9th Congressional District candidates argue over 'attack ad' - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

9th Congressional District candidates argue over 'attack ad'

(WMC-TV) – A new attack ad is causing the 9th Congressional District candidates to spar once again.

Incumbent Steve Cohen is now asking for an apology from his opponent, Dr. George Flinn. He is also demanding Flinn take the controversial ad off of the air.

In his new television ad, Republican candidate Dr. George Flinn is accusing incumbent 9th District Congressman Steve Cohen of missing "over 130 votes" while going on trips at taxpayers' expense.

"I made over 5,000 votes. It was 5,000 over six years that I missed 130 votes. None of which were important votes," said Congressman Steve Cohen.

Cohen says the ad is misleading.

"When the innuendo is that you haven't done your job right. That you have not worked hard at it, that you've played hookie or been somewhere else. That crosses the line," said Cohen.

Cohen says he missed 20 votes when his mother died, 11 votes to attend his friend Thomas Boggs' funeral, nine votes because of scheduled elections in Tennessee, and 16 votes because his Northwest Airlines flights were late or canceled.

Cohen says his trips to countries overseas in 2011 were all paid by third parties and not by taxpayers.

"I wonder who did pay for these trips then? What organization paid for them? Were they lobbying organizations? What did he get from that and was he expected to give back?" said Dr. George Flinn.

Meanwhile, Dr. Flinn says he still wants to challenge Cohen to a debate.

However, Cohen says he is only willing to debate if Dr. Flinn releases his tax returns.

"I've handed over every document that is needed to run for U.S. Congress. That's a perfect topic for a debate. Let's have a debate and that can be the first topic," said Dr. Flinn.

Dr. Flinn says he believes the ad speaks for itself and his campaign is standing behind it.

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