Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) will visit a gun manufacturer Wednesday as part of his foray into Maryland to try to lure businesses to the Lone Star State.
Perry, who has been on similar poaching missions to several other states, plans a stop at a Beretta USA facility in Accokeek, just south of Washington, where a gunman went on a rampage at the Navy Yard on Monday, an aide confirmed Tuesday.
Beretta has been courted by Texas and several states in recent months following passage of a sweeping gun-control measure championed by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) that includes new licensing restrictions and bans 45 models of assault-style weapons.
Perry announced plans to visit Maryland last week as a barrage of radio and TV ads starting airing in the state that knock O’Malley for raising taxes and invite Maryland companies to consider coming to a more business-friendly state.
“Unfortunately, your governor has made Maryland the tax-and-fee state, where businesses and families are paying some of the highest taxes in America,” Perry says in the radio ad.
O’Malley dismissed Perry’s plans to visit as a “tired old P.R. gimmick” that he has tried in other Democrat-led states including California, Illinois, Missouri, New York and Connecticut.
“I know from past experience that the gentleman is all hat and no cattle,” O’Malley said of Perry during a pre-dinner reception last week at a Maryland Democratic Party gala in Greenbelt. “We’re going to treat him with great Maryland hospitality, and then we’re going to give his high hat the high hand and send him packing.”
CNN, which first reported Perry’s plans to visit Berreta, also reported Tuesday that O’Malley and Perry — both of whom are weighing 2016 presidential bids — would face off on its program “Crossfire” on Wednesday night. That appearance was confirmed by an O’Malley aide.
“It’ll be great to have Governor Perry in Maryland tomorrow, even if he’s on a fool’s errand,” said O’Malley adviser Lis Smith. “While Texas leads the nation in the percentage of workers making minimum wage or less and citizens without health insurance, Maryland ranks first in schools, median income, and innovation and entrepreneurship.”