No more Mr. Nice Guy: U.S. Rep. John Mica, who vowed last month to try to present a positive campaign as long as possible, has launched a new TV commercial blasting the backers and views of his Democratic opponent, Stephanie Murphy.
In the 30-second commercial “Washington’s Perfect Candidate,” debuting Wednesday on Orlando TV, Mica, a 12-term Republican from Winter Park, ties Murphy to Democratic U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and “Washington D.C.” insiders, claiming they are trying to buy the Central Florida seat for Murphy. He also charges in the ad that Murphy’s backers include the “scandalous” principals of the failed American Pioneer Savings Bank in Orlando, and that she is facing an ethics complaint.
The commercial also goes after Murphy’s position supporting the Iran nuclear deal, including the alleged cash-for-hostages stipulation in that deal. Mica has steadfastly opposed the entire deal and Murphy has grudgingly supported it, though she has said there are parts she does not like.
“Nancy Pelosi recruited Stephanie Murphy. So D.C. special interests are throwing in millions to defeat John Mica,” the commercial begins.
“Stephanie’s perfect for Washington D.C. But not for Central Florida,” the ad concludes.
The reference to Pelosi is based on the acknowledged situation that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee hand-picked Murphy in June after spending months looking for a Democratic candidate to take on Mica. While Pelosi heads the House Democrats, the committee is chaired by U.S Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico.
The reference to American Pioneer Savings and Loan, which went belly-up in the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s and ’90s, costing taxpayers a half-billion dollars, is based on foundational contributions made to her campaign by her father-in-law Ed Haddock, and Richard Swann, who were principals in American Pioneer.
“Before she announced, only a handful of people had ever heard of Stephanie Murphy,” Mica campaign spokesman Alan Byrd stated. “She has no record in our community. This ad paints a clear picture of the D.C.-propped-up, straw candidate revealing Murphy’s shady financial backing and flawed judgement and ethics problems. it’s even more clear that we need Congressman Mica’s outstanding track record to continue providing proven leadership for Central Florida.”
Murphy’s campaign responded by calling the commercial an act of desperation.
“Congressman Mica’s campaign is in panic mode and they are so desperate to deflect away from his sinking poll numbers that they are trying to associate Stephanie Murphy with a news event that took place when she was 15 years old,” Brad Howard, campaign manager for Stephanie Murphy for Congress, stated. “It’s unfortunate that instead of talking about what he’d do to move this country forward, Congressman Mica has chosen to demean Stephanie’s stellar record of service to the community and our country — just like Donald Trump continues to demean women everywhere. While Mica’s campaign resorts to personal attacks, misrepresentations, and downright lies, our campaign is focused on highlighting John Mica’s own words and his far-right record voting against commonsense gun laws and restricting women’s rights.”