President Bill Clinton Rocks Packed Rally for Senate Candidate Rich Carmona

Categories: Election 2012
Rich Carmona Bill Clinton.jpg
Jamie Peachey
Former President Bill Clinton and U.S. Senate Candidate Rich Carmona at a Tempe rally.
President Bill Clinton was on his game Wednesday night in Tempe as he stumped for Arizona's Senate candidate Rich Carmona.


More than 5,500 people turned out to Arizona State University's Sun Devil Performance Lawn for a Get Out The Vote rally for Carmona -- and more would've packed in but the fire marshall eventually shut down admissions and campaign workers were forced to turn people away.

See Also:
- President Bill Clinton Rocks Packed Rally for Senate Candidate Rich Carmona (Slideshow)

Carmona is vying against Congressman Jeff Flake for a seat long held by now retiring U.S. Senator Jon Kyl.

It was quite a show that included Jimmy Eat World, a local band from Mesa, appearances by Arizona Cardinals players, elected officials from across the state and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former Phoenix Suns great.

Johnson introduced Carmona, rousing the crowd by going through the candidate's impressive résumé, noting that he went from a high school dropout to a decorated veteran to a surgeon and also a Pima County Sheriff's Deputy and leader of the department's SWAT team to U.S. Surgeon General.

Carmona spoke about his commitment to DREAMers, young adults brought by their parents into the country as children and touched on his support for education before introducing a real "rock star" -- President Clinton.

And just as Clinton did a better job than President Barack Obama during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte of explaining why voters should elect the Dem president, he also strategically laid out alll the reasons why Carmona us the best guy for the Arizona's open Senate seat.

With Carmona standing by his side, Clinton touched on veteran's issues, education, national security, the DREAM Act, and healthcare, and said that Carmona's supportive stance and knowledge in these areas are all reasons to elect him.

During his speech, Clinton heavily praised the Affordable Care Act, the trademark legislation for Democrats dubbed Obamacare.

And yet earlier in the day, during his first debate with Congressman Flake on Channel 8 with moderator Ted Simmons, Carmona had criticisms of the plan and how it was rolled out. He said he wouldn't have voted for the plan in its original form, and said both the Republicans and the Democrats "got it wrong."

Clinton drew excited cheers from the crowd when he declared that the DREAM Act was "the right thing to do." He also said that he was "proud" that Carmona, a lifelong Independent, decided to run for Senate as a Democrat.

Clinton also poked fun at Carmona for being both a life-saving doctor and a SWAT team leader.

He said he wouldn't be surprised if Carmona's opponents accused him in a campaign ad of becoming a SWAT team member just to rough people up and drum up business for himself as a surgeon.

It got a belly-laugh from Carmona and chuckles from the crowd.

And here's a behind the scenes moment: While K.J. - as Arizonans will always remember the former Suns point guard - was talking to Arizona Cardinal Larry Fitzgerald in the VIP section, Clinton elicited laughter from the pair by asking K.J. whether he was trying to recruit a football team for Sacramento.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

No mention of the way. The crowd was locked down into the event for almost 1/2 hour while the VIP section was let out of the only exit. The entire east side of the field was packed against barricades blocking the exit while a line of a chosen few funneled out of the event. All other exits were closed and security told people that no one could leave. That's right! The majority of people were lock in for at least thirty minutes after the event. Over 1/2 the crowd barricades from bathrooms and water so only the big donors could exit the event. Most people stood there patiently waiting after three hours on their feet. I never saw water for sale or even available and if there were EMT's at this event they sure did not respond to the young man who passed out a few feet from me. Have never been to an event where the crowd was barricaded and locked in from exiting after it was over. If that is how Carmona is going to take care of Arizona God help us. At least I know straight up Flake hates us. The night opened my eyes to my party. It's all about the big money, none of them are ever going to serve we the people. Feel good speeches and promises that never materialize. Like that insurance rebate that never came and the lowering of medical services.?. The cost of living that increases every week and price of everything. I no longer trust the democrats and I have voted for them for 30 years. Locking me up at this event has openned my eyes. These two parties no longer serve the people. It's all about big money and special interest. Maybe we need four years of Mitt and Ryan to wake the f@#k up!


I wish I could have made  it to the event.I saw debate earlier on PBS,in which CARMONA clearly won.I enjoyed FLAKES face turning blood red being caught in one flip flop after another.

Now Trending

Phoenix Concert Tickets

From the Vault