Murphy attacked Rubio for supporting Donald Trump, Rubio attacked Murphy for being a rich kid who gets nothing done in Congress and… that’s about it, really. Oh, and I photoshopped Marco Rubio’s face onto a picture of a child dressed as a waffle.
Since neither candidate discussed anything of actual substance, we will rate them on the zingers that they tossed each other’s way.
ROUND ONE: Opening introductions. Normally this is where you recite a bunch of platitudes about how you’re running because your kids are going to inherit this planet one day and blah blah blah. Rubio and Murphy skip over those niceties and jump straight to attacking one another.
Murphy: “If you voted as much as you lied, you might actually be a decent senator.”
Rubio: “Ten minutes into the debate and you haven't spoken about any of your achievements because you have none.”
Advantage: Meh, no one. There’s no question that Rubio’s Senate record is abysmal. And it’s definitely dubious that Murphy’s main theme seems to be that you should vote for him because he’s not Marco Rubio. But they're both doing an A+++ job of throwing shade.
ROUND TWO: Asked about the state of Florida’s economy, Rubio and Murphy respond by criticizing each other.
Rubio: “I find it ironic that I’m being lectured about the plight of the working class by a millionaire who inherited money.”
Murphy (talking about how his dad never graduated from college and worked as a carpenter): “The number one thing my dad taught me: showing up to work, something you forgot how to do.”
Advantage: Murphy. Yes, Marco Rubio, it is very ironic that someone who boasts about being the child of working-class immigrants voted to block a minor increase to the minimum wage. Why are you pointing this out?
ROUND THREE: The candidates are asked for their thoughts on the Cuba embargo. Murphy wants fewer restrictions and more cruise ships. Rubio wants more restrictions, or he just wants to talk about how Obama’s policy toward Cuba has failed — it’s hard to tell. Murphy then points out that Rubio is supporting Trump, who knowingly violated the embargo.
Rubio: “You’re criticizing Donald Trump for having a position on Cuba that you have.”
Murphy: “You have no backbone.”
Advantage: Rubio. Honestly, Murphy’s insistence on responding to each of Rubio’s points with the equivalent of “Yeah, well…. you’re voting for DONALD TRUMP” had gotten tiresome by this point. Yes, it is ridiculous that Rubio continues to insist on supporting the man who nicknamed him “Little Marco” (and is also a terrible person in a thousand other ways that do not directly impact Marco Rubio). But you need to bring something more to the table beyond being the One Who Is Not Voting for Donald Trump.
In conclusion, this race is terrible, this election is terrible, and both of these candidates are terrible, but at least now we know they're both capable of coming up with middle-school-style insults on the fly.
Overall loser: Florida voters.
Overall winner: All other 49 states in the union.