Richard Carmona is in many ways the perfect Democratic candidate for Senate in Arizona -- Puerto Rican, a combat-decorated Vietnam veteran, a former Republican, experienced in government after serving as Surgeon General, but without a tricky voting record. Except there's this one little problem: 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.
The debate between Carmona and Rep. Jeff Flake got heated, and moderator Brahm Resnik said, "Now I know how Candy Crowley feels, geez," BuzzFeed's John Stanton reports. Carmona replied, "You’re prettier than her." Resnik raised his eyebrows, laughed and said, "Not sure how to take that." 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. Update: Carmona apologized: "I tried to tell a joke to lighten the mood in a debate. I shouldn't have, and I'm sorry."
Ever since Todd Akin make his infamous comment about "legitimate rape," Democrats have been searching for another "Akin moment," which could be defined narrowly as "a stupid thing about rape or abortion" but should be defined more broadly as "a thing that will trigger the women's outrage machine." When Connecticut Senate candidate Linda McMahon said she didn't support forcing hospitals to give rape victims emergency contraception at a debate Monday, Talking Points Memo reported, "Democrats Accuse McMahon Of Having A ‘ToddAkin Moment.’" When Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh falsely claimed that "advances in science and technology" meant that an abortion was never necessary to save a mother's life -- Talking Points Memo reported that Walsh "had a Todd Akin moment of his very own Thursday night..." (Roll Call used the phrase, too.) But Carmona is running for a more prominent office, and his comment is potentially just as Akiny. Unfortunately for Democrats, it came from their team.