Sen. Dennis DeConcini: Kyl claim ‘not a factual statement’

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

It looks like Sen. "Not intended to be a factual statement" Kyl is lying again. This time he gets called out by former Arizona Sen. Dennis DeConcini. Press release from the Dr. Richard Carmona for U.S. Senate campaign:

Sen. DeConcini: Kyl claim 'not a factual statement'
Letter shows Sen. Kyl misled media about extent of interaction and recruitment of Richard Carmona

Jon Kyl recently told the Weekly Standard that had only "one phone conversation with [Richard Carmona] when the Republican party was looking for a candidate to run in the congressional seat."

However, Sen. Kyl sent a letter on personal letterhead, postmarked February 17, 2005, indicating Kyl’s “one phone conversation” assertion is not true. The letter describes a meeting in Phoenix in which Kyl thanks Dr. Carmona for “all you did for me in Phoenix last week,” saying that “for someone who’s ‘not so political’ you sure leave an audience in awe!” Kyl went on to say that “I look forward to continuing our discussion at your convenience.”

Their meetings and discussions were political and included the potential of Carmona running for elected office in Arizona as a Republican. Kyl also hosted Dr. Carmona for breakfast in Phoenix to discuss running for office in late 2005.

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."

BACKGROUND

CARMONA WAS PRAISED AS ‘POTENTIAL SUPERSTAR’ BY REPUBLICANS AS A ‘FANTASTIC CANDIDATE’ "I will tell you point-blank I think he'd be a fantastic candidate," said Matt Salmon, the state party chairman who was the GOP candidate for governor in 2002. "He's very intelligent, very engaging," Salmon said. "He has incredible connections at the federal level and I believe that's extremely important for any CEO of a state to have. He has a really diversified background in law enforcement, medicine, politics. For a leader to be able to know so much about so many areas is a really good thing." [Arizona Daily Star, 6/11/05]

Met With Arizona GOP Strategist J. Charles Coughlin To Discuss Run For Statewide Office in February 2005. Coughlin offered to host a dinner for Dr. Carmona to discuss a run for statewide political office, according to a February 28, 2005 letter Coughlin sent to Dr. Carmona at the Surgeon General’s office.  Coughlin chaired Republican Jan Brewer’s Transition Team when she became Arizona governor in 2009, worked on the campaign staff of Republican Congressman John McCain and worked on the staffs of former Republican Gov. Fife Symington and former Republican Attorney General Grant Woods.  [U.S. Department Of Health And Human Services Office Of The Surgeon General, Letter From J. Charles Coughlin To Richard Dr. Carmona, 2/28/05]

Jim Kolbe: “We tried very hard to get him to run for my seat.” POLITICO reported that “[i]n 2005, Kolbe said he and other Republicans tried to recruit Carmona to run for his Southern Arizona congressional seat. ‘I had a cordial and good relationship with Richard, and worked with him when I was in Congress,’ Kolbe told POLITICO on Tuesday. ‘We tried very hard to get him to run for my seat.’” [POLITICO, 10/17/12]

Carmona “committed to serving out his (four- year) term as surgeon general.” By June of 2005, Carmona had fallen off the list of potential candidates. The Daily Star reported that there was “no indication at this point, with next year's gubernatorial race little more than a faint blip on the political radar screen, that Carmona is contemplating leaving the post he has held since Aug. 5, 2002.” Spokesman Craig Stevens said that “Dr. Carmona is flattered people are talking about this,” but “He is committed to serving out his (four- year) term as surgeon general.” [Arizona Daily Star, 6/11/05]

“The list of eight Republicans rumored to be considering a run includes one potential superstar: U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona.” Roll Call reported,  “Rep. Jim Kolbe's (R) decision to retire next year has given Democrats new hope that they can steal his moderate, southern Arizona seat from the GOP. The list of eight Republicans rumored to be considering a run includes one potential superstar: U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona. The Surgeon General's office declined to comment when asked if he was interested in running.” [Roll Call, 12/6/05]

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