MERIDEN, Conn. (AP) -- Republican Linda McMahon and Democrat Rep. Chris Murphy talk a lot about their dueling plans to increase jobs as they seek votes in a tight race for Connecticut’s open U.S. Senate seat.
But many of their ideas have been floated by others during this year’s campaign season, and it is doubtful their entire proposals would become law after either is elected Connecticut’s new junior U.S. senator.
Like Murphy, Rep. Shelley Berkley, the Democratic Senate candidate in Nevada, says she’s "fighting to rebuild America’s manufacturing base while ending unfair loopholes and taxpayer giveaways that encourage U.S.companies to ship jobs overseas."
And like McMahon, state Sen. Joe Kyrillos, the Republican Senate candidate from New Jersey, promises he will work to "cut taxes on job-creators" and lower the federal corporate tax rate from 35 to 25 percent.
Other Democratic Senate candidates across the U.S. have joined Murphy in pitching renewable energy, education and job training, and reinvesting in infrastructure as ways to add jobs. Meanwhile, other Republican Senate candidates back McMahon in pushing to extend the President George W. Bush-era tax cuts for wealthier individuals, saying now is not the time to raise taxes on anyone.
"These plans are not original with Murphy or McMahon, nor should they be," said Ronald Schurn, a political science professor at the University of Connecticut. But he said elements in both candidates’ plans could ultimately "be the construct of a Republican or Democratic set of plans" for improving the nation’s economy and job picture.
"There’s not a single thing that I see in the Murphy plan that Democrats by and large would not support, and there’s nothing in the McMahon plan by and large ... that I can see that the Republicans would not support," he said.
McMahon’s jobs plan -- a glossy, 14-page book -- has been the centerpiece of her campaign. Distributing it to voters by the thousands, the former wrestling CEO has used her "Reviving the Economy: Linda’s Plan to Put America Back to Work," as the key selling point for her candidacy, promising middle-income families a $500-a-month tax break and an end to "job-killing regulations" and "corporate welfare."
Schurn said one reason McMahon has made her jobs plan a key component of her campaign this time -- McMahon ran for Senate in 2010 but lost to now-Sen. Richard Blumenthal -- is that it helps her "establish herself as a credible candidate focused on issues."
Murphy doesn’t have a glossy handout or details on his campaign website spelling out his jobs plan. He told reporters on Monday that voters simply need to look at his six-year record in the U.S. House of Representatives and earlier in the General Assembly to know where he stands on the issues. Against McMahon criticism, he defended his comments about his plan being a work in progress, saying it’s good practice to always be gathering good ideas from Connecticut companies and workers.
The components of Murphy’s plan have made up the essential talking points of his campaign and highlight areas he has focused on as a congressman. For example, a key provision calls for closing loopholes in the federal law requiring the government to make certain purchases from American manufacturers. Murphy has touted his efforts to push for Buy American legislation throughout the campaign. Murphy says he came up with the idea for closing the loopholes after talking to Connecticut manufacturers.