March 7, 2016

Patrick Murphy’s Lost Weekend

It’s official, Patrick Murphy had the worst weekend of his senate campaign.

Friday afternoon was dominated by coverage of his completely disingenuous attempt at participating in SEIU’s “minimum wage challenge,” which, in Patrick Murphy’s world, included jetting to ritzy fundraisers, being chauffeured around, and getting eviscerated on Twitter for how out-of-touch he is.

The Hill initially reported on Murphy’s off-message detour:

“Today, I’m starting the Minimum Wage Challenge, and I’m going to live on what that minimum wage salary would be, off food and travel, and see how difficult it is,” Murphy said.

On Thursday afternoon, Murphy tweeted a photograph of himself using cash to pay for a ticket on Washington’s Metro subway system. 

He wrote, “Day 2 of my Minimum Wage Challenge – take public transit. Rode the DC metro to work this morning.” And on Friday, Murphy tweeted, “Minimum Wage Challenge, Day 3 — groceries with my $17 daily budget was a challenge. #FLfor15 #FightFor15”

A few hours after sharing the Metro photograph on his congressional social media account, Murphy boarded a plane for Florida and attended a fundraiser at the Tampa home of former City Councilwoman Linda Saul-Sena, and her husband Mark.

On Saturday, Sunshine State News ran a brutal column, titled “Patrick Murphy Caught Livin’ Large at Minimum Wage Challenge”:

On Day 2 he slipped away to a port-and-caviar-style fundraiser thrown by wealthy supporters, and little did he know (but probably should have suspected it could happen), a Republican opposition group found him and filmed him livin’ lush and large.

Murphy would have been wiser to fess up rather than exposing his silver spoon to voters.

By Sunday, liberal bloggers were piling on.

But it didn’t end there. While mingling at a St. Petersburg Yacht Club (yes, also while supposedly living on the minimum wage), he lashed out at Tampa Bay Times reporter Adam Smith for asking about the hundreds of thousands of dollars Murphy’s wealthy father is pouring into his Super PAC:

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy assured an audience Friday that he finds the prevalence of big money in politics “disgusting” and that he is determined to overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling that opened the doors to unlimited donations by individuals and corporations.

But when asked by the Tampa Bay Times about the possibility of cutting off the biggest source of money flowing into his U.S. Senate race — his Republican father, who so far has given at least $200,000 — Murphy made it clear he did not appreciate the question.

“I hate the money in politics, and I hate the sort of gotcha questions, too,” said the Palm Beach County congressman, drawing applause from members of the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club.

To be fair to Murphy, he’d had a very bad day.