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Murphy emphasizes working families in speech at Miami Gardens rally

@ByKristenMClark & @AmySherman1

Vowing to carry on the legacy President Barack Obama will leave behind, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy told a crowd of Hillary Clinton supporters in Miami-Dade County this afternoon that he and the Democratic presidential nominee would support working families and create an economy "that works for everybody."

"With the future of our economy and our country on the line, who are Republicans trying to elect this November? Marco Rubio and Donald Trump -- seriously?" Murphy said to a chorus of agreeing boos from the crowd waiting to hear Obama campaign for Clinton in Miami Gardens, a predominantly back community.

Murphy was one of several speakers -- and the only one who was white -- who took the stage before Obama arrived at Florida Memorial University this afternoon. Murphy got some cheers from the crowd but didn't seem to fire them up like rest of speakers

Murphy's 8-minute speech largely emphasized the struggle poor and middle-class Americans face, and he argued electing him and Clinton could help improve their situations.

As a means of relating, Murphy retold the story of how his father, Tom Murphy Jr., was a union carpenter without a college degree, who "started his business out of the back of a truck with no guarantee of success."

"I know so many Floridians who have that same drive, that same passion. They deserve that same opportunity to work hard and live the American dream," Murphy said.

(Murphy didn't tell the crowd that his father's business has grown into a billion-dollar company and is now one of the largest development companies in South Florida -- success that turned the Murphys into millionaires and afforded Murphy an affluent upbringing.)

Murphy said he and Clinton would support raising the minimum wage, defend women's rights, fight to protect the environment and address climate change and -- touching on an issue personal to Miami Gardens and Northwest Miami-Dade -- would "work to protect our communities from the gun violence that's plaguing us."

He also laid into Marco Rubio again for standing by Trump and warned of the consequences a Trump administration could have.

"We are not going to strengthen our economy with Donald Trump's racist bullying and Marco Rubio's silence," Murphy said. "We are not going to lift families out of poverty with Donald Trump's demonizing of immigrants and Muslims. And we're certainly not going to create an economy that works for everyone with Donald Trump's misogynistic attacks."

Murphy added: "I got into public service because I was tired of the dysfunction, all the finger-pointing and nonsense. I decided to do something about it and I'm willing to work with anyone to solve a problem. And that's the same spirit that has defined Secretary Clinton's entire career."

After Obama took the stage at about 4:15 p.m., he mentioned Murphy at least a half-dozen times, heralding him as "your next United States senator" and heavily criticizing Rubio. (Obama and Vice President Joe Biden endorsed Murphy in March.) Clinton -- who endorsed Murphy in September -- hasn't shown the Jupiter congressman nearly as much love at rallies she's personally appeared at. She's mentioned Murphy in a couple of her more recent ones but hasn't emphasized as much or as passionately as Obama did why voters ought to reject Rubio in favor of Murphy.

This was the second Clinton rally in as many weeks that Murphy has spoken at.