Sens. Kyl and McCain jump into GOP primary battle

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- It's one of the most watched races in Arizona, and on Friday two of the state's most powerful politicians jumped right into the middle of it.

Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain endorsed Congressman Jeff Flake in his bid to become the next Senator from Arizona.

The two longtime lawmakers said they picked Flake because they think his Republican opponent, Wil Cardon, doesn't have the chops for the job. Cardon and Flake have been attacking each other in a series of television ads.

Kyl and McCain said many of the facts in Cardon's commercials are inaccurate and unfair to Flake, who has served in the House since 2000.

"To me it shows a lot of naiveté on the part of the other candidate to be critical of these things to try to bring Jeff Flake down, when in fact it either shows he doesn't know what he's talking about or that he doesn’t know what the job of a U.S. Senator really entails," Kyl said during the Friday morning news conference.

The two senators said Cardon's negative campaign tactics could give the Democratic Senate candidate, Richard Carmona, the edge in the November general election.

"Frankly, I also worry these attacks might make it harder in the general election for us the elect Jeff Flake to the United States Senate," McCain said.