Richard Carmona on Principles & Values


1999: shot and mortally wounded a deranged murderer

One fall day in 1999, on a busy street in Tucson, Arizona, Dr. Richard Carmona shot and mortally wounded Jean Lafitte, a mentally disturbed man who had just stabbed his own father to death.

Carmona, a Tucson trauma M.D., had been on his way to a football game when he stopped to deliver first aid at what appeared to be a traffic accident. When he got closer to the scene, bystanders told him Lafitte was armed. Carmona returned to his car, retrieved his Pima County Sheriff Deputy badge and gun, identified himself repeatedly and warned Lafitte to drop his weapon, news accounts say. Instead, the gunman blasted away at Carmona--one bullet grazed Carmona's head. Carmona returned fire, mortally wounding Lafitte. Next, he triaged the wounded man. And later, he was credited with saving the lives of bystanders and Lafitte's girlfriend, whom Lafitte was going to kill next.

Source: TheDailyBeast.com coverage of 2012 Arizona Senate debate , May 19, 2012

Classified as disabled veteran from Vietnam wounds

The former U.S. surgeon general downplays the wounds he sustained as a Special Forces medic in Vietnam. (He still wears his medic medal; it dangles from a gold neck chain.) "I am classified as a disabled veteran," he told The Daily Beast recently. "The reason I'm disabled is because I have wounds and injuries that I got while on active duty--from parachute jumping to combat to gunshot wounds, all that stuff," he said. "I've gotten shot in the head. These injuries are almost all impact & trauma & blast injuries. When you put your body through all of this stuff over 35 or 40 years in the military or police you pay the price, that's all."

In 1992, he rappeled from a helicopter to deliver medical help to victims of a helicopter crash in the snowy Arizona mountains. Carting an injured person, he was hauled up to the hovering helicopter. His life seems adrenaline-charged, and he self-identifies both as a law-enforcement officer and a doctor.

Source: TheDailyBeast.com coverage of 2012 Arizona Senate debate , May 19, 2012

Of Puerto Rican descent; grew up poor in Harlem

A Latino of Puerto Rican descent, he grew up poor in Harlem, dropped out of school, joined the Army, got his GED, became a Special Forces medic in Vietnam, then attended medical school in California. After a stint at the National Institutes of Health, he was recruited to open a trauma center in Arizona, and moved to Tucson with his wife and four kids. He's been a Pima County deputy for years, working part time, of course, and is a trauma physician who teaches at the University of Arizona medical school. He works for a high-end destination spa company that has a foundation that delivers health help to underserved communities. His narrative draws veterans, women, Latinos, and, Democrats hope, moderates in sufficient numbers to turn Arizona blue.

'I am not a Hispanic candidate,' Carmona told The Daily Beast. 'I am an American candidate who happens to be of Hispanic heritage.'

Source: TheDailyBeast.com coverage of 2012 Arizona Senate debate , May 19, 2012

Seeks to earn the respect of disenfranchised populations

: Democrats think that Latino turnout in Arizona will be higher than average this year.

A: This is my first rodeo, okay? So I'm not an expert. But I think that there's good reason to believe that I have earned the trust and respect of the Hispanic community--not just because I'm Hispanic--because I was always there when they needed me as a professor, as a doctor, & as a trauma director here in town. And I've earned the respect all of our Native American brothers and sisters because of my actions. So I think there's every reason to believe that these populations which are normally disenfranchised--and they don't want to participate because they don't feel anybody really understands them--in me, they have somebody who not only understands, but who's somebody who's lived their life and has experienced the American dream. And I think that they will entrust me with being their senator because they know that I will always do what is best for them."

Source: Washington Post "Ten Questions" 2012 Arizona Senate debate , May 2, 2012

Other candidates on Principles & Values: Richard Carmona on other issues:
AZ Gubernatorial:
Jan Brewer
Phil Gordon
AZ Senatorial:
Jeff Flake
John McCain
Jon Kyl

AZ politicians

Retiring as of Jan. 2013:

Senate elections Nov. 2012:
AZ:Flake(R) vs.Carmona(D)
CA:Feinstein(D) vs.Emken(R) vs.Lightfoot(L) vs.Taitz(R)
CT:McMahon(R) vs.Murphy(D) vs.Bysiewicz(D) vs.Shays(R)
DE:Carper(D) vs.Wade(R) vs.Pires(I)
FL:Nelson(D) vs.Mack(R) vs.LeMieux(R)
HI:Hirono(D) vs.Case(D) vs.Lingle(R) vs.Pirkowski(R)
IN:Lugar(R) vs.Mourdock(R) vs.Donnelly(D)
MA:Brown(R) vs.Warren(D)
MD:Cardin(D) vs.Bongino(R) vs.Sobhani(I)
ME:King(I) vs.Dill(D) vs.Summers(R)
MI:Stabenow(D) vs.Hoekstra(R) vs.Boman(L)
MN:Klobuchar(D) vs.Bills(R)
MO:McCaskill(D) vs.Akin(R)
MS:Wicker(R) vs.Gore(D)
MT:Tester(D) vs.Rehberg(R)

ND:Heitkamp(D) vs.Berg(R)
NE:Kerrey(D) vs.Fischer(R)
NJ:Menendez(D) vs.Kyrillos(R) vs.Diakos(I)
NM:Heinrich(D) vs.Wilson(R)
NV:Heller(R) vs.Berkley(D)
NY:Gillibrand(D) vs.Long(R) vs.Noren(I) vs.Clark(G)
OH:Brown(D) vs.Mandel(R)
PA:Casey(D) vs.Smith(R)
RI:Whitehouse(D) vs.Hinckley(R)
TN:Corker(R) vs.Clayton(D)
TX:Cruz(R) vs.Sadler(D) vs.Roland(L) vs.Dewhurst(R)
UT:Hatch(R) vs.Howell(D)
VA:Kaine(D) vs.Allen(R)
VT:Sanders(I) vs.MacGovern(R)
WA:Cantwell(D) vs.Baumgartner(R)
WI:Thompson(R) vs.Baldwin(D)
WV:Manchin(D) vs.Raese(R)
WY:Barrasso(R) vs.Chesnut(D)
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform

Other Senators
Senate Votes (analysis)
Bill Sponsorships
Policy Reports
Group Ratings

Page last updated: Nov 04, 2012