O’Malley: Some Republicans want economy to tank so Obama loses in 2012

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) pleaded Thursday for a “balanced approach” to cutting spending and raising the debt ceiling, and alleged that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and some other Republicans want the economy to worsen so President Obama does not win reelection.

Appearing at the Capitol with House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) after addressing a meeting of House Democrats, O’Malley said it was crucial that Congress raise the debt ceiling so as not to imperil the economy — and the bond rating — of states like Maryland.

As he has before, O’Malley warned that “there are two ways to kill the jobs recovery” — putting the nation into default by not raising the debt ceiling, and enacting “massive public sector cuts” that lays off large numbers of government workers.

Because the state is so reliant on federal revenue, Maryland is at risk of losing its coveted AAA bond rating if the federal government defaults. The same is true in Virginia, where Gov. Robert McDonnell (R) has also urged a debt-ceiling compromise.

“Whether we’re Democrats or Republicans, all of us strive to protect our own bond ratings,” O’Malley said.

But some in the GOP, O’Malley alleged, have more sinister motives.

“I believe that there are some members, some members of the Republican party, who, in order to defeat President Obama in the next election, would like to kill the jobs recover now, either by default or by massive sudden cuts to public-sector jobs,” O’Malley said, though he added that he believed “a majority of public servants in the proud party of Lincoln want what’s best for our country.”

Asked later which specific Republicans he was referring to, O’Malley said: “Eric Cantor and the dinosaur wing of the Republican Party.”

Cantor’s office responded that it was O’Malley who had the wrong priorities in this debate.

“Gov. O’Malley seems to believe that raising taxes on small business people and working families creates jobs,” said Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring. “Majority Leader Cantor respectfully disagrees with that premise.”

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