Candidate without honor

Updated
 
by Chris Matthews

Whenever I meet a guy my age who served in Vietnam I ask him that direct man-to-man question:  “Were you in it?”  Then, I look and often see that somber nod of the head and the sad, knowing but sure answer.  There is no more powerful question, no more important answer for those men my age. Those who were in the fighting, who walked through the jungles and open fields, who rode in the helicopters, drove the trucks, faced the enemy by day and night in the heat of Indo-China.  here were two answers, both heavy with meaning and morality and, yes, merit, “life” merit for those who served, who were “in it.”

I don’t know how a person could lie about such a thing.  I don’t know how you, I, anyone could look into the face of another and say that they were in Vietnam, that they were a Marine in Vietnam, with all the merit attached to that claim, if it were not true.  I don’t know how a person could do it.  

Today we learned that the attorney general of Connecticut, a man with the power to indict, has made such a claim: that he was in Vietnam when he was not.  He has said he was in Vietnam, that he was in the Vietnam War, when he never was, never was.  

He says he “mis-spoke.”

But how many times did he have it written in the paper that he served?  How many times did he let the record stand that he had served in Vietnam?  How many times did other men face him, man to man, and ask him: “Were you in it?” And left that other man believe, that that other American think that he deserved such honor - when he knew, every instant, that he did not?  

If he stays in this race, that’s his call - just as it was his call all this time to say he was a courageous combat veteran who “returned ” from Vietnam.  

But for anyone who lifts a finger to put this man in the United States Senate, for that I find no way to accept. The United States Senate cannot take on the morally dead weight of this candidate without honor.

Candidate without honor

Updated