Here’s what cut through the clutter today:
One of the most common Republican ad trends this cycle is featuring elderly relatives — usually parents — defending the candidate’s Medicare credentials. Rep. Joe Walsh (R) is taking another tack: In his newest ad, his son Joey defends his honor in light of a new ad from veteran Tammy Duckworth’s (D) campaign about child support problems.
This ad riled things up Thursday evening. Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona (D) went up with a new spot that centered around audio of Republican Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain heaping praise on him. However, the statements were a decade old and from Carmona’s 2002 Cabinet confirmation hearings. Arizona’s two Republican Senators have endorsed Republican Rep. Jeff Flake. Kyl is retiring.
The ad does underline Carmona’s past appeal to the GOP, but Arizona Republicans responded swiftly. And, about three hours later, the Senators were out with a scathing joint statement.
“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 in this way,” the Senators wrote.
“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. Jeff Flake is our candidate. He is a courageous, independent Arizona conservative — and he’s honest,” they added.
Democrat Brad Schneider went up Thursday with a very simple ad showing footage of President Lyndon Johnson extolling the benefits of Medicare.
The campaign followed it up today with an email donation solicitation from Johnson’s daughter, Lynda Bird Johnson Robb.
“When my father, President Lyndon Johnson, signed Medicare into law more than 50 years ago, it marked a turning point for millions of older Americans for whom health insurance had been unavailable or unaffordable,” she wrote. “Many had their savings destroyed by medical bills that were untenable. Many died too early and in pain, when it could have been avoided.”
Meredith Shiner contributed to this report.