Carmona’s Candy Crowley Complication

| October 25 2012

Two press releases and a video tell the tale.

The first, from the Arizona GOP:

Arizona Senate Candidate Tells Male Moderator He’s ‘Prettier’ Than Candy Crowley
Democrat Richard Carmona has been trying to move past allegations he doesn’t work well with women. This may not help.
John Stanton BuzzFeed Staff
Arizona Senate candidate Richard Carmona may have hoped to put charges that he mistreated women who have worked for him behind him, but he did himself no favors Thursday when he appeared to tell the moderator of his debate with Rep. Jeff Flake that he was “prettier” than CNN’s Candy Crowley.
After a difficult stretch in the debate, moderator Brahm Resnik quipped “Geez, now I know how Candy Crowley felt.”
“You’re prettier than her,” Carmona responded, eliciting a nervous laugh from the moderator. “I’m not sure how to take that,” he then said.
Flake has made allegations that he has problems with women and accusing him of intimidating a former female employee.
Carmona’s campaign did not immediately respond to an email request for comment.
The second, a release from the Flake campaign with a compilation of media reactions that has even the left worried about Carmona’s chances:

Media Jumps on Richard Carmona’s Comment Regarding Candy Crowley’s Looks

Conclusion, even among liberal bloggers, is that so-called “joke” jeopardizes Carmona’s electability

PHOENIX – Democratic Senate candidate Richard Carmona had a rough day yesterday, as the media began covering his insensitive comment about CNN’s Candy Crowley.  It’s safe to say that as more Arizona voters learn of Carmona’s degrading “joke,” he’s going to be in for many more rough days.

The Arizona Daily Star stated the obvious: “Generally speaking, jokes about a woman’s looks are never a good idea — especially if you are a U.S. Senate candidate whose every word is being filmed.”

The ArizonaRepublic’s E.J. Montini used a NASCAR analogy to describe Carmona’s hurtful comment: “Politics has become a NASCAR race in which fans are ONLY interested in the crashes.  On Thursday, U.S. Senate candidate Richard Carmona drove his campaign into a wall, spun across the track, rolled several times and wound up on the infield. All by uttering two words.”  Montini wrote that the controversy over the comment isn’t likely to die soon: “The candidate apologized but a video clip like that won’t go away.”

The Arizona Republic reported that the “Carmona gaffe could complicate his effort to push back against the Beato ad.”

The national media was just as tough on Carmona.  Buzzfeed, which broke the story, said that “Democrat Richard Carmona has been trying to move past allegations he doesn’t work well with women. This may not help.”

Politico, which first reported on Carmona’s late night door-knocking incident, wrote: “When you’re apologizing days out from the election, you’re losing.”  They also gave him a backhanded honor: “Who Lost The Day: Richard Carmona, for insulting Crowley and women everywhere.”

Swampland, the political blog of TIME Magazine, had a post titled “How to Lose a Winnable U.S. Senate Seat.”  They concluded that “with one stupid quip, Carmona may have badly damaged his chances.”  They wrote that given the traction of the Beato ad, “Carmona’s inane comment is sure to feed that narrative, and rightly so.”

Even liberal-leaning blogs, like The Atlantic, were hard on Carmona.  In a post titled “Arizona Senate Candidate Calls Candy Crowley Ugly for No Reason,” they wrote that “a former underling has said Carmona has problems working with women, which he seemed to confirm at a debate on Thursday when he called Candy Crowley ugly for no reason.”  They said that there was no defense for Carmona’s comment: “There’s really no excuse. There was no leading question, and no context for the quote to be taken out of. It’s like he wanted to have a moment of levity, to connect with voters, and the first thing that popped into his head was calling a woman ugly.”

For more information on Jeff Flake and why he’s running for the U.S. Senate, please visit his website at www.JeffFlake.com.

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