While addressing reporters Wednesday afternoon during the formal presentation at the AP Florida Legislative Planning Session in Tallahassee, Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy pointed out the major difference between himself and Alan Grayson, his main challenger in next year’s Senate contest.
“Style, first and foremost.”
“Congressman Grayson prides himself on being the bomb throwin’, name calling, finger-pointing … you know, calling the President a sellout a few weeks ago, calling members of Congress ‘Taliban Dan’ and KKK members (a reference to Grayson’s description of GOP U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster),” Murphy said. “That’s no way to get something done with people.”
“You’ve got to find some common ground with people and move the ball forward,” he added. “So, I’m not going to be calling people names, I’m not going to be accusing them of things that aren’t true.”
But a few moments later, after finishing his scheduled 30-minute appearance before the press corps, Murphy was asked about Grayson’s boast that he has passed more bills and amendments than anyone else in Congress in recent years. He said he wasn’t going to get into “bad mouthing my opponent.”
But then Murphy did exactly that, referring to his opponent running two hedge funds.
“Furthermore, you’re going to see the hypocrisy, and someone who claims to be this true progressive, turns out to have a hedge fund? In the Cayman Islands? Right, with billions of dollars as using carried interest loopholes? That to me is not what the voters want. Voters are tired of that double talk. They’re tired of this two-faced nonsense, right?”
Grayson has come under fire recently for the relatively recent revelation that he has created three hedge funds, including two based in the Cayman Islands. Last month, he changed the names of two of them that had his name in the title.
Grayson appeared right before Murphy at the AP session, but was not asked by reporters (including this one) about them.
On policy issues, Murphy also criticized Grayson for his opponent’s opposition to renewing the Export-Import Bank, saying his opposition puts him alongside Tea Party Republicans and the Club for Growth.
Regarding his own vote going against the mainstream of the Democratic Party — support for the Keystone XL pipeline — Murphy gave an elaborate explanation for supporting the controversial plan that would carry heavy crude oil mixture from Western Canada to the United States. The proposal has been delayed for years pending a review by President Barack Obama and the State Department.
“Because of the reality of the situation, I would rather this go through America’s regulatory structure — through our strict regulations to ensure that this is as clean as humanly possible,” he said, adding he was hopeful it would never come to fruition.
Murphy would prefer that the U.S. gets all of its energy from alternative sources, but acknowledges that the country isn’t at a stage yet where it can rely on solar, wind and other green technologies.