Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) lambasted his Democratic opponent Rep. Patrick Murphy for misleading the public about his career as a Certified Public Accountant and small business owner during Florida’s first senatorial debate Monday night.
Murphy’s resume became an issue for his campaign in June when Miami’s local CBS4 affiliate published a story revealing that Murphy never actually 'worked a day in his life as a Certified Public Accountant." The investigative report also noted that Murphy had never owned or operated a small business even though he had referenced his experience as a small business owner when he first ran for Congress in 2012.
Moderator Jon Karl asked Murphy during the debate about the report and if he had misled voters about his qualifications and resume. Murphy attempted to deflect the question by blaming the charges on right wing attacks from Rubio.
'If I may, those are not my attacks. That’s reporting of CBS4 in Miami and Jim Defede, one of the most respected, and I would say feared investigative reporters in the state," Rubio responded.
Rubio then castigated Murphy over his career and qualifications.
'You never had a license to work as a CPA in Florida, so either you never worked as a CPA or you were working illegally as an unlicensed CPA," Rubio said.
He then held Murphy accountable for his other alleged resume fabrications.
'You never had a single contract to clean up the Gulf of Mexico," Rubio said, referencing Murphy’s small business. 'So the company was only open for five months and it lost money from the beginning."
Rubio also hit Murphy for claiming to have a dual degree from the University of Miami even though he has a single degree in Business Administration.
'Why does someone make things up about their record?" Rubio asked. 'Because they don’t have a real one to talk about."
Murphy has also tried to frame himself as an outsider in Florida’s Senate race but has faced criticism from Rubio over this claim as well.
'You are not some outsider running to go in the Senate. You are a sitting congressman who has been in the Congress for four years," Rubio said. 'And you cannot tell us a single signature achievement that you have been able to achieve in your four years in the House. Not one."
Rubio initially called for six debates before the election, but now there is only two after resistance from Murphy. They will face off in their next and final debate hosted by the Florida Press Association on Oct. 26.