Texas Gov. Rick Perry has targeted Maryland as he next stop in his campaign to draw new business to the Lone Star state.
The Republican is set to visit Maryland on Sept. 18, but in the meantime has started airing scathing TV and radio ads slamming Gov. Martin O'Malley for rising taxes and fees.
"[O'Malley] has made Maryland the Tax-and-Fee State, where businesses and families are paying some of the highest taxes in America," Perry says in one radio spot.
"When you grow tired of Maryland taxes squeezing every dime out of your business, think Texas, where we've created more jobs than all the other states combined," he says.
Perry, who ran last year for president and may run again in 2016, plans closed-door meetings with businesses and possibly a reception when he visits the state, the Baltimore Sun reports.
He's made similar trips to states with strong Democratic ties, including New York, Connecticut, Missouri, and California. Those visits usually are preceded by media blitzes.
The $500,000 Maryland media campaign, which kicked off on Thursday, was quickly dismissed by O'Malley, who described the ads as a "tired old PR gimmick."
The commercials are paid for by TexasOne, a private economic-development group set up to attract business to the state.
Aside from O'Malley's criticism of Perry, the Sun was unimpressed with Perry's upcoming business pitch, writing in an editorial that the Maryland economy is way ahead of Texas in producing higher, livable wages for its residents.
"Everything is bigger in Texas, unless you mean the size of the state itself (No. 2, until Alaska decides to split in half to make it No. 3). Or population. Or, it turns out, the size of its' residents' pocketbooks. In that case, Maryland is No. 1 and has been for some time," the Sun noted.
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