The Club for Growth, a PAC supporting free-market solutions in the economy, took sides in the potential Democratic primary to replace U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., in 2016, launching a new TV ad on Tuesday.
The new ad praises U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., for opposing the Export-Import Bank, while hitting Murphy for supporting it. The new TV spot starts on MSNBC on Wednesday. Murphy launched a bid for the Senate back in March while Grayson has left the door open to entering the contest.
“Congressional Democrats, like Patrick Murphy, are in virtual lockstep in their support for the big corporate special interests that gain taxpayer-provided financing from the Export-Import Bank,” said former U.S. Rep. David McIntosh, R-Ind., the president of the Club for Growth. “Despite the hundreds of fraud claims against Ex-Im, and the 31 open fraud investigations involving the bank, Murphy still wants an expansion of Ex-Im. But, Alan Grayson has stood firm in the face of intense Democrat pressure for extending Ex-Im’s life. Even Hillary Clinton is pleading for Ex-Im’s reauthorization. That’s why the Club for Growth is urging Florida Democrats to get involved in the fight against cronyism and corruption by calling on their Democrat representatives to join Alan Grayson in opposing Ex-Im.”
“Two Florida Democrats in Congress with very different views,” the narrator of the ad says. “Alan Grayson opposes the Export-Import Bank, which spends billions of tax dollars on a handful of giant corporations. Patrick Murphy supports the Ex-Im Bank and wants to funnel billions more to corporate fat cats. Congress will soon vote. Tell your Democratic members of Congress to side with Grayson, not Murphy, and stop the Export-Import Bank’s outrageous corporate giveaways.”
Murphy’s camp quickly struck back. Josh Wolf, Murphy’s campaign manager, insisted the Club for Growth and other conservatives are scared of his candidate and are already looking to derail him.
"The fact that an ultra-right-wing Super PAC that aims to privatize Social Security is attacking Patrick is the clearest sign that he's the strongest candidate in this race,” Wolf said. “Patrick entered public office to fight back against tea party obstructionists like the Club for Growth who are intent on outsourcing Florida jobs overseas and privatizing Social Security and Medicare."
In an email to supporters sent out on Tuesday night, Wolf once again slammed the “ultra-right-wing Super PAC Club for Growth" and asked, “Why are they attacking him? Because they know that he's the only Democrat who can win. The Club for Growth is targeting strong Democrats across the country -- they've even attacked Elizabeth Warren on the same issue.”
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter: @KevinDerbySSN