Flake ad calls Carmona "a bully" toward women

Arizona Senate candidates, Republican Rep. Jeff Flake, right, listens to Democrat Richard Carmona as he speaks during a debate Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, in Chandler, Ariz. AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

In the heated race for Arizona's open Senate seat, another TV ad by Republican Jeff Flake calls into question his challenger's treatment of women.

"The man behind the shiny bio," the narrator says in the ad, referring to Democrat Richard Carmona, "He's called a bully and more."

With text on the screen that reads, "...calls Candy Crowley ugly," the narrator says "Carmona repeatedly demeans women." The text refers to an off-color joke Carmona made during a recent debate against Flake where he told the male moderator he is "prettier" than CNN journalist and presidential debate moderator Candy Crowley.

This is the second ad attempting to characterize Carmona as overbearing with a history of treating women poorly. A previous Flake ad featured Carmona's former boss at the Department of Health and Human Services, who said she felt threatened by Carmona.

As Flake released the attack ad, Carmona put out a positive ad, highlighting his credentials as a trauma surgeon, a SWAT team leader and former surgeon general, a position he held during the George W. Bush administration.

In the ad, Carmona stresses his independence over party politics. "I'm not worried about getting reelected. I'm not worried about whose party's in power," he says in the TV spot. "I'm gonna go and work real hard and make it easier and better for the struggling families in our country."

The Arizona Senate race is to replace retiring GOP Sen. Jon Kyl. Carmona has run as a moderate in the Republican-leaning state and is currently polling within one point of Flake, according to Real Clear Politics' polling average.

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    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.

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