New TV ad from Jeff Flake, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.

In his first TV ad of the general election campaign, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Flake once again aims to link Democrat Richard Carmona to President Obama and his health care reform.

“Carmona is for Obama’s health care law,” the narrator says in the 30-second ad. “Flake’s against Obama’s health care law. He supports a realistic plan to strengthen Medicare.”

“Obama’s man in Arizona? Or Jeff Flake, Arizona’s man in Washington?” the narrator says. “Some decisions are just easier than others.”

The GOP has been hammering Carmona on being President Obama’s “hand-picked” candidate. They are referencing a phone call the President made to Carmona last year encouraging him to run for U.S. Senate.

Carmona has been open about the phone call, saying nobody twisted his arm and that he considers it a positive that he’s had two sitting Presidents ask him to serve the country. He was named U.S. Surgeon General under Republican President George W. Bush.

Carmona has also said repeatedly this year that both parties ‘got it wrong’ with health care reform. He advocates for making health care affordable for small business and working families through “innovation and preventative care, while also cutting waste and fraud.”

But Flake’s campaign says Carmona has a short memory, reminding him that there is a video of him saying in January that he supports the health care reform.

In that video, taken at a Democratic state party meeting, Carmona says he supports it but that he doesn’t agree with all the details in the legislation.

“I think what the President did was brave to move forward with a plan to try and assure that every American has access to a basic set of health care,” Carmona said. “Clearly, it’s where I am 100 percent. And, I advocated for that as Surgeon General. The execution was a little problematic. It’s very complicated and people didn’t understand where the money was coming from and how we’re going to do it.”

He said the country needs to stay focused and giving all Americans access to basic health care but that the discussion needs to continue about how to do that.

Carmona’s spokesman said in an email Tuesday that Carmona believes there are problems with the health care reform’s business plan that need to be fixed. But, that there are features of the law that are positive, he said, such as allowing people with pre-existing conditions to be able to get health insurance and allowing children to stay on their parents’ health care insurance until they are 26.

“Congressman Jeff Flake, a 12-year incumbent and former lobbyist, opposes those policies, and that would be catastrophic for working families,” said spokesman Andy Barr in an email.

Stay tuned to the Pueblo Politics blog throughout 2012 for news, updates and information about Arizona politics. You can follow Arizona Daily Star reporters Brady McCombs, Becky Pallack and Tim Steller on Twitter.