The Washington Times - October 19, 2012, 02:55PM

CNN anchor Candy Crowley has taken some guff from Republicans for her performance as moderator of the second presidential debate, but now a Democrat has delivered a rather low blow.

Arizona Senate candidate Richard Carmona said during a televised Thursday debate with Republican Rep. Jeff Flake that the male moderator was prettier than Miss Crowley.

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Following a testy exchange during the debate on KPNX-TV, moderator Brahm Resnik remarked, “Geez, now I know how Candy Crowley felt.”

Mr. Carmona, a former U.S. surgeon general, reached over, patted Mr. Resnik’s arm and said, “You’re prettier than her.”

Mr. Resnik, the KPNX-TV news anchor, chuckled and replied, “I’m not sure how to take that.”

Dr. Carmona later issued an apology, saying in a statement, “I tried to tell a joke to lighten the mood in a debate. I shouldn’t have, and I’m sorry.”

The apology came a week after the Flake campaign released an ad showing Dr. Cristina Beato, who worked with Dr. Carmona during his tenure as surgeon general, alleging that he had anger-management issues. The Carmona camp has dismissed the allegations.

Polls show the Arizona Senate race to replace retiring Republican Sen. Jon Kyl locked in a virtual tie, with Dr. Carmona holding a slight lead.