Mike Murphy (political consultant)
Murphy in 2016
|Born||1962 (age 57–58)|
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
|Alma mater||Georgetown University|
|Relatives||Joe Murphy (brother)|
Michael Ellis Murphy (born 1962) is a Republican political consultant, entertainment industry writer, and producer. He advised Republicans including John McCain, Jeb Bush, John Engler, Tommy Thompson, Spencer Abraham, Christie Whitman, Lamar Alexander, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Until January 2006, he was an adviser to Mitt Romney. Murphy resigned his position with Romney when his former client John McCain made it clear he would also pursue the Republicans' U.S. presidential nomination in 2007 and 2008; Murphy decided to be neutral in the contest between them. Murphy is a vocal Republican critic of current U.S. President Donald Trump. In 2020, he endorsed McCain and Romney's vice presidential opponent Joe Biden for president.
Early life and education
Murphy is from Grosse Pointe, a suburb of Detroit and is of Irish, Austrian, and Alsatian descent. He studied Russian and International Relations while attending Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, dropping out his senior year. He serves on the board of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and is currently Co-Director of the Center for the Political Future at the University of Southern California  and a Senior Fellow at Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
Murphy is one of the Republican Party's most successful political media consultants, leading campaign teams to victory in more than forty races, including multiple Senate and Gubernatorial victories in California, Michigan, Florida, Iowa, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Idaho, Washington state and New Jersey. He's directed multiple successful independent expenditure campaigns, including recent work for Sen Pat Toomey's victory In 2016. He's worked on Presidential campaigns including Bush '88, Bush '92 and McCain 2000.
His unsuccessful campaigns include statewide efforts for Oliver North, Rick Lazio and Meg Whitman.
Murphy serves as a commentator on NBC's Meet the Press and political programs. Murphy wrote a column for TIME Magazine during the 2008 election cycle. In August 2012, National Journal named Murphy one of "Ten Republicans to follow on Twitter".
In 2003, Murphy visited a Georgian museum dedicated to Josef Stalin and recounted his experience.
On September 3, 2008, after a segment on NBC, Murphy was recorded, along with conservative commentator Peggy Noonan and then NBC reporter Chuck Todd, giving critical analysis about Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. All three were apparently unaware that their microphones were still live. In the captured audio, Murphy describes the pick of Palin as "cynical". Murphy had been publicly critical of the strategy of the Palin choice, saying her appeal was mostly limited to the Republican base.
In 1986, Murphy teamed with close friend Alex Castellanos to form Murphy & Castellanos. In 1989 he established MPGH, which he sold eleven years later to Interpublic. Murphy is currently senior partner at Revolution Agency, a political advertising, advocacy, public affairs and political consulting firm in Washington, D.C. At Revolution, Murphy advises a variety of Fortune 500 companies, hedge funds, interest groups, political action committees and trade associations.
Right to Rise PAC
In the 2016 election cycle Murphy served as chief strategist for Right to Rise, a PAC supporting Jeb Bush's U.S. presidential campaign. The PAC raised over 100 million dollars, a record in primary PAC fundraising. Murphy set the PAC's strategy based on the assumption that Trump's campaign would inevitably fail, and so the PAC would instead concentrate on defeating other GOP candidates, "candidates in our lane that we can overcome." Right to Rise spent over $118 million over the course of the 2016 Republican Presidential primary. Despite this sum Jeb Bush only won a total of 4 Republican delegates and received a total 94,699 votes. A staggering $1,246.05 per vote. On February 20, 2016, after a series of disappointing results in the Republican primaries, Bush announced that he was suspending his campaign.
At that point Right to Rise refunded more than 12 million dollars to its donors, the only candidate PAC in the 2016 to manage its funds in a way to make possible a major refund of unspent contributions. Murphy refused to endorse or vote for Donald Trump after the latter's nomination as the Republican Party's candidate for the U.S. presidency, citing Trump's racism as a prohibiting factor.
Murphy is a Republican and lives with his wife Tiffany Daniel, a Democrat whom he married in 2011, in Hancock Park, California and who also works as a writer and producer in the entertainment industry. He has a daughter as well as a brother who lives in Georgia.
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- @murphymike (October 3, 2016). "I despise her silly lefty domestic policy and the class war tropes, but it's all too clear that of these two only HRC is ready to be POTUS" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "McCain Alums endorse Joe Biden for President". Retrieved 2020-08-27.
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- Editor-at-large, Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN. "Can the Republican Party survive Donald Trump?". CNN.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
- @murphymike (January 8, 2018). "Haven't left GOP. Staying and fighting. A bit outnumbered" (Tweet). Retrieved February 14, 2018 – via Twitter.
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- "Mike Murphy: Onward to 2020!". Conversations with Bill Kristol. December 5, 2018.
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