Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), running for a U.S. Senate seat, released an ad earlier on Thursday that attacks Democratic opponent Richard Carmona for alleged anger issues. Now the Carmona campaign is hitting back.
The campaign will begin airing an ad Friday that calls Flake's ad "despicable." Carmona's spot mimics the style of Flake's: Both feature female former bosses of Carmona's who talk about working with him. In the Flake ad, Cristina Beato, who was an official at the Department of Health and Human Services when Carmona was U.S. surgeon general, says he has problems working with women.
Carmona's former SWAT team commander, retired Capt. Kathleen Brennan, defends him in the new 30-second ad, which will air statewide in Arizona.
"Rich Carmona was part of my SWAT team, and he was a joy to work with," she says. "Rich treats everyone with respect; it doesn't matter whether you're male or female. Rich was about protecting people and saving lives."
"So when I see a career politician like Jeff Flake attacking Rich Carmona, who has spent his life helping others, it's despicable," she continues. "Congressman Flake should be ashamed."
Carmona and his campaign have denied allegations that he has issues with anger and intimidating women. They say Beato has a political agenda.
"It's no secret that Dr. Carmona pushed back on her attempts to spin science for political gain, but this accusation is a work of fiction," campaign spokesman Andy Barr said in an email response to the Flake ad. "Congressman Flake's decision to run this false ad is deplorable and shows how desperate he is."
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