President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden announced their endorsement of Congressman Patrick Murphy for U.S. Senate Wednesday, Murphy’s campaign announced.
The endorsements bring the biggest possible names into the hotly-contested race for the Democratic nomination for Florida’s U.S. Senate seat between Murphy, of Jupiter, and U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson or Orlando.
And it comes one day after a poll finds that, despite all the controversies Grayson has found himself in recently, fanned by Murphy’s campaign, Grayson continues to lead. Another Democrat, Pam Keith of Palm Beach Gardens, also is in the race.
In a news release issued by Murphy’s campaign, Obama called Murphy a “tireless champion for middle-class families.”
“I am proud to endorse Congressman Patrick Murphy for the United States Senate. Patrick has been a tireless champion for middle-class families and a defender of the economic progress that American workers and businesses have made,” Obama stated in the release. “In Congress, he’s fought to strengthen Medicare and Social Security, reform our criminal justice system, and protect a woman’s right to choose. Floridians can count on Patrick Murphy to stand up for them every day as their next Senator.”
Biden also cited the middle class in his statement in the release.
“I’m proud to endorse Congressman Patrick Murphy for U.S. Senate, a leader who knows what’s important: growing our economy from the middle class out, helping families put food on the table and save a little for the future. Patrick Murphy has the progressive values, the work ethic, and the youthful energy the U.S. Senate needs,” Biden stated. “He’ll work tirelessly to bring people together to make a difference for Florida’s middle class.”
Grayson’s campaign responded calling the endorsements “the DC establishment” and noted they come one day after Grayson endorsed outsider Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders against Hillary Clinton.
And Murphy’s (or Grayson’s) potential opponents in the general election began weighing in, with the U.S. Senate campaign for Republican Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera suggesting the endorsements help mark Murphy as “Charlie Crist 2.0.”
For Murphy, the endorsements could not come any higher; he already has brought in dozens of Democratic endorsements. Grayson, meanwhile, has brought in a few of his own, mostly from people in the progressive wing of the party.
“I am honored that President Obama and Vice President Biden are endorsing my campaign for Florida’s middle-class families,” Murphy stated in the release. “The president, the vice president and I share the same values and commitment — strengthening Social Security and Medicare for our seniors, protecting a woman’s right to choose, and growing America’s middle class.
“Over the past seven years, President Obama and Vice President Biden have been champions for Democrats and hardworking families across our country, and I am humbled and proud to receive their endorsement and campaign shoulder-to-shoulder with them for what we believe in,” he continued.
“These endorsements are a last-ditch effort by the DC Establishment to try to blunt our large and growing command of the race. It comes as no surprise that these moves are made just two days after Rep. Grayson became the first major statewide candidate in the country to endorse the anti-Establishment candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, for the Presidency. They come just one day after a new poll shows Rep. Grayson with a double-digit lead, winning among men and women, every age group, and whites, blacks and Hispanics. The anti-Democratic Party Establishment is desperate to drag Grayson’s opponent, their do-nothing, errand boy for Wall Street, over the finish line. But Florida voters in both parties are fed up with egregious manipulation by outside forces to dictate our candidates. These arrogant Empire-Strikes-Back efforts by the Democratic politburo will be no more successful than the similar failed attempts by Republican party bosses. This is the year when the voters decide.”
Here is a response from Brian Swensen, Campaign Manager for Carlos Lopez-Cantera for U.S. Senate:
“Patrick Murphy continues on the path to become Charlie Crist 2.0 by moving further and further to the left for political expediency and gain. This simply shows that, like Charlie Crist, Murphy, the former Republican turned Democrat, cannot be trusted and will always pander to whatever group that will aid his ambition. By receiving Obama’s endorsement Murphy has cast his allegiance to those who don’t believe in American exceptionalism, those whose policies have severely hindered economic growth and those who refuse to stand with our most important ally, Israel.”