The gloves are off.
Richard Carmona, a Latino Arizona Senate candidate, who was once U.S. Surgeon General, was attacked in an ad by opponent Jeff Flake. NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd said on Twitter that Flake’s campaign had “gone nuclear,” adding that it’s safe to say that the Arizona Senate contest is a race because of the ferocity of the attack.
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) October 11, 2012
A day later, the Carmona camp is out with an ad responding to Flake’s assertion that he has issues with “anger, ethics and women.”
The ad opens with Captain Kathleen Brennan who says Carmona was part of her SWAT team. “Rich treats everyone with respect,” Brennan says. “It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female.”
She goes on to say that while Carmona is the type of person who was saving people’s lives, Flake is a career politician taking false shots at him. Brennan calls his actions “despicable” and says he should be ashamed.
In the Flake campaign’s ad, Cristina Beato, former Acting Assistant Secretary of Health for Health and Human Services and Carmona’s supervisor at the time, paints a portrait of a Carmona Arizonans should be afraid of, saying “he’s not who you think he is.”
According to Politico, the incident was never confirmed independently, since Beato never reported it at the time. Other women who worked with Carmona at the time said he did not have women issues.
Carmona will also hold a press conference on Friday to refute Flake’s ad.
Watch Carmona’s new ad below: