Rival blasts Md. GOP for backing Ehrlich
Brian Murphy, a long-shot Republican candidate for governor of Maryland, is crying foul over a procedural move that effectively throws the support of the state and national GOP behind former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) months before the primary takes place.
Under what is known as Rule No. 11, the Republican National Committee will not "contribute money or in-kind aid to any candidate" in a contested primary unless authorized by RNC members from that state. Maryland Republican Party Chairwoman Audrey Scott and the two other RNC members from Maryland recently approved such a move for Ehrlich.
"This is exactly the type of elitist behavior that is infuriating Americans from both parties," said Murphy, a business investor from Montgomery County, who has cast himself as more conservative alternative to the former governor. "Maryland Republicans should be allowed an honest primary between two very different Republican candidates. ... Ehrlich and I disagree on nearly everything, and all I'm asking for is an open debate on the issues."
Scott said the move was warranted, in part because of the proximity of Maryland's September primaries to the November general election.
"It is essential we begin building a comprehensive field program now in order to win in November," Scott said. "There is an overwhelming consensus among the party that Bob Ehrlich can win the governor's mansion in November, giving Maryland the best opportunity to get its fiscal house in order and return jobs to the state."
Scott and other Maryland party officials said any forthcoming money from the RNC would be used to benefit candidates up and down the GOP ticket -- and not Ehrlich alone.
Murphy took issue with Scott's assessment that Ehrlich would be best-positioned to defeat Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) in November.
"The national mood is anti-big government, anti-tax and spend, and anti-incumbent," Murphy said. "So what does the Maryland GOP do? They back someone who has a record of being pro-big government, pro-taxes and pro-spending. Are they tone deaf? Do they not sense the mood of the country? If there has ever been a time for a fiscal conservative to win in Maryland, this is it."
May 19, 2010; 12:16 PM ET
Categories: 2010 Elections , John Wagner , Republican Party
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