Conventional wisdom among some pundits (and Florida Democrats) is that Patrick Murphy is more viable in a general election U.S. Senate contest in Florida in 2016 than his most prominent Democratic opponent, U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson.
While the fire-breathing Grayson is a hero to progressives in the Sunshine State and around the country for his take-no-prisoners attitude toward Republicans, Murphy’s political record and rhetoric is much more centrist in nature, which is what establishment Florida Democrats in particular seem to favor in every major election — though those results haven’t turned out very well in recent years (See Charlie Crist, Alex Sink, Bill McBride, etc.).
It appears that the folks at the conservative-leaning American Crossroads Super PAC feel that Murphy would be a tougher candidate, though, as they’re focusing all of their attention on him these days, well over a year before the general election.
In an email sent out on Thursday that could have been dictated from the Grayson campaign headquarters, American Crossroads writes that the 32-year-old congressman “has had a tough few weeks trying to pander to his base.”
They cite Murphy’s recent support from the group End Citizens United — which supports candidates who want to enact campaign finance reform and reverse the controversial 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision that lifted the cap on political spending by individuals and corporations. The issue there is that the South Florida congressman leaned on Super PAC funding during his 2012 congressional campaign, and has received a $25,000 contribution from a super PAC called Floridians for a Strong Middle Class for the current Senate campaign. Last week Grayson touted how Murphy wouldn’t sign a pledge not to accept super PAC funding in their Senate race.
American Crossroads also cites Murphy’s interview last Sunday on the program Facing South Florida with Jim DeFede, where Murphy says he no longer believes in raising the Social Security retirement age and means testing for Social Security benefits — “certainly not things he wants Democrat(ic) primary voters talking about,” the emailer reads.
And the conservative Super PAC basically gives Grayson some talking points (not that he needs the help) by saying that Murphy has voted against every single Democratic and Progressive Caucus budget since being elected in 2012, with convenient Internet links to the roll call listings of all of those votes.
“Political opportunist Patrick Murphy is trying to transition from Republican to ‘moderate Democrat’ to ‘liberal Democrat,’ all in the span of three short years,” says American Crossroads Communications Director Ian Prior in a statement. “Unfortunately for Murphy, people are starting to see through his act and this time he’ll find it’s not so easy to buy his way into office.”
The email also comes equipped with a picture of a fine looking suit, with nobody in it.