After facing widespread backlash, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) is claiming that his participation in an award ceremony for the Communist Party of America was due to his mistaking it for a “labor event,” according to the Washington Free Beacon.
Blumenthal offered his justification for attending the event in an interview on Friday, adding that he regretted being there once he found out that the organizers of the event, the Connecticut People’s World Committee, was directly affiliated with the Communist Party USA.
At the event, Blumenthal himself handed out at least three awards on behalf of the Senate to winners of the far-left “Amistad Award,” which celebrates “labor” and “social justice” activists. He used the spotlight at the event to promote Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, as well as an ongoing Democratic Party effort to federalize the American election system.
“My understanding was that this ceremony was strictly a labor event,” Blumenthal later admitted to the Hartford Courant. “If I had known the details, I wouldn’t have gone.”
However, Blumenthal’s claim is directly contradicted by the fact that several of the event’s organizers acknowledged the ties to the Communist Party at the event, before Blumenthal took the stage. One such organizer, Ben McManus, explicitly acknowledged the event as being held on the 102nd anniversary of the Communist Party’s founding in the United States.
“We invite you to join the Communist Party in this epic time,” McManus said, “as we make good trouble to uproot systemic racism, retool the war economy, tax the rich, address climate change, secure voting rights and create a new socialist system that puts people, peace, and planet before profits.” Another organizer was Communist Party leader Lisa Bergmann, who explicitly said “I’m a member of the Communist Party. I love it. I think it’s an amazing organization.”
In the same interview, Blumenthal dismissed those who were critical of his attendance in the first place, claiming that those “people are going to do what they’re going to do.”
I’m just going to keep doing my job for the people of Connecticut,” Blumenthal continued. “There’s a lot at stake in the Senate right now—voting rights, the ongoing pandemic, making childcare affordable, lowering prescription drug prices. That’s where my focus is.”