The former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords district director running to fill out the remainder of the Arizona Democrat’s term in Congress is distancing his campaign from a new super PAC ad that quotes his opponent calling Giffords a “hero of nothing.”
Ron Barber told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd Friday morning in an interview on “The Daily Rundown” that the House Majority PAC TV ad has “nothing to do” with his campaign.
The interview comes four days before the June 12 special election in which Barber faces former Marine Jesse Kelly, Giffords’s GOP opponent in her 2010 re-election bid. Kelly made the “hero of nothing” comment in 2010, before the Tucson shooting last year in which Giffords was shot.
Giffords herself has not taken a prominent role in the race, although she will campaign for Barber for the first time on Saturday. One of the wildcard factors in the contest will be how much of a factor the Arizona Democrat, who was the subject of an assassination attempt at a January 2011 constituent event in Tucson, will be on the minds of voters.
And as the House Majority PAC ad has raised eyebrows, so too has a new ad by a super PAC backing Kelly. The image used in an email sent out to Kelly supporters by the Move America Forward Freedom PAC features the GOP hopeful holding an assault rifle.
In Friday’s interview, Barber also continued to keep his distance from President Obama, although he maintained that he plans to vote for the president in November. And he cited the national health care law as one part of the Obama agenda that he believes needs to be given a second look.
From the interview:
“Well, the president, obviously, has his own race to worry about. I’m focused on the race that’s going to take place in about five days, and the different issues that are coming out of this campaign and the views I’ve heard from the voters of southern Arizona are what I’m focused on. In November, when the election is held, I will vote for the president because I believe his ideas for helping middle-class Americans are better than his opponent. But I’m really trying to make sure that this race in southern Arizona is about southern Arizona. My opponent continually tries to nationalize this race and tries to associate me with bills that I’ve never had anything to do with. I think the voters of southern Arizona want to know what is a candidate and what is the member going to do for them?”