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O'Malley dismisses 'negativity' of Ehrlich's Iraq criticism

John Wagner

O'Malley Iraq 2.JPGMaryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) on Monday brushed off criticism of his just-completed trip to Iraq by his Republican predecessor, saying, "I can't be bothered by that sort of negativity."

Over the weekend, former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), who is gearing up for a rematch with O'Malley, questioned the timing of the trip, saying he would not have left the capital during the middle of the 90-day legislative session.

"I support our troops, whenever I can, wherever I can," O'Malley told reporters following an event at which he read to first graders at a library in Annapolis. "I make no apology for that."

Ehrlich's comments were broadcast Saturday on the weekly radio show he co-hosts on Baltimore's WBAL with his wife, Kendel. "It's a decision I would not make," Ehrlich said.

O'Malley traveled to Iraq as part of a Pentagon-sponsored series of visits for governors. Aides say the timing of the trip was determined the U.S. Department of Defense, which covered its cost.

In a separate interview Monday, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D), an Army reservist who served in Iraq, called Ehrlich's comments "irresponsible."

"As a soldier who's been to Iraq, it's somewhat insulting," Brown said.

Photos (including the one accompanying this report) have been released by the governor's office and now appear on O'Malley's campaign Web site and Facebook page, among other places.

Ehrlich is expected to announce a rematch with O'Malley later this month.

By John Wagner  |  March 1, 2010; 1:10 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections , Governor , John Wagner  
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O'Malley, Did you tell the troops that you have allowed illegal aliens to take their jobs and rape/kill their mothers, fathers, wives, daughters and sons while they serve their country?

Posted by: StLou | March 1, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

He probably told them he raised their taxes and released a convicted murder by accident. Whoops

Posted by: Juliea2 | March 1, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

*Sigh* . . . fine, I'll do it. Why does Ehrlich hate the troops?

Posted by: bucky_katt | March 1, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

At a time when thousands of state workers have been furloughed and many more could be fired due to the budget mess, OMalleyt needs to get his butt back in Annapolis. If there was a credible third party in Maryland, I'd vote for it.

Posted by: VikingRider | March 1, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Ehrlich is busy doing his best Rush Limbaugh imitation hosting an AM radio talk show on Saturday mornings and O'Malley is fighting to keep the state afloat during one of the worst financial calamities
our country has ever experienced. If Bobby were governor he would've been the first in line to visit the troops just like he was the first in line to appear with Bush whenever he landed in Md. or the first to have a press conference to bash some Arab-Americans crossing the Bay Bridge or truck in the homeless from Philadelphia and lie to them about your political affiliation. If anyone understands the art of the made for tv or in his case the made for radio political event it's Bobby who attempted to become vice-presidential material but found himself languishing behind Sarah Palin. Time to call Joseph Steffan and play politics again and find yourself a two-time loser.

Posted by: BeltwayGreg1 | March 1, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

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