The ad was combined with an introductory biographical ad on YouTube where Murphy describes herself as “a patriot, not a politician.”
Murphy, acknowledging that he is “seriously considering” a Senate run in 2022 or 2024 when Republican Sen. Rick Scott is running for reelection, said his initiative is designed to “regroup, refocus and revitalize Florida Democrats” who have watched Republicans organize, message and vote for them, turning the once-purple swing state into a ruddy battlefield.
The initiative, which will initially be a series of virtual conversations with party leaders and activists across the state, will be administered for Murphy by former political director of the Florida Democratic Party, Lauren Calmet, who has just been hired by the congresswoman. The talks, Murphy said, will revolve around five pillars: the Covid-19 pandemic, managing disinformation, fighting climate change, advancing social justice and fighting voter suppression.
Murphy said he wanted to get started as soon as possible in a non-election year based on advice he received last week from Stacey Abrams, the Georgia Democrat who helped organize her party and register so many new voters that she helped the once-red state . defeat Donald Trump and elect two Democrats to the United States Senate. Murphy said he wants their effort to build the “right money, message and machinery” to make Democrats competitive in the state, which would include increasing voter registration efforts after Republicans eliminated this once powerful advantage of the Democrats last year.
Nowhere were Republican breakthroughs as tough as in Rubio’s hometown of Miami-Dade in 2020. Once a secure Democratic stronghold, Trump came within single digits of winning it, in part due to his organizing efforts and its outreach to the Hispanic communities of South Florida. with exiles who had fled leftist regimes and violence in Latin America.
As the daughter of immigrants who fled communist Vietnam in 1978, Murphy has told her family’s story in English and Spanish during the campaign, which could have special relevance in Miami-Dade. Murphy, a former educator, businesswoman and advisor to the Department of Defense, has in recent years become an open voice among Florida Democrats by denouncing socialism and calling herself a capitalist.
“It is important that Democrats are clearer about our values and make it clear where we are,” Murphy said. “We live in the largest democracy in the world and have benefited from a free market economic system that needs improvement but does not need to be scrapped and replaced by socialism that has proven time and again that it does not work for people.”
Juan Peñalosa, former executive director of the Florida Democratic Party, said Murphy is at the forefront of Democrats who reject “Republican arguments that try to paint us as socialists or anti-American by telling these personal stories. And the fact that Republicans like Rubio pledged allegiance to their fellow Republicans in the midst of the insurrection that occurred on the US Capitol only strengthens our argument and weakens theirs. “
When Rubio first ran statewide in 2010, he emphasized his family’s emigration from Cuba. In 2013, Rubio, currently vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, was part of the bipartisan Senate group “Gang of Eight” that tried to pass immigration reform and often discussed the legislation through the prism of his history. family.
Murphy today looks a lot like the Rubio of yesteryear.
“I come to this from a personal perspective,” he said. “My family and I escaped communist Vietnam when I was just a baby. And this country gave us refuge and gave me the opportunity and I have had this opportunity to live the American dream ”.
Murphy’s track record and unique biography (she would be the first statewide Asian-American elected in Florida and was the first woman of Vietnamese descent elected to Congress) has made her one of the top recruits for the Majority Leader of the Senate Chuck Schumer, who privately urged her to consider challenging Rubio and helping Democrats win a clear 50-50 majority in the US Senate, according to two sources who have been briefed on her recruiting effort. Murphy declined to discuss the talks.
Murphy’s colleague from Orlando, Rep. Val Demings, has also been approached to compete against Rubio, but has been less engaged than Murphy, sources said. Demings, who served as an impeachment manager during Trump’s first impeachment trial and was discussed as a possible running mate for Joe Biden, sits in a safer seat in Congress than Murphy. With redistricting on the horizon next year, there is high expectation that the Republican-led Legislature could greatly redistribute Murphy’s seat in Congress because the Orlando area is expected to get another seat due to the boom in population growth.
Former representative Alan Grayson, who also hails from Orlando, is also considering a run against Rubio. So far, three little-known Democrats have run to run against Rubio: Allen Ellison, Joshua Weil and Edward Abud.
Murphy said she does not have a timeline for any future announcements and stressed that the initiative is not about her.
“Even if I don’t run, I want to make sure we have a candidate and the party infrastructure to help Democrats win across the state and put Florida families first,” he said.