By Josh Lederman - 06/04/12 01:08 PM EDT
A Democratic super-PAC is running an ad in the special election race to replace Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) that features the Republican nominee calling Giffords "a hero of nothing."
The remarks by Republian candidate Jesse Kelly were made in August 2010 — about five months before the shooting spree in Giffords's district that killed six, critically wounded the three-term congresswoman and led to her resignation from the House. Kelly ran against Giffords in 2010 and lost by less than 2 points.
"And now she stands there with that smile and pretends to be some type of hometown hero," Kelly says in the ad. "She's a hero of nothing."
House Majority PAC, which is supported by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), will spend six figures to air the 30-second spot in Arizona ahead of the June 12 special election.
Although Democrats have repeatedly reminded voters about Giffords's ties to Democrat Ron Barber, the former Giffords aide who is running to replace her, the House Majority PAC ad appears to be the first time Democrats have used Kelly's criticisms of Giffords from the 2010 campaign against him in the 2012 race.
Barber and Kelly are locked in a tight race to finish the term of Giffords, who personally asked Barber to run and has endorsed his campaign.
In her first campaign-trail appearance since the January 2011 assassination attempt, Giffords will appear Saturday with Barber for a rally and concert in Tucson, Ariz.