ST. PETERSBURG — All eyes will be on the first debate between U.S. Senate candidates Patrick Murphy and Marco Rubio. It’s just two weeks away.

10News Political Reporter Mark Rivera spoke with Murphy one-on-one and asked him, “are you ready?”

RIVERA: What have you been doing to prepare yourself for a battle-tested Marco Rubio?

MURPHY: First of all, I’m looking forward to debating Senator Rubio and making sure that the voters see what a contrast there is between the two of us.

First of all, I am committing to serving a full term in the U.S. Senate. Senator Rubio still hasn’t signed our pledge. We asked him to sign a pledge to commit to serving a full term. He will not do it. He’s got one foot out the door. So the voters need to know that. I’m going through some of his votes, going through the ones he shows up on, where he stands, and see time after time that he’s either flip-flopped on issues or that he’s in the pocket of the special interest groups.

RIVERA: How much of this election comes down to name recognition.

MURPHY: Well, we’ll see. Sometimes name ID can work for you and sometimes it can work against you. And in the case of Senator Rubio, I believe it is working against him. He doesn’t care about Florida, and voters see that. And that name ID sometimes comes with a consequence. And in his case, I believe it’s going to be a detriment.

RIVERA: There have been reports that the democratic senatorial campaign has to delay some of that money they were going to spend on you until mid-October.
Is that money being made up elsewhere, or is that concerning to you guys because of how much Rubio is plastering the airwaves?

MURPHY: Let’s be clear. First of all, Senator Rubio’s campaign is being funded by the Koch brothers and the special interest groups. Millions of dollars a week they are spending to protect their puppet.
I am proud of the grassroots support we are receiving all over Florida. People that want us to stand up to Senator Rubio and want to make sure our records are clear.

Murphy and Rubio have committed to only two events debates so far — a debate on Oct. 17 in Orlando and one in Davie on Oct. 26.