Washington (CNN) – Former congressman J.D. Hayworth has used several ads as part of his bid to oust Sen. John McCain in Arizona's Republican primary. But in 2007, Hayworth was appearing in a different kind of ad: an infomercial that promised billions of dollars in free government grants.
The television ad promises free information about "hundreds of billions of dollars in government funding" to individuals who attend a conference on the topic.
The company behind the meetings – National Grants Conferences – has been criticized by the attorneys general of multiple states for deceptive marketing. A simple internet search brings back legions of complaints about the company.
Hayworth appears in the infomercial as part of a panel discussion on the availability of government grants that don't require repayment. Also on the panel are Mike and Irene Milin, the company's co-founders.
After introducing Hayworth as a former congressman, the infomercial's host says, "Forgive me if I sound like a skeptic, because that is a lot of money. It sounds too good to be true." The host then asks of Hayworth, "Congressman, is it for real?"
"It is for real," Hayworth responds. "Now look, I understand the skepticism in part because President Reagan used to say, 'The greatest contradiction ever uttered is, I'm from the government, and I'm here to help,'" Hayworth added.
The McCain campaign has quickly criticized Hayworth over his involvement with the group. "J.D. Hayworth lent his title, name and credibility as a former member of congress to an obvious rip off scam," said McCain spokesman Brian Rogers.
But the Hayworth camp says the McCain campaign is engaged in "politics as usual." Hayworth's campaign also pointed to the fact that National Grants Conferences co-founder Mike Milin has donated thousands of dollars to the McCain campaign in recent years.
Rogers says those donations have been given to Arizona charities - and are not being used by the McCain campaign.
Hayworth recorded the ad in 2007 following a 2006 electoral defeat. Hayworth served in Congress for six terms.
Arizona's GOP primary will be held on August 24.