Dori: Pushing for public debate, Smiley calls incumbent Murray ‘soft on crime’

Sep 15, 2022, 4:01 PM | Updated: Sep 16, 2022, 12:07 pm
Tiffany Smiley at WA border (Photo courtesy of Tiffany Smiley's Twitter page)
(Photo courtesy of Tiffany Smiley's Twitter page)

With at least one nationally recognized polling group showing Republican newcomer Tiffany Smiley within less than three percentage points behind Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, Smiley repeated her intention to debate the five-term incumbent – pointing to rising inflation, drugs coming over the southern U.S. border, and what she predicts will be higher home energy costs this winter.

Her growing popularity, Smiley told Dori Monson Show listeners Thursday, is because she is not “entrenched in the Beltway” where lawmakers don’t “understand what’s happening in real life.”

Smiley trails Murray 46.3 to 49.2 in a Trafalgar Group poll conducted between Aug. 30-Sept. 1 among 1,087 voters likely to cast a ballot in the November general election. The Pasco nurse told Dori her campaign’s internal polling shows the two candidates are “neck and neck – with momentum on our side.”

“I’m moving up in the polls because I’m fighting for Washington state,” she added.

Poll: Very close Washington US Senate race as Patty Murray leads Tiffany Smiley

She believes she’s gaining traction among voters who are feeling the pain each time “families are having to go to the grocery store.” Across the country, the annual inflation rate was 8.3% for the last 12 months, ending August 2022, according to U.S. Labor Department data published Sept. 13.

Smiley pointed to what she refers to as the “Inflation Production Act – not an Inflation Reduction Act” as one example, demonstrating how out of touch national lawmakers are regarding the impact of escalating prices.

The Washington native is also frustrated by Murray’s response to the border crisis.

“Patty Murray is soft on crime. That is clear,” Smiley said.

“I was just at the border a few weeks ago,” she continued. She described seeing “safe houses” on the U.S. side where cartel-driven sex and drug trafficking was happening.

Instead of Murray taking action, Smiley said, Murray, is just a lap dog for President Biden.

“If the President tells her ‘don’t go to the border, don’t talk about the border,’ she’s not going to address it,” Smiley said. “Patty Murray works for Washington, D.C.”

Drugs coming over the border into the U.S. “isn’t a Democrat or Republican issue,” Smiley argued. “This is an American issue.”

Meanwhile, Smiley remains frustrated with local media – including The Seattle Times and Everett Herald – which she believes are changing the details for candidate interviews. At one point, she said, she and Murray were supposed to meet with editorial boards face-to-face and in-person – but arrangements changed “behind closed doors,” Smiley claims. She blames “corporate media,” which she fears is going to “give [Murray] a pass and insulate her.”

Smiley said she’s not afraid to endorse a two-term limit of 12 total years for U.S. senators – and is ready to publicly spar that and other topics during a debate.

“There are debates on the calendar I have committed to,” Smiley said. “I will be there. I am not sure Patty Murray will be there.”

Listen to Dori Monson weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Dori: Pushing for public debate, Smiley calls incumbent Murray ‘soft on crime’