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Election 2010

Hayworth: Infomercial was a 'mistake'

McCain responds with his own ad, calling Hayworth a 'huckster'

J.D. Hayworth says he regrets making a 2007 infomercial for "free" government grant seminars that critics have described as shady.

Sen. John McCain, whom Hayworth is challenging in the Republican primary, blasted Hayworth and questioned his judgment.

National Grants Conferences, which has filed for bankrupcty, is accused of luring consumers to free seminars and then using high-pressure sales tactics to persuade them to pay for information that is free online or at a library.

The company earned an "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau; settled a 2006 consumer-fraud lawsuit brought by Vermont's attorney general; and filed for bankruptcy in 2008, reports the Arizona Republic.

"I should not have made the ad. It was a mistake," J.D. Hayworth said in a statement released late Thursday, reports the Associated Press. "I hope voters will look past a video presentation made three years ago and instead look at the issues confronting us in 2010."

USA Today reports that McCain's camp blasted Hayworth's attempt to distance himself from the ad, saying it was a "political calculation" and that appearing in the ad showed "a disturbing lack of judgment and principle, and his purely political response to a serious situation isn't fooling anyone."

McCain then released an of his own, calling Hayworth a "pork barrel spender," a "lobbyist," and a "huckster."

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J.D. Hayworth in a frame-grab from the video.

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On the web

Arizona Republic: Hayworth: Sorry for grant ads

Associated Press: AZ Senate hopeful regrets pitch for troubled firm

USA Today: J.D. Hayworth calls infomercial a mistake