By Sam Foster
Well the cat's out of the bag now.
Earlier this evening, Scott Murphy and Chris Gibson squared off in what might be the only debate for NY's 20th congressional district. With the Democratic leadership in Washington warning incumbent Democrats to stay away from talking up the cost aspect of health care legislation, I was wondering what pitch Scott Murphy would make in his run for reelection.
It wasn't long into the debate before it became apparent that Scott Murphy's secret campaign strategy was to tout someone else's voting record. One of my sources attending the debate noted that at one point Scott Murphy claimed, "People in Washington come to me because I'm known as a deficit hawk." If that's what they say when they come, one must wonder what they think of congressman Murphy after they've left. During last March's health care vote, Scott Murphy switched from a "no" to "yes" vote after having been pressured by the Washington Democrat leadership.
With Murphy's support, the nearly trillion dollar health care plan was voted into law. Less than two weeks ago, Scott Murphy voted for an education jobs bill that added more than twelve billion to the national deficit according to the nonpartisan CBO.
The debate is the first time Scott Murphy has had to defend his record from a congressional challenger and in future debates he may want find a voting record at least somewhat resembling his own. Tweets from a Capital Confidential reporter shows Chris Gibson may have been effective in pointing this out to the attendees.
In one exchange, Chris Gibson said of Murphy's health care vote, "you got it right the first time." I'd be willing to bet the candidate who's voting record Scott Murphy copied this evening would have agreed.
I'll be adding updates from media coverage as they become available. Tomorrow, footage of the debate should be made available.