Maryland Del. Patrick L. McDonough (R-Baltimore County) accused Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) on Tuesday of resorting to “divisive, unfair and inaccurate hate speech” during an appearance in Washington last week.
McDonough, one of the staunchest foes of illegal immigration in the General Assembly, was referring to O’Malley’s praise of Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) for his support of a 2001 Texas law that allows illegal immigrants to receive in-state rates on college tuition.
“I do admire [Perry’s] willingness to stand up to the immigrant-bashers and the thinly veiled racism and scapegoating that’s so rampant in their party and directed at new Americans,” O’Malley said Thursday at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.
On Tuesday, McDonough said in a statement that O’Malley was “demonizing decent people for political gain,” adding: “The governor should offer a public apology and demand that his allies in the illegal alien movement use more civil commentary when attacking their opponents.”
Legislation similar to the Texas law was passed in Maryland this year with O’Malley’s support but was successfully petitioned to the ballot by a group whose leaders include McDonough. As a result, the Maryland law is on hold pending the outcome of a statewide vote in November 2012.
An apology from O’Malley seems highly unlikely. O’Malley spokeswoman Raquel Guillory called McDonough’s statement “just plain silly and another blatant attempt at garnering attention for himself.”
“Governor O’Malley was in fact praising Republican Governor Rick Perry for his courageous support of the Dream Act,” Guillory said. “Ironically, it is the delegate who, over and over again, has demonized decent people for his own political gain. That’s shameful.”
In his statement, McDonough also lashed into the news media, saying that news outlets made too much out of then-Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.’s remarks in 2004 that “multiculturalism” is “bunk.” McDonough said the comments by Ehrlich (R) were “minor” compared with those of O’Malley, who was getting a “free pass” by the media.