Monday, October 29, 2012

SENATORIAL SHOWDOWN NEARING O.K. CORRAL LEVELS: Fmr. Sen. DeConcini Joins AZ Battle, Raises Kyl's "Not Intended To Be A Factual Statement" Gaffe

UPDATE, 4:39pm: A spokesperson for the DSCC (Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee) Tweeted that the McCain-Kyl salvo (below the jump) was a "hostage video".  Given that McCain was a POW in Vietnam, it was a poor choice of words.  The spokesperson has since apologized. (from Weekly Standard)

The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral  Arizona Senatorial Showdown picked up a new gunslinger today, when former Arizona Senator Dennis DeConcini (the last Democrat from AZ to serve in the Senate) popped up from behind (under?) a rock.  He fired at exiting Sen. Jon Kyl (who took DeConcini's seat), using Kyl's "not intended to be a factual statement" comment from 2011 to knock down Kyl's current shots at Democratic nominee.  A recap of the past several days:

Democratic nominee Richard Carmona used the praise heaped on him by Arizona's Senators Kyl and John McCain when President Bush had nominated him for U.S. Surgeon General in an ad.  Kyl and McCain - who both support GOP Rep. Jeff Flake (CD6) to be Kyl's replacement - were outraged and said Carmona had lost all credibility.  Kyl shot back by saying that when he had recruited Carmona to run as a Republican for retiring Rep. Jim Kolbe's office, Carmona had been overly concerned about whether the job included a car and a house in D.C.  Today, Carmona fired back, producing a praising letter from Kyl to Carmona earlier, when Kyl had apparently recruited Carmona to run for Governor against then-Gov-now-DHS-Secretary Janet Napolitano.

DeConcini - through the Carmona operation and the Politico website - publicized the letter, and said that  Kyl's comments to conserative blogs (which found their way quickly into Arizona media) were "a factual statement."  The comment plays on Kyl's imbroglio last year when his spokesman said Kyl's erroneous comments about Planned Parenthood "were not intended to be a factual statement".

The famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral took place in Tombstone in 1881 and involved several participants on either side.

Following the jumps are Carmona's initial ad, the Kyl-McCain responsive ad, and DeConcini's comments.

In response to the letter, former Sen. Dennis DeConcini released the following statement:
"While I’m sure that Senator Kyl would like a Republican to replace him in the Senate, playing down his previous recruitment of Dr. Carmona in the Weekly Standard to that of an isolated phone call, is not only understated, it’s not a factual statement."
"When leaders on their side of the aisle believed they could exploit Dr. Carmona’s life story for partisan gain, they were his biggest supporters. If you don’t believe me, you only have to look at the long history of the Arizona Republican Party’s courtship of Dr. Carmona, as reported by the Associated Press, Arizona Daily Star, The Arizona Republic and Tucson Citizen. He was called a 'potential superstar' that would be 'a fantastic candidate' -- by Republicans."
"Dr. Carmona’s ad helps illustrate how false and disingenuous these character attacks have become. I’ve known Dr. Carmona for nearly 30 years. He’s fielded calls from both parties to serve. For decades, both Democrats and Republicans have sung his praises as a fair-minded leader in our community. Trying to brand him as one thing or the other ignores his decisively independent history."
"My friends, Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl, do not believe their laudatory statements given during Dr. Richard Carmona’s confirmation hearing to become Surgeon General have any bearing in the race for U.S. Senate: I wholly disagree. Dr. Carmona was the same person then as he is now. What has changed is party politics."

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