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Maryland Politics
Posted at 11:12 AM ET, 08/26/2012

O’Malley bashes Romney, GOP as ‘party of exclusion’


Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
This post has been updated.

Update, 4:30 p.m.: The Maryland Republican Party fired back at O’Malley on Sunday afternoon, charging the governor with being “wildly inaccurate” and divisive.

David Ferguson, executive director of the state GOP, accused O’Malley of a “radical leftist agenda of identity politics, higher taxes and punishing business owners.”

“Republicans are focused on freedom, opportunity and putting Americans back to work,” Ferguson said. “The days of the old Democrat Party are limited because radicals like Martin O’Malley are taking over from the inside.”

Original post:On the eve of the Republican National Convention, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) accused the GOP and its presumed presidential nominee of being hostile to the rights of women and immigrants.

“They will try to re-invent Mitt Romney, and try to paper over some of the more extreme comments he’s made about immigration and women’s rights. But I think that will be very difficult,” O’Malley said during an appearance Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Candy Crowley.

O’Malley, the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association and frequent Sunday talk show guest, said that the TV images from Tampa will show the Republicans to be “a party of exclusion.”

“The Republicans have kind of painted themselves into a real demographic corner, if you will,” O’Malley said. “And you hear people, even like (former Florida governor) Jeb Bush, saying they have to change for the long term because this view of a white, Anglo-Saxon America — “I’m a true American, no one questions where I was born,” sort of thing — is really off-putting to those of us who believe that diversity is our strength.”

O’Malley appeared from a studio in Washington, following a panel of Republicans at the convention site who told Crowley that the party was continuing to reach out to women and minorities, groups for which polling shows advantages for President Obama.

O’Malley had planned to travel to Tampa early this week to provide some on-site rebuttal for the media covering the convention. The status of those plans was unclear Sunday morning, given the reshuffling of the convention schedule due to Tropical Storm Isaac.

Speaking of Romney’s views on immigration and women’s rights, O’Malley referenced a 1950 sitcom during Sunday’s TV appearance.

“I think what it reveals is a sort of perspective on America that would take us back to the days of ‘Ozzie and Harriet’ rather than recognizing that we are in fact a strong people because we are a diverse people,” he said.

O’Malley, who is widely assumed to harbor national ambitions in 2016, has a busy week planned next week in Charlotte at the Democratic National Convention.

He is among the featured convention speakers, he has a couple of appearances booked with his Celtic rock band, and he plans to address a number of delegations from around the country at morning breakfast meetings. Those include the delegation from Iowa, the first state to hold presidential caucuses.

By  |  11:12 AM ET, 08/26/2012

 
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