Thursday, September 9, 2010

PA08 First debate - Mike Fitzpatrick cleans Murphy's clock

KYW1060 has a nice summary of the first official debate between Patrick Murphy (he's a Democrat which is not something he brags about on his website) and Republican challenger Mike Fitzpatrick.  As you may have guessed from the title Murphy didn't fare well in the debate. While I have not been shy in expressing my disagreement with Congressman Murphy over well, everything, I think I offer a fair assessment of the debate; Fitzpatrick cleaned Murphy's clock.   Listen to the debate podcast at KYW and judge for yourself.

Many have been pointing to the race in the 8th as a bellwether in recent days, this may be true on many levels.  Murphy's performance is a bellwether for Democratic arguments and their potential to resonate with an outraged electorate.  Case in point,  Murphy is forced to defend his indefensible voting record while groping for an argument that might provide him some traction against Fitzpatrick.  Murphy reaches back in time for Fitzpatrick's vote for CAFTA, inaccurately linking it with NAFTA (see below) while hoping against hope voters might see this as motivation to vote against Fitzpatrick.  This borders on the delusional.  As if voters will somehow overlook Murphy's utter defiance of the will of the people in his votes for health care, cap and trade and the rest of the Obama/Pelosi/Reid job-killing agenda because Fitzpatrick voted for CAFTA.

Murphy exaggerates frequently and distorts when exaggeration fails him.  He spends much of his time meandering through a litany of Obamaisms of the blame Bush variety, tying Fitzpatrick to Bush for added measure.  This seems fairly desperate but it is in keeping with the rest of Murphy's performance.  Debates can be decisive in tight elections which should give Fitzpatrick supporters cause for celebration.  Frankly, as much as I oppose Murphy,  I even expected a better performance from Murphy.

The Fitzpatrick Campaign offers a fact-check that should lay to rest any doubts about Murphy's credibility or competence; he has neither:
PHILADELPHIA, Pa.-- In their first face-to-face encounter of the fall campaign, Mike Fitzpatrick trounced incumbent Congressman Patrick Murphy during a taping of Larry Kane's Voice of Reason earlier today.During the debate, Fitzpatrick pressed Congressman Murphy on record unemployment that more than doubled during his time in Congress.

Unable to provide any plan for economic recovery and job creation, Murphy feebly claimed that the massive $787 billion stimulus bill he championed last year has helped the economy. Additionally, to hide his record of increasing joblessness and deficit spending, Murphy grossly misstated and made up facts during the thirty-minute debate.

Murphy claimed that during the eight years of the Bush Administration, during two of which Murphy was also a member of Congress, America lost 8 million jobs. In fact, according to a Wall Street Journal study published in January of 2009, there was a net gain of 3 million jobs between January 2001 and January 2009. "Congressman Murphy has never been particularly good at counting jobs," Fitzpatrick said, "unemployment is high enough, but now Patrick Murphy is trying to make 11 million more jobs disappear."

Additionally, Murphy claimed that the North American Free Trade Agreement was enacted by a Republican Congress. In reality, NAFTA was enacted in 1993, when Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress. It was later signed into law by then President Bill Clinton, also a Democrat. "This is just a further example of how Congressman Murphy is willing to bend the truth to suit his political needs," Fitzpatrick said, "unfortunately for Congressman Murphy he can't hide the fact that unemployment is at 9.6% and he has no plan to reduce it."

The debate is scheduled to air on the Comcast Network station on Sunday, September 12th at 9:30 PM and Wednesday, September 15th at 5:30 PM.


  1. Too bad FitzFlop isn't much better than Patlosi. During his one unmemorable term in office, Mike F. co-sponsored Cap and Trade and Card Check, was the poster boy for earmarks, and voted against defunding sanctuary cities. Two pathetic choices in PA-08. But yes, in the spirit of voting for the lesser of two evils, Mike F is the better option.

  2. Well Anonymous I respect that some feel that Mike F is not a conservative in the Jim DeMint mold but this is the 8th district in PA. This is a more conservative district than most acknowledge nationally but it isn't a bastion for conservatism. Personally I would rather have a Mike Fitzpatrick who would "flip flop" on issues like cap and trade and card check than a Murphy who would never consider another side unless Nancy Pelosi tells him it is ok.

    One thing is perfectly clear in the audio from the debate, Murphy is way out of his league debating Fitzpatrick. Mike Fitzpatrick ran rings around him. Let's face it Murphy just isn't that bright. That doesn't excuse his abysmal voting record though.

    In my opinion this is not a choice between the lesser of two evils. I was ready to lose it during that health care debate when the best we could hope for from our Congressman was that his staff wouldn't treat us with open contempt. Murphy was despicable and his staff was worse. I have said here and with many other bloggers I would feel this election lost even if we took the House and Senate if I were still forced to have this Pelosi puppet represent me in Congress.


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