Ehrlich says he'll air TV ads when he's ready
Former Maryland governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) gave no indication Wednesday about when his campaign would join the advertising war, saying "that is a call that will not be dictated to us."
Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) launched his first television ad of the campaign Monday, touting his fiscal leadership in a spot called "Tough Choices" that is airing in the Baltimore market. O'Malley previously had put up several negative radio ads on Baltimore area and Eastern Shore stations.
"The general rule is you don't want the opposition to be up a long time, but these ads are the object of scorn," Ehrlich said. "We could have been on the air weeks ago if we wanted to."
Ehrlich made his comments to reporters after a visit to a small Baltimore County business that sells Monster Diesel, a fuel additive that promises increased engine power, lower emissions and a host of other benefits.
The 10-employee business, which out-sources the manufacturing of its product to a Pittsburgh-area company, is considering establishing a production plant in the Curtis Bay area of Baltimore.
"I want those jobs here," Ehrlich told two company representatives as reporters looked on.
After the meeting broke up, Ehrlich talked about campaign advertising, fundraising and a wide range of other topics, including his affinity for the country band Sugarland.
Ehrlich said that money is not dictating his advertising decisions, calling his fundraising "very steady, very solid."
The first campaign finance reports since January are due Aug. 17. As of January, Ehrlich had only about $150,000 in a campaign account he had kept open since his 2006 loss to O'Malley. The Democratic incumbent had about $5.7 million on hand.
Ehrlich said his efforts have been helped by recent polls showing a close race, as well as national pundits upgrading the chances of a Republican victory in Maryland.
"That stuff just translates into dollars," Ehrlich said. "Some people who have been on the sidelines are going to get into the game."
In response to questions, Ehrlich said his campaign has not received money from the Republican Governors Association but that he expects the group to invest in the state. He also dismissed a question about whether his running mate, Mary D. Kane, planned to invest her money into the campaign, saying it was "not relevant."
July 14, 2010; 2:03 PM ET
Categories: 2010 Elections , John Wagner
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