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MSNBC "Decision 08" - Transcript

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MSNBC "Decision 08"

MS. MITCHELL: Well, the finish line is now less than 24 hours away. A Quinnipiac poll just released shows the two separated by seven points, with Clinton still on top, 51 percent to 44.

Congressman Patrick Murphy, an Obama supporter, joins me now from WCAU, our station here in Philadelphia.

Welcome, Congressman, good to see you. You come from a key district, a district that has been trending towards Barack Obama -- upper class, suburban voters. What are you seeing among your constituents?

REP. MURPHY: I think the wind's clearly at Senator Obama's back. But Andrea, let's not kid ourselves. He was down 33 points just a couple months ago. A win for Barack Obama, I think would be anything in single digits and it would be a miracle. But I think if we do that, I think we can hold our heads high because, listen, Senator Clinton is in a neighboring district in New York. She's a brand name; it's the Clinton machine. The fact is, is she is, you know, more well-known than Barack Obama. But he is really the underdog in this race, and he's really making a lot of great gains.

MS. MITCHELL: Well, one of the ways he's been making gains is by outspending her by more than two to one, outspending her by $7 million on the air, as far as the Clinton campaign's counting goes. Barack Obama, on Saturday, talked about the Clinton campaign strategy from his perspective. Let's listen to that.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL): (From recording.) You know, over the last several weeks, since she fell behind, she's resorted to what's called "kitchen sink" strategies. (Cheers from crowd.) She's got the kitchen sink flying and the china flying and the -- (cheers) -- yeah, the buffet's coming at me.

MS. MITCHELL: But in truth, Congressman, both sides have been throwing everything they've got from each other. Do you have concerns that before this is over the Democrats will have destroyed each other and you're only going to elect John McCain?

REP. MURPHY: Sure. First, Andrea, I don't think I agree with your premise. I think Barack Obama has clearly shown -- he's run a very positive campaign. If you saw the debate, which I know you did, the first hour was throwing the kitchen sink at him, between Senator Clinton and the moderators. But the fact is, is that he stood tall and he looked people in the eye and let them know where he stood. And I think he withstood that attack.

Now, when you say as far as, you know, being outspent --

MS. MITCHELL: Well, I mean, there have been ads over the weekend, Congressman: the health care ad over the weekend, the lobbyist ad over the weekend, the conference calls from his campaign aides. I mean, both sides have been doing this. So he may say that he's taking the high road, but everybody around him is not taking the high road.

REP. MURPHY: Well, you know, I think we could have a difference of opinion there. I think -- the people that are around him -- he can't muzzle every single volunteer in his organization. But, you know, he -- and they're responding to the attacks.

I mean, listen, Barack Obama is a tough guy. I saw, you know, James Hoffa talk and I was with the teamsters on Saturday night at the Bricklayers Hall honoring Billy Hamilton. The fact is, they're fired up and ready to go. And as far as the AFSCME guys, my father is an AFSCME member, Andrea. And I tell you, working-class folks believe that Barack Obama will fight for them. And not just fight for them, you know, some of them time. He'll fight for them all the time. And that's what most middle-class Americans want in their president.

MS. MITCHELL: I don't know if the polls are accurate, but certainly the polls, Congressman, show that the working class vote, the blue-collar vote is more in Hillary Clinton's camp. Why do you think that has been the case, at least in the way people are polling?

REP. MURPHY: Well, I think -- first off, across the country, I wouldn't agree with you. I mean, Barack Obama's won 30 contests. Senator Clinton's won 14. But in Pennsylvania, when you say Pennsylvania specifically, listen, Senator Clinton's a neighboring U.S. senator from New York. Her brand name is out there. And Pennsylvania is the second-oldest state in the whole country, so the fact is, is that people know the brand name of Clinton. And that's part of the reason why she is up in polls.

But when you look at -- you know, when your question is, you know, tearing the party apart, you know, listen, I want to see both our candidates -- you know, I'm a fan of both of them -- really run positive campaigns. But when you look at what's happened now, we have over 300,000 more Democrats registered to vote this Tuesday, tomorrow. And you wouldn't have had that if we didn't have this campaign going on. So for all those folks that say, oh, we're destroying ourselves, let me tell you something: The Democratic Party in Pennsylvania is alive and well. For the first time in our history, we've gone over 4 million -- 4 million Democrats now are eligible to vote this Tuesday, and that's a great thing for our party.

MS. MITCHELL: Briefly, before I let you go, Congressman, if Hillary Clinton were to lose or only win narrowly, do you think she should drop out?

REP. MURPHY: Listen, that's her decision, but I will tell you that I think that if -- you know, if she doesn't win by 20 points or the 33 points that she was up before, if she loses in Indiana and North Carolina, I think -- you know, I think -- you know, hopefully we'll make a decision what's in the best for our country. And I think that's the most important thing.

And I think we really need to set ourselves apart from Senator McCain, who's really agreeing with the Bush eight years, you know, saying that we should have the tax breaks for the wealthiest 1 percent, saying we should be in Iraq for the next hundred years. I mean, you think about that, after we just had the most bloodiest year in Iraq since we've been in there for five years. You know, we have a lot of challenges that America faces right now that we have to address. But either one of these candidates will get after it. And I think that Barack Obama is the most inspirational and has the most ability to do just that.

MS. MITCHELL: Okay. Congressman Patrick Murphy, who, of course, is an Iraq war veteran, so speaks with a little bit of authority -- more than a little bit of authority. Thank you very much, Congressman. Thanks for joining us today.

REP. MURPHY: Thanks, Andrea.


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