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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Patrick Murphy attack ad calls out Marco Rubio on missed Hezbollah vote



U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, is going after Sen. Marco Rubio for a familiar complaint: Missing a vote in the U.S. Senate.

In an ad released last week, Rubio paints himself as a tough voice on national security.

“Rubio wrote the toughest sanctions on Hezbollah ever passed,” the ad says.

But Murphy has a problem with that: “Wait a minute,” the narrator on a new digital ad by the campaign says, “Marco Rubio didn’t show up for that vote.”

According to the Congressional Record, Rubio was absent from the Senate on Nov. 17, 2015, the day the chamber voted on the sanctions, called the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015. There was no roll-call vote, but he wasn't there to approve it.

The Times reported at the time that Rubio’s presidential campaign had planned a three-day fundraising swing through New York, Texas, California and Arizona that began Nov. 17.

To be fair, Rubio did have a role in passing the bipartisan Hezbollah bill, even if he wasn’t there to vote for it. He’s the main sponsor of the Senate’s Hezbollah bill.

"Patrick Murphy has never accomplished anything in his life, and now he's lying about Marco's strong record of fighting to keep America safe," Rubio spokesman Michael Ahrens said. "Marco's work to put tough sanctions on Hezbollah was met with strong bipartisan support and passed unanimously. Actually getting results in Congress is something Patrick Murphy knows nothing about." 

Now, Rubio is running for U.S. Senate. His chief competition in the Aug. 30 Republican primary is Manatee County developer Carlos Beruff. Murphy is one of the main Democratic contenders Rubio could face in the November general election.

Rubio has been criticized in the past for his missed votes. Last year, the Times reported that Rubio had the worst missed-vote record of any U.S. senator: 29 percent.

You can see Murphy’s ad below:

[Last modified: Monday, August 1, 2016 2:00pm]


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