Maryland is apparently the latest target in an ongoing campaign by Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) to lure businesses and employees to the Lone Star State.
“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,” Perry says in a new ad set to begin airing this week in the Washington region, according to WTOP radio.
Besides touting the economic advantages of his state, Perry also takes a shot at Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), who is weighing a 2016 White House bid.
“Unfortunately, your governor has made Maryland the tax-and-fee state, where businesses and families are paying some of the highest taxes in America,” says Perry, who ran unsuccessfully for president last year and has not ruled out a 2016 campaign.
O’Malley told reporters on Wednesday that he had not heard the spots but was familiar with Perry’s tactic, which he has already tried in a half-dozen other states.
“I know he does that tired old P.R. gimmick all around the country,” O’Malley said following an event in Baltimore to promote public service projects.
Similar ads have already been aimed at California, Illinois, Missouri, New York and Connecticut, according to WTOP.
In some states, the governor has fought back.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D), for example, countered Perry’s radio ads with those of his own, which promoted the economic strengths of the Show Me State.
In a statement, O’Malley’s office highlighted some of Maryland’s achievements during his tenure, which began in 2007.
Among them: a No. 1 ranking of the state’s schools for five years in a row by Education Week, and a No. 1 ranking for “innovation and entrepreneurship” for two years in a row by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“Instead of engaging in P.R. stunts, Governor Perry should come to Maryland to see firsthand the better choices that have led to these better results,” said the statement from the governor’s office.
Perry’s office did not immediately return a phone call Wednesday.