Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth’s (R-AZ) campaign for Senate is walking back his experience with a 2007 infomercial, which promoted seminars on how to get “free money” from the government, after having previously stood by Hayworth’s involvement as an act of letting people know about government’s role in their lives.
“Here’s what happened,” spokesman Mark Sanders explained to TPMDC. “J.C. Watts is a former Congressman. He and Hayworth knew each other when they were in Congress. Watts had done an infomercial for this company, and he recommended to Hayworth that he do with them, as well. So Hayworth just took it on his friend’s advice that it would be a good thing to do, and he did it. And that was the extent of the knowledge that he had regarding the company.”
Did Hayworth have any comment on the company’s controversial history, we asked? The company received an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau, and was the target of a letter to the Federal Trade Commission by 32 state attorneys general. “No,” said Sanders. “He did the one infomercial with them. That was the extent of his relationship with them, and he doesn’t have any knowledge of other things that the company may be involved in.”
Earlier today, Sanders had defended Hayworth’s involvement in the infomercial, claiming that the story had been shopped around to local media by the McCain campaign and dismissing the matter as an attack by a rival camp. He had also defended the legitimacy of Hayworth’s pitch in the ad, declaring that “letting people know that the government does have a role in our lives is certainly part of what the Congressman and any elected official should be doing.”