McCain, Kyl slam Carmona ad as 'deeply dishonest'

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The Democrat running for Senate in Arizona released a new ad on Thursday that features clips of the GOP senators praising Carmona during the 2002 Senate hearing when he was confirmed as U.S. Surgeon General under George W. Bush. Carmona was confirmed unanimously.

In the ad, McCain says of Carmona that his "inspiring story is the living embodiment of the American Dream." He goes on to say that Carmona is "extraordinarily, perhaps uniquely qualified to address the needs of our nation."

"One might call him a man for all seasons. His unique background will serve him well and serve us well," Kyl says in a clip.

But both senators have endorsed Carmona's opponent, Rep. Jeff Flake (R), and they called the ad deceptive in a statement issued by Flake's campaign on Thursday night.

“Let’s be clear: Richard Carmona’s first vote in the Senate would be for Harry Reid and the Obama agenda. As his new ad makes clear, Mr. Carmona is also willing to say or do just about anything to promote the interests of Richard Carmona, not the interests of the people of Arizona. It is shameful for Richard Carmona to try to deceive the voters inthis way. It shows that he has no credibility, and it says everything the voters of Arizona need to know about Richard Carmona’s fitness for office," they said in the statement.

Carmona's pitch to the red-leaning state relies on him being able to convince voters that he's an independent voice, and many of his ads have touted his bipartisan bona fides. He regularly mentions his "friends" from both sides of the aisle in Congress, and argues that his unanimous confirmation as Surgeon General is evidence that he has bipartisan appeal.

But Flake has worked to label him as a "rubber stamp" for President Obama, pointing out that Carmona was personally recruited by the president. Flake has also, in recent weeks, attempted to raise questions about his temperament by highlighting conflicts he's had in the past with women and his supervisors.

Polls have been mixed, indicating the race is close with just 12 days to go.

Watch the ad:

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