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Republicans cut ‘Lifestyles of Rich and Famous’ parody of Patrick Murphy

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U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy may have the full support of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, but it looks like his opponent, fellow Congressman Alan Grayson, is getting the full backing of the National Republican Senatorial Committee in the upcoming Democratic primary.

That GOP committee is releasing a blistering video Wednesday called “The Privileged Life of Patrick Murphy,” parodying the old Robin Leach “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” reports of the 1980s, and depicting Murphy as rich, pampered, and saved and supported by his father’s money.

It references an incident in which a young Murphy was allegedly thrown out of a nightclub and arrested after shouting drunken expletives at a police officer, and the video includes what the NRSC said is a mug shot of Murphy from that night. The video also alleges his father, homebuilder Thomas Murphy Jr., “stroked a campaign check to the state’s attorney who dropped the charges.”

Murphy’s campaign responded Tuesday night calling it misleading and distorting.

“Clearly Republicans have learned nothing from the last time these misleading ads failed to persuade voters. Once again, Republican politicians are misleading voters and distorting Patrick’s record,” said Joshua Karp, Murphy’s communications director.

“The truth is that Patrick first ran for office to fight the Tea Party and their destructive, my-way-or-the-highway tactics,” Karp continued. “That’s why they’re desperate to mislead the voters, because they know that in the U.S. Senate, Patrick will fight for progressive values and get things done for Floridians.”

Mostly, the Republican video follows Leach’s iconic style with stock footage of mansions, rolling estates, polo players and glitzy nightclubs, while describing the lifestyle in “you-don’t-live-like-this” phrasing. One difference: the NRSC replaces Leach’s idolatry with sarcasm:

“Privileged Patrick was lured back to Florida by his Daddy’s trust fund and a job at the family company — which he got while the business was laying off thousands of workers. Naturally, he became a permanent fixture on the hot Miami Beach club scene,” the Leach-impersonating narrator exclaims. “But even popping bottles can get old — especially after your drunken debauchery gets you arrested.”

The video is to be released on the internet Wednesday, and the NRSC said it intends to put money behind it to promote a significant social media campaign.

The video ends with, “Daddy Murphy and his donor friends will try to use the same big-money playbook that got Patrick Murphy elected to Congress. But Florida’s U.S. Senate seat isn’t for sale.” And the last frame is a solicitation for contributions to the NRSC.

Grayson and his campaign, of course, have nothing to do with it.

But the attack ad continues the NRSC’s pre-primary, anti-Murphy efforts that suggest the committee is trying very hard to help Grayson win the August 30 Democratic primary so that Murphy is not the party’s candidate this fall for Florida’s open U.S. Senate seat.

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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