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Murphy Defends Defense Bill Votes Outside Electric Boat

by Hugh McQuaid | Aug 8, 2012 5:28pm
(8) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Election 2012

Hugh McQuaid Photo

U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy shakes hands with an Electric Boat worker in Groton

In addition to supporters and Electric Boat workers, U.S. Senate candidate Chris Murphy was met with protesters during his visit Wednesday to the Groton submarine factory.

Murphy and his U.S. House colleague Joe Courtney stopped by the Electric Boat plant to chat and shake hands with workers as they left work after shift change. But a small group of protesters joined the crowd with signs denouncing Murphy and his voting record.

Don Peters drove to Groton from his home in Enfield because he felt Murphy would be detrimental to Connecticut’s defense industry if elected to the U.S. Senate.

“I don’t think he’s a friend of anybody who’s from the defense industry or the soldiers doing their jobs,” he said.

Peters, a retired Republican who used to work for The Hartford, said he’d like to see former U.S. Rep. Chris Shays elected to the Senate. But his criticism of Murphy’s record with the defense industry was similar to that of Shays’ primary opponent, Linda McMahon.

Murphy and McMahon are both considered the frontrunners in their respective party primary races and in recent weeks have spent more time trading barbs with each other than their inter-party challengers.

Ahead of Murphy’s Groton visit, the McMahon campaign sent out a statement calling attention to the U.S. rep’s opposition to two defense spending bills which passed the House this year. Both bills funded submarine construction at Electric Boat.

“Congressman Chris Murphy has completely failed Connecticut. Not only has he been in elected office for nearly 5,000 days without a jobs plan, he has actually voted to put Connecticut families on the unemployment line,” McMahon campaign manager Corry Bliss, said.

Murphy has maintained that he voted against the bills because they continued an open-ended timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. On Wednesday he said McMahon was attacking his record to distract attention from her own spotty history when it comes to Electric Boat.

“She’s trying to make people forget her disastrous appearance here a couple months ago when she said that if elected, she might vote to close the sub base. She compounded her mistake by then showing her ignorance of federal law by suggesting she would wait until she saw the list of closures before she voted on the bill. I mean, Linda McMahon has no clue about how to protect Southeastern Connecticut,” he said.

Murphy said none of the Electric Boat workers he’d talked to expressed concerns about his votes on the defense bills. Rather, the workers were feeling optimistic about their region and wanted a senator who understands what middle class families are going through, he said.

“I don’t think there’s a lot of enthusiasm here for Linda McMahon because they don’t think she understands how to protect them or the struggles they’re going through in their lives,” Murphy said.

After shaking hands with Murphy, Electric Boat electrician Charlie Witt agreed.

“He’s the one candidate who’s going to work for the middle class,” Witt said. “Republicans are working for the upper 1 percent and it’s killing people here.”

But Peters and fellow protester Jerri MacMillian of Essex said Murphy actually works for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. MacMillian brought a sign with a picture of Pelosi telling Murphy to “Vote no on EB” and Murphy answering “Yes ma’am!”

“Pelosi says ‘Jump,’ he asks ‘How high?” Peters said.

It’s an idea the McMahon campaign is stressing as well. A line from Wednesday’s press release explains Murphy’s “no” votes on the defense bills with “Because he followed Nancy Pelosi, with whom he votes 98% of the time.”

The McMahon press release also points out that Courtney was supportive the bills and even pulls quotes from a statement his office made following its passage.

“Doubled submarine production at Electric Boat is good for EB, and has massive economic benefits that will ripple, up and down the supply chain, across Connecticut,” Courtney said in his press release.

Courtney said he wasn’t shocked to see his own words coopted for McMahon’s campaign.

“It’s a campaign and people are going to spin to try and support their position. It’s kind of par for the course I guess,” Courtney said.

Witt said Murphy’s no vote on the defense bills was not concerning to him because Murphy’s always been an avid supporter of Electric Boat. But Vince Giglio, a pipefitter for Electric Boat and Murphy supporter, was concerned about something else: the amount of television ads McMahon has been able to run in the election cycle. Murphy told him that though McMahon’s campaign has a lot of money, it wasn’t insurmountable.

“We can beat her, even without the money, if we get the word out,” he said.

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(8) Comments

posted by: Voter2012 | August 8, 2012  11:24pm

GOOD! Protest this hypocrite. The people of Connecticut should know. They deserve better than his sleezy democratic ways.

posted by: MGKW | August 9, 2012  9:07am

“WWE is family entertainment!”

Linda Mc$$$$ on the The Factor…the Bill O’Reilly Show August 2002.

posted by: CTConservative47 | August 9, 2012  9:10am

After the Democrats get done “downsizing” the military, both before and after sequestration, EB wil be lucky to survive.  The only hope is to elect Romney, and McMahon to preserve our essential defense capability.  The hypocrisy of CT’s Democrat politicians is astounding.  They have consistently supported reductions in defense spending, except, at election time, when they engage in the charade of pretending to protect EB.  The clueless Murphy is no friend of Electric Boat and the many businesses dependent on its success.

posted by: SalRomano | August 10, 2012  3:11pm

Day by day, more people are learning that both
Chris Murphy and Linda McMahon are “clueless.” Murphy for “milking the system” and doing nothing
for his constituents in 13 years, except building up a lucratve retirement pension for himself.  Which means Susan Bysiewicz should win the Democratic Primary—if Democratic voters vote honestly?  Linda McMahon is proving every day that she does not belong in Congress, although she is “paying through
the nose” to buy a Senate seat.  Which means that Chris Shays is the honest vote in the Republican Primary—but again, if voters vote honestly?

posted by: SalRomano | August 10, 2012  3:26pm

Smart Democratic voters will be voting for
Susan Bysiewicz in the Democratic Primary,over a Chris Murphy, who has been in Congress too long, without accomplishing a thing for his constituents,  and intelligent Republicans will vote for Christopher Shays, a class act, over a rich player in Linda McMahon, who has no qualifications to be in Congress—which she is trying to buy her way into, with her wealth.

Voters only need only to use common sense in both primaries.

posted by: CT Jim | August 10, 2012  3:40pm

Ct Conservative, what planet have you been on? The Brac commision in 2005 tried to close EB and who was president then??? Oh yeah it was republican GW Bush. I also noticed the BRAC commision was started under another republican President George HW Bush in 1990. So exactly how is electing Mittens doing anything to save EB? I would think Mittens would want to take the company & split it up into a million pieces, gut the pension and move the manufactoring part to China

posted by: SalRomano | August 10, 2012  7:32pm

CT Jim:  You and the rest of the blame-gamers are “still blaming Bush, as you can’t defend big time deficit spenders like Pres.Barack Obama and Chris (who only listens to Obama) Murphy!”  Mitt Romney isn’t counting on votes from radical Democrats like you, so he will be elected as our next President —without your vote! You must have had a bad nightmare last night, Jim, as you sound like you are still bent out of shape!

posted by: CitizenCT | August 11, 2012  9:00am

CTJim, I don’t know how to tell you this, but the charter of the BRAC commission was for defense base closures.  Electric Boat is part of General Dynamics, a publicly traded corporation.  Electric Boat isn’t a naval base subject to the BRAC process.  Your rant ignores the real question.  Why was Chris Murphy one of only 90 congressmen to vote against the defense appropriation act last month?  This bill was critical for stabilizing or growing EB employment.  Courtney, Himes, Larson and Rosa voted for it.  Why not Murphy?  CT citizens deserve an answer.  Murphy says jobs jobs jobs, but his voting record say quite the opposite.