Arizona Democratic Senate candidate Richard Carmona, a Puerto Rican who rose from poverty to become a surgeon and was later appointed as U.S. Surgeon General is the subject of a scathing campaign ad by his opponent, Republican congressman Jeff Flake. Carmona has been gaining in the polls recently, and the Flake campaign unleashed an ad saying Carmona had issues with anger, as well as women. Carmona’s campaign fired back. “Congressman Flakes’ decision to run this false ad is deplorable and shows how desperate he is,” says Elizabeth Kenigsberg, press secretary for Carmona for Arizona.
In the ad, Cristina Beato, former Acting Assistant Secretary of Health for Health and Human Services and Carmona’s supervisor at the time, says that she was afraid the night Carmona came knocking at her door in the middle of the night. In the ad, Beato says she is a single mother and at that point feared for her family. ”He has issues with anger, with ethics, and with women,” she says, looking at the camera. According to an article on Politico, the incident was never confirmed independently, since Beato never reported it at the time. Beato and Carmona did clash while working at HHS, and Beato testified against him and brought up the incident in 2007, saying he was a ‘nightmare’ to work with.
Carmona, in turn, accused Beato of politicizing science while she was a HHS, saying Beato politicized public health issues such as stem cell research and the dangers of secondhand smoke as a Bush appointee. Dr. Beato was never confirmed for the HHSposition, after allegations she had padded her resumé. The Politico article says other women who worked with Carmona at the time said he did not have women issues.
“It’s no secret that Dr. Carmona pushed back on her (Beato’s)attempts to spin science for political gain, but this accusation is a work of fiction,” Carmona’s press secretary says about the ad.
The Senate race between Carmona and Flake is being closely watched, and the race is pretty tight.