Florida Politics

VP Joe Biden to campaign in Florida for candidate in enemy territory

On March 28, Vice President Joe Biden headlined a luncheon fundraiser for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy in Miami-Dade County, after which the pair made a brief appearance at a restaurant in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood.
On March 28, Vice President Joe Biden headlined a luncheon fundraiser for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy in Miami-Dade County, after which the pair made a brief appearance at a restaurant in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood. Miami Herald

For the second time this spring, Vice President Joe Biden is campaigning for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy in Florida.

But this time, it’ll be on the turf of Murphy’s Democratic opponent — in Orlando.

Biden’s official schedule for Thursday has him delivering remarks at 10 a.m. at an event for Murphy, which is being held “at a private residence.”

After a speech in Tampa on Wednesday, Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, came to Orlando in the afternoon to attend the 2016 Invictus Games.

The Bidens stayed overnight in the city for the event with Murphy Thursday morning. They plan to leave Florida later in the afternoon to go to Wilmington, Delaware, according to the vice president’s official schedule.

Murphy, a congressman from Jupiter, is in a fierce primary contest with fellow U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, who lives in Orlando and whose congressional district represents part of the city.

In March, Biden headlined a luncheon fundraiser for Murphy in Miami-Dade County, after which the pair made a brief appearance at a restaurant in Overtown.

Biden’s repeated presence in Florida is symbolic of both the significance of the U.S. Senate race here and the Democratic establishment’s fervent support of Murphy over Grayson in the Aug. 30 primary.

The Senate seat being vacated by Republican Marco Rubio is seen as one of a handful of seats nationwide that could flip and, potentially, help Democrats win back control of the chamber.

Top Democrats — including Biden, President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid — have lined up behind Murphy’s campaign. The lop-sided affair has become a bit of a flashpoint in the primary contest.

Some of those tensions boiled over on Wednesday, when Grayson — who has garnered most of his support from progressive leaders and grassroots donors — confronted Reid during a closed-door progressive caucus meeting in Washington, D.C., demanding Reid “say my name.”

Kristen M. Clark: 850-222-3095, kclark@miamiherald.com, @ByKristenMClark

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