He was appointed U.S. Attorney for Connecticut by President Jimmy Carter and has a long resume in Connecticut politics including; State Representative, State Senator, and Attorney General. He turned 70 this year and shows no signs of slowing down.
Connecticut’s Democratic senior United States Senator was the highest vote getter in the state during his two decades as Attorney General. When he finally decided to leap to higher office six years ago, he faced a $50 million advertising barrage of opposition from former WWE executive Linda McMahon of Greenwich. Despite spending more than had ever been spent on a Connecticut election campaign, the Republican McMahon lost to Blumenthal by double digits.
This time he is facing a State Representative from Bethel, Dan Carter, who has raised very little money, and the week before the election suffers from very low name recognition. Like many Republicans, he calls Blumenthal a ‘media hog’ because of his frequent statements before TV cameras on multiple issues.
“Standing up to powerful special interests often involves sounding an alarm,” said Blumenthal, defending the frequent news conferences.
And frequently sounding the alarm on high profile consumer and other issues, just as he did when he was Attorney General, has garnered Blumenthal a high competency rating in most opinion polls.
“Too often the big powerful special interests get their way in Washington and around the country and my job has always been to stand up to those powerful special interests and fight for the people of Connecticut,” he said.
His opponent has criticized his vote in favor of the Iran deal aimed at stopping Iran’s nuclear program.
“I was persuaded that it would block a nuclear armed Iran, my main objective, without the use of massive amounts of American military force,” Blumenthal said.
Carter has also called out Blumenthal for blocking a vote a year ago on the Veterans Accountability Act, but Blumenthal notes that the blocking was intended to make the bill better by protecting whistle blowers calling out problems at the Veterans Administration.
“In a bipartisan program called ‘Veterans First’ that won unanimous approval from the VA committee where I’m the ranking member, and it is now on the floor,” he added.
Blumenthal is hoping the final version will pass after the election. He also notes that he co-authored legislation with Senator John McCain giving more mental health resources for veterans. It passed the Senate on a unanimous vote last year.