbers have taken a serious hit — by every measure they are moving in the wrong direction, and he’s trying to hold on.”

— Michael O’Brien and S.J.M.


California Republicans preparing for next week’s primary election

California Republicans are scrambling toward the finish line of two high-profile primaries.

In the gubernatorial race, state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman have spent close to $100 million on their increasingly bitter contest. Whitman has a 24-point lead on Poizner, according to a recent University of Southern California/Los Angeles Times poll.

Meanwhile, the race for the GOP Senate nomination is still a three-way contest between Republicans Tom Campbell, Carly Fiorina and Chuck DeVore. The same University of Southern California/Los Angeles Times poll shows Fiorina, the Hewlett-Packard CEO, leading the former congressman 38-23. DeVore, a State Assemblyman, is third with 16 points.

Campbell’s closing argument is about electability. He wrote in an e-mail to supporters Tuesday, “I don’t have personal millions like Carly Fiorina to spend on my campaign — but I do have something my opponents can’t offer. According to a just released LA Times/USC poll, I am defeating Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerOnly four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates Hispanic civil rights icon endorses Harris for president California AG Becerra included in Bloomberg 50 list MORE by 7 points — the first time a Republican has ever led her. The poll shows Carly Fiorina losing by 6 points, and Chuck DeVore losing by 10.

“I can defeat Barbara Boxer, my opponents can’t.”

On June 8, GOP primary voters will weigh that theory.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) doesn’t have a major primary opponent and Attorney General Jerry Brown is unchallenged for the Democratic gubernatorial nod, but there is some action on the Democratic side.

Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.) is again facing a primary challenge from college Professor Peter Mathews, writer Lee Davis — whom she’s faced before — and new entrant Terrance Ponchak, a Long Beach attorney.

— S.J.M.