The war of insults in the U.S. Senate race in Arizona took a vicious leap forward yesterday when an ad featuring Sen. John McCain and Sen. Jon Kyl was referred to as a “hostage video” on Twitter.
In the ad, the senators question the integrity of former Surgeon General Richard Carmona, the Democratic candidate running to fill the retiring Kyl’s seat.
“The new McCain and Kyl ad is awful,” tweeted Matt Canter, communications director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “Talk about a hostage video. Why not admit we like Carmona a lot but now he has a D after his name.”
McCain was taken as a POW while serving in Vietnam, spending five years in a prison camp there during the war.
In an ad last week, Carmona used clips of McCain and Kyl showering him with praise in support of his nomination for surgeon general 10 years ago.
“Richard Carmona’s inspiring story is the living embodiment of the American dream,” says John McCain in the clip. “He is one of the most decorated policemen in Arizona.”
Kyl then adds, “one might call him a man for all seasons. His unique background will serve him well and serve us well.”
Republican candidate Jeff Flake, who has been endorsed by McCain and Kyl, responded with both senators rebutting Carmona.
“The latest ad from Richard Carmona is the most shameful of all,” McCain says, “implying we support him. We don’t . . . His latest ads lack integrity.”
This latest back-and-forth has come after The Weekly Standard
reported last week that Kyl, who approaching Carmona six years ago about running for the U.S. House, said the single conversation changed his mind about pursuing him as a candidate.
“I thought his response was odd and a little off-putting,” Kyl said. “He seemed more concerned about the perks of the office; he specifically asked about a house and a car, in the context of, well, he wasn’t a wealthy man and he would need to consider what went with the job. And he also seemed to think that it was just a lot of work for just two years, and having to run again, he thought, well, a position in the Senate would be a lot better to hold.”
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