Updated Oct 12, 2012 - 4:02 pm
Carmona moves to counter Flake ad in Arizona race
PHOENIX -- Democrat Richard Carmona moved Friday to counter Republican Jeff Flake's new television ad in which the ex-boss of Carmona said the former U.S. surgeon general has problems controlling his anger and dealing with women.
Carmona's response included favorable testimonials- in a new TV ad and at a Friday news conference- from women who he's worked with.
Flake's ad began running Thursday. It features Dr. Cristina Beato, the former acting assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, describing how Carmona pounded on her door in the middle of the night. Looking into the camera, she says she feared for her kids and for herself.
``He has issues with anger, with ethics and with women,'' said Beato, who like Carmona, was an appointee of President George W. Bush.
Carmona told reporters Friday that the allegations in the Flake ad are ``100 percent false.'' The only time he went to Beato's home was for a holiday gathering that included their families, he said.
``Congressman Flake should be ashamed,'' he said.
In Carmona's new ad, a retired Pima County sheriff's captain who was his supervisor when he was a SWAT team member said he treated everyone with respect.
``It doesn't matter whether you're male or female,'' Kathleen Brennan said.
Also, a woman who wrote speeches for both Beato and Carmona while working at HHS spoke at the news conference, calling Carmona a kind and respectful person and saying Beato wasn't credible because she put politics over science.
Jennifer Cabe, who said she's a registered independent, now works for a health education nonprofit for which Carmona is a board member.
After Carmona's news conference, Flake's campaign responded with a statement in which a former career federal government colleague of Beato vouched for her honesty.
As acting assistant secretary for health, Beato ``practiced high personal and professional standards in all of her work and decision making,'' said Arthur Lawrence, a former deputy assistant secretary for health.
Both candidates in the tight race to replacing retiring Republican Sen. Jon Kyl have been working to gain- or not lose- support from women voters, Northern Arizona University political science professor Fred Solop said.
Asked about the strategy behind airing the Beato ad, Wilder said questioning Carmona's suitability for public office is something that's aimed at all voters, not just women.