AZ Dem House Candidate Won’t Condemn Offensive Ad

Ron Barber, running to replace Gabby Giffords, won't distance himself from offensive group's misleading spot

CHUCK TODD: joining me now, Arizona democratic congressional candidate, Ron Barber. Of course, the special election is taking place in just a few days, next Tuesday. Mr. Barber, thank you for coming in.

RON BARBER: thank you, Chuck, it's really a pleasure to be with you today.

TODD: all right. I want to get your reaction, and it was the first thing I asked Mr. Kelly when he was on the show earlier this week, I want to play for you this ad that's being done by an outside group on your behalf, using Rep. Giffords in a different way. Here’s the ad:

AD: And two years ago, Kelly said this about Gabby Giffords. ‘And now she stands there with that smile and pretends to be some kind of hometown hero. She’s a hero of nothing.’ Do you really want Jesse Kelly representing you?

TODD: Is that ad appropriate, considering that his words, when he said this, it makes it — it implies that it's about Gabby Giffords after the shooting, when, of course, he said this during the 2010 campaign. is that fair?

BARBER: Well, I do think, first of all, the video or the commercial has nothing to do with my campaign, as you know. It's done by an outside group and we have no influence one way or the other in an ad that they do of that nature. And I believe it the does show clearly it was 2010. I think the issues are clearly what I’m trying to focus on is what is happening here, now, in 2012, the southern Arizona. And I really want to make sure that anything we put out has to do with the issues that are of importance to some Arizonans.

TODD: So it's interesting, you're okay with that ad running? You haven't asked them the issue you could publicly say, you know, that ad's inappropriate. It goes across the line. I know a lot of newspapers in the district have criticized that ad.

BARBER: As I said, I’m trying to focus on a positive campaign around the issues myself. You know, there's all kinds of ads on both sides of the fence that probably shouldn't be run, negative ads or, unfortunately, ads that work, and that's why they're used. But I’m trying to make sure our approach is positive. One of the issues, what can I do to solve them?