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.
[UPDATE] A Carmona spokesman declined to comment on the exchange beyond saying "It was a joke."
[UPDATE] Carmona's campaign just released a statement from the candidate apologizing for the joke.
"I tried to tell a joke to lighten the mood in a debate. I shouldn't have, and I'm sorry," Carmona said in the statement.
John Stanton is a senior national correspondent for BuzzFeed News. In 2014, Stanton was a recipient of the National Press Foundation’s 2014 Dirksen Award for distinguished reporting of Congress.
Contact John Stanton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.