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Patrick Murphy releases new ad blasting Marco Rubio’s Senate attendance record

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Florida Democratic Senate candidate Patrick Murphy is blasting Marco Rubio in a new ad that hits at the GOP incumbent’s attendance record in the U.S. Senate.

Rubio’s record of missing votes became an issue while he was running for president earlier this year. And  the Tampa Bay Times reported last month that he also has a poor record of attending classified Intelligence Meetings as well, missing 20 of 23 such events.

The new ad attacks Rubio for missing a specific vote that he boasted about in an ad for his campaign that was released on his behalf last week. The ad said that “Rubio wrote the toughest sanctions on Hezbollah ever passed.”

“Wait a minute,” the narrator interrupts. “Marco Rubio didn’t show up for that vote.”

The Murphy campaign then provides a link to The Congressional Record showing that Rubio did not participate in a vote on sanctioning the Middle Eastern terrorist group Nov. 17, 2015.

“On the issues that matter to Florida, Marco Rubio has been consistently absent,” said Murphy Campaign Spokeswoman Galia Slayen. “When national security votes came before the Senate, Rubio missed them and when key foreign policy issues came before Senate committees, Rubio didn’t attend. Floridians deserve a Senator who stands up every day for their safety and security. Marco Rubio is not that Senator and it’s embarrassing that he is touting a bill that he didn’t even show up to vote for.”

Rubio is currently being challenged by Manatee County developer Carlos Beruff for the Republican nomination for Senate. Beruff has also attempted to bring down Rubio on the attendance issue, but hasn’t broken through yet in the polls.

Murphy is running against congressman Alan Grayson and for Navy Officer JAG and labor attorney Pam Keith in the Aug. 30 primary contest.

In response, a spokesman for the Rubio campaign pooh-poohed Murphy’s ad.

“Patrick Murphy has never accomplished anything in his life, and now he’s lying about Marco’s strong record of fighting to keep America safe.” said Michael Ahrens, a Rubio campaign spokesman. “Marco’s work to put tough sanctions on Hezbollah was met with strong bipartisan support and passed unanimously. Actually getting results in Congress is something Patrick Murphy knows nothing about. Floridians can’t trust Patrick Murphy and they won’t fall for these false attacks.”

And Ahrens said that there wasn’t even a roll call vote in the Senate like the ad claims. “It passed by unanimous consent,” he writes in an email.



Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at

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