October 20, 2016

Murphy's political cavalry arrives, in the form of President Obama


@PatriciaMazzei @AmySherman1

The political cavalry arrived Thursday for Patrick Murphy. His name was Barack Obama.

Obama swaggered into Miami Gardens purportedly for Hillary Clinton, the potential sentinel of his White House legacy. He’s in an unusual position for a sitting president: He’s more popular than his selected successor, who’s more than eager for him to act as her most prominent stand-in, especially to African Americans.

But polls show Clinton leading Donald Trump in Florida, which some political prognosticators have placed in the light blue “lean Democratic” column, no longer a toss-up.

So Obama did what he had to do. He ripped Trump for refusing to say during Wednesday night’s debate if he’ll accept the Nov. 8 election results — and for quipping Thursday in Ohio that he’ll accept the results “if I win.”

“That is not a joking matter,” Obama told the capacity crowd of 2,800 at Florida Memorial University’s athletic arena. “I want everybody to pay attention here — that is dangerous. Because when you try to sow seeds of doubt in people’s minds about the legitimacy of our elections, that undermines our democracy. Then, you are doing the work of our adversaries for them.”

The president also passionately defended Clinton, calling her ready and capable to handle the Oval Office.

“Even in the middle of a crisis, she is calm and cool and collected,” Obama said. “And here is the thing about Hillary: No matter how tough the odds, no matter how much people try to knock her down, no matter how mean folks can be, she doesn’t point fingers. She doesn’t complain. She doesn’t whine. She just works harder. And she gets the job done, and she never, ever, ever quits.”

But then, the president focused on the guy who needs his help most: Murphy, the U.S. Senate candidate who national Democrats have all but abandoned.

More here.

This story has been updated.

Photo credit: Pedro Portal, Miami Herald staff

Florida Democrats troll Rubio with website for 'inevitable' 2020 presidential bid


The Florida Democratic Party isn't convinced by Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio's gradually more definitive answers this week that he's committed to serving a full term, if re-elected, and has no plans to run for president again in four years.

Democrats launched a new website Thursday for what they call Rubio's "inevitable 2020 presidential campaign." MarcoRubioForPresident.com uses Rubio's old presidential campaign logo and adds the slogan: "2020. OF COURSE."


“Let's dispel with this fiction that Marco Rubio isn’t fully planning on running for president in 2020,” FDP spokesman Max Steele said in a statement. “After saying ‘like 10000 times’ he would not seek reelection to a job he spent months complaining about, Rubio broke his word yet again."

"Marco Rubio has never let promises get in the way of his unquenchable ambition, and Floridians know he’s not about to start now," Steele said.

Rubio campaign spokeswoman Olivia Perez-Cubas called the stunt "just another desperate gimmick after the national Democratic Party abandoned Patrick Murphy and canceled tens of millions of (dollars in) ads it planned to run on his behalf."

Rubio was asked several times during Monday's first U.S. Senate debate if he would commit to another full term if re-elected and whether doing so meant he wouldn't run for president again -- questions to which he's offered noncommittal, vague responses in the past.

He initially responded: “I’m going to serve six years in the Senate, God-willing, and I’m looking forward to it," and then repeated that answer in follow-up questions, evading a definitive "no" answer to a potential 2020 presidential bid.

"You can't be a senator and a president at the same time," he said.

On Tampa Bay radio on Wednesday, Rubio elaborated, saying voters should believe he's committed to another full term "because I said it" -- which led to trolling tweets from Democrats who shared Rubio's famous tweet from May when he specifically shot down the idea of running for re-election to the Senate, only to change his mind about a month later.

“If I wanted to run for something else, I wouldn’t have run for Senate," Rubio told WFLA-AM 970 on Wednesday. "If I were going to run for president in 4 years, I would have just stayed out of this race and started running on Nov. 9th."

Image credit: Florida Democratic Party

*This post has been updated with comment from Rubio's campaign.

Entering October, Rubio had 2x as much campaign cash as Murphy



After a lackluster fundraising quarter and an expensive primary, Democrat Patrick Murphy's U.S. Senate campaign entered October with about $2.8 million in the bank -- less than half of the $5.7 million in campaign cash Republican incumbent Marco Rubio had.

That new detail and others regarding Murphy's and Rubio's campaign finances were revealed in their third-quarter disclosure reports, which were filed with the Federal Election Commission late last week. Because Senate candidates first file paper copies with the Secretary of the Senate's office, there is a lag of several days before the reports become publicly available through the FEC.

Both campaigns had declined repeated requests for their cash-on-hand figures, opting to let their quarterly reports speak for themselves. That was the first time they'd done that all cycle; previously, they revealed their cash on hand simultaneously with how much they'd raised during the filing period.

Also revealed in the newly filed disclosures: Murphy spent more than twice as much as he brought in between July and September -- the bulk of it ($4.2 million) going out in the first part of the quarter during his contentious Aug. 30 primary race against fellow Democratic U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson.

Continue reading "Entering October, Rubio had 2x as much campaign cash as Murphy" »

Rubio to campaign with up-and-coming Colorado senator


Making his first public Broward County campaign stop in some time, Marco Rubio will greet voters Thursday at a Fort Lauderdale sports bar with a special guest: Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado.

"I look forward to welcoming Senator Gardner to the Sunshine State today to join me in meeting with Floridians to talk about the importance of this race," Rubio said in a statement put out by his campaign. Gardner, like Rubio, is considered a bright star in the GOP's future. Unlike Rubio, Gardner has rescinded his support for Donald Trump.

They will campaign at 3:30 p.m. at Bokampers Sports Bar & Grill. Rubio is running for reelection against Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy.

Patrick Murphy uses Trump tape remarks against Marco Rubio in new ad



Taking a page from Hillary Clinton's playbook, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy is elevating attacks on his opponent by using words from Donald Trump's own mouth.

In a new ad Murphy's campaign will release Thursday morning, the Jupiter congressman further publicizes Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio's continued support for the Republican presidential nominee by juxtaposing a couple of Trump's lewd comments from the 2005 Access Hollywood video with a clip of Rubio this summer saying, "We have to make sure that Donald wins this election."

MORE: Murphy looks to gain edge over Rubio using Trump video, but will it be enough?

Murphy also uses the ad as an opportunity to plug recent endorsements he's gotten from the editorial boards of Florida's largest newspapers, including the Tampa Bay Times and the Miami Herald.

Watch the ad below:

Continue reading "Patrick Murphy uses Trump tape remarks against Marco Rubio in new ad" »

October 19, 2016

Rubio says he won't talk Wikileaks: 'Tomorrow it could be us'


Marco Rubio undercut one of Donald Trump's key political messages Wednesday, cautioning Republicans against campaigning on emails released by Wikileaks -- which most recently have exposed the inner political maneuvering of Hillary Clinton's top staff.

In a statement, Rubio said he won't bring up issues exposed "solely" by Wikileaks. Rubio is a member of the Senate intelligence and foreign relations committees; the U.S. has blamed recent email hacks of the Democratic National Committee on Russia.

"I will not discuss any issue that has become public solely on the basis of Wikileaks," Rubio said. "As our intelligence agencies have said, these leaks are an effort by a foreign government to interfere with our electoral process and I will not indulge it. Further, I want to warn my fellow Republicans who may want to capitalize politically on these leaks: Today it is the Democrats.Tomorrow it could be us."

Photo credit: Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

As they debate respect for women, Rubio aims to make old photo haunt Murphy

Murphy girlfriend pic

@ByKristenMClark & @TMarreroTimes

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy has hammered Marco Rubio for weeks on women’s issues, whether it be the Republican incumbent’s opposition to abortion or his continued allegiance to Donald Trump.

After Murphy persisted on that line of attack for the better part of Monday night’s U.S. Senate debate in Orlando, Rubio had had enough.

And he lowered the boom on his challenger — so abruptly it left Murphy temporarily rattled in search of a response.

The weapon: An old photo of a fresh-faced Patrick Murphy sitting at a table with one arm around a woman and a few fingers of his other hand apparently grabbing at her breast.

More here.

Photo credit: In this undated photo from several years ago, current Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy appears to be grabbing at the breast of a woman who he says was his then-girlfriend. Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio referenced the photo during the candidates’ first Senate debate Monday night. Rubio’s campaign provided the image, with the woman’s face blocked out. (Provided by Marco Rubio’s Senate campaign)

October 18, 2016

Murphy elaborates on old Facebook photo Rubio brought up in debate

Campaign 2016 Florida (3)

via @TMarreroTimes

TAMPA -- The Facebook photo has been circulating for weeks among GOP circles: a fresh-faced Patrick Murphy sitting at a table with one arm around a woman and a few fingers of his other hand apparently on her breast.

During Monday night's debate, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio tried to use the photo as a weapon against Murphy, a Democratic U.S. House member running to unseat the West Miami Republican.

Murphy has criticized Rubio for his support for Donald Trump, especially after allegations about Trump's treatment of women. In the latter half of the debate, Rubio turned the tables and referenced Murphy's photo, calling it "inappropriate behavior." Murphy appeared flustered.

On Tuesday, Murphy, 33, dismissed the photo as an artifact from his early 20s and said Rubio's attempts to use it against him were "low" and "desperate."

"Look, when Donald Trump goes low, Marco Rubio goes lower," Murphy told reporters after a campaign event in West Tampa. "This is a picture with my girlfriend from my 20s, a college girlfriend. I dated her for four years, and we were at dinner."

Murphy graduated from the University of Miami in 2006. He first ran for the U.S. House in 2011, winning his Palm Beach County-Treasure Coast seat in the 2012 election.

"Look, Marco Rubio showed just how desperate he was last night by trying to wiggle, and got himself in this knot about Donald Trump," Murphy said. "He's trying to pivot and change the subject. It was very clear to me how uncomfortable Marco Rubio was when talking about Donald Trump and someone who's bragging about sexually assaulting women. It's unbelievable to me."

Asked later to elaborate on the date and circumstances of the photo, a Murphy spokesman said the campaign would let the congressman's words stand on their own.

Continue reading "Murphy elaborates on old Facebook photo Rubio brought up in debate" »

Poll: Rubio, Murphy in dead heat for Florida U.S. Senate seat

Rubio murphy


The most recent poll from Quinnipiac University finds Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio's lead over Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy has narrowed to just 2 percentage points -- making it a dead-heat about a month out from Election Day.

The poll, done Oct. 10-16, found Rubio with 49 percent support, compared to 47 percent support for Murphy. About 4 percent were undecided.

The last Quinnipiac poll done in late September had Rubio with a 4-percentage-point lead.

Rubio has led every poll since June by various margins. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll conducted earlier this month also found Rubio with a 2-percentage-point lead.

None of Quinnipiac's polls have included Libertarian Paul Stanton or the four independent candidates who will also be on the ballot: Tony KhouryBruce Nathan, Steven Machat and Basil E. Dalack.

Photo credit: AP / Palm Beach Post

Marco Rubio, Patrick Murphy and the debate over Donald Trump

via @learyreports

At times Marco Rubio was, well, robotic.

And Patrick Murphy was dazed by an uppercut.

Both instances in Monday night’s U.S. Senate debate came courtesy of the man hanging over race: Donald J. Trump.

Rubio knew he would face questions about Trump and was prepared to distance himself from him - repeatedly, without giving an inch to Hillary Clinton.

“I don’t trust either one of them.”

“On this stage tonight, there’s only one person that’s ever run against Donald Trump and tried to defeat him and that was me. There’s only one person on this stage tonight who’s ever voted against Donald Trump and that was me.”

“If there are any kids in America who understand what a horrifying choice America has in this election cycle, it’s mine, because they’ve lived through it over the last 14 months.”

“Not the most inspirational choice we’ve ever had in America history in terms of these two candidates.”

“This election is a disturbing choice.”

“A difficult and less than ideal choice.”

“Donald Trump was not my first choice, or even my 10th choice.”

“Two less than ideal options … Two deeply flawed candidates.”

“I have deep reservations about the nominee of my party.”

Continue reading "Marco Rubio, Patrick Murphy and the debate over Donald Trump" »