Screen grab of Martha McSally's latest ad, "For Us." Retrieved from Youtube on June 12, 1 p.m.

Democrats are crying foul when it comes to Congressional District 2 candidate Martha McSally's newest ad, claiming the Republican's support for education don't line up with what she said on the campaign trail two years ago.

In an ad hitting airwaves today, McSally said she wants to "improve education for our children" but a spokesperson for her Democratic rival Rep. Ron Barber said the former Air Force Colonel said two years ago she wanted to kill the student loan program during a debate held in Vail.

"If she’s ready to lead — is she ready to be honest with us about where she stands? For instance, McSally talks about improving education, but her call to get rid of student loans will hurt Arizona families and hold back our economy. That's not leadership," said Ashley Nash-Hahn, the communications director for Ron Barber for Congress.

The debate can be seen here, with McSally's comments starting at 2:44.

“As a conservative, the federal government needs to be doing less legislation, not more legislation, when it comes to these local issues. So I would propose no legislation in order to address these rising costs. But we would stop having federal loans that are piling up that then raise the cost of tuition, surprisingly," McSally said at the 2012 debate.

A spokesperson for the McSally campaign, Patrick Ptak, said supports legislature that can help to lower the high cost of getting an education.

"Martha is passionate about education and supports any policy that reduces the cost of education, provides more choice to families, and makes higher education more affordable and accessible. I'm not surprised Representative Barber is trying to mislead voters on the issue of education to distract from the fact that he voted to raise borrowing rates on Arizona's students and is supported by opponents of school-choice."

Barber did sign off on a bi-partisan student loan bill last summer, the new student loan interest rates were tied to  the rate for 10-year U.S. Treasury notes.

Contact reporter Joe Ferguson at or 573-4346. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFerguson