FACT CHECK: Rich Carmona ad attacking Jeff Flake

PHOENIX, AZ - While the two candidates for president went head to head in Denver, the two men vying to represent Arizona in the United States Senate are going head to head on the airwaves.

Both Jeff Flake and Richard Carmona are running ads attacking one another and their stance on the issues.

ABC15 put a new ad from the Carmona campaign to a fact check.

In the ad, Carmona touts his service both in the military and in law enforcement.

"From the jungles of Vietnam to life saving rescues at home, Rich Carmona's always answered the call," said the ad's narrator.

"In the Senate he'll support our veterans because he's lived it," continues the narrator.

Carmona then turns his sights on Flake.

"Career politician Jeff Flake is part of the problem," the ad's narrator says.  "Flake voted repeatedly to cut veterans' benefits."

ABC15 determined that claim to be MISLEADING.

The ad references four votes Flake cast from 2003 to 2006:

Even though it is accurate to say those four votes Flake cast did, in some way, curtail veterans' benefits, considering Flake supported nearly 100 pieces of legislation supporting the military and veterans, four doesn't exactly constitute "repeatedly" as the ad claims.

The ad then alleges Flake cut veterans' health care and job training.

Since this claim cites the same four votes, ABC15 determined it's also MISLEADING.

Furthermore, as the Flake campaign points out, the legislation Flake did support during that time frame actually increased spending on veterans programs in the end.

The ad's final claim is that Flake voted against a combat bonus for our troops.

ABC15 determined that allegation to be a FACT.

In October of 2003, Flake voted to defeat a bill that would have given troops fighting in both Iraq and Afghanistan a $1,500 bonus.

A Flake spokesperson released the following statement to ABC15:

Democrat Richard Carmona uses the old liberal playbook by cherry-picking a few votes and ignoring scores of veterans bills that Jeff Flake has supported.  Jeff Flake has a strong record of standing up for our nation's servicemen and women, and that's a record he will continue in the Senate.  Unable to talk about issues and desperate to gain traction, Richard Carmona has adopted the negative, partisan tactics and tone he decried when he entered the race.

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