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Ehrlich promises 'real leadership' in first TV ad

John Wagner

11: 55 a.m.: The original post has been updated.

After proclaiming he's "not the kind of guy who likes to hang around on the sidelines," former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) offers his rationale for running again in his first television ad of the campaign, which debuts Sunday.

The upbeat spot features footage of Ehrlich's family and uses a series of Marylanders to highlight four priorities: fixing the budget, growing small businesses, creating excellent schools and protecting the Chesapeake Bay.

Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), whom Ehrlich is trying to unseat, is not mentioned by name in the ad, which Ehrlich's campaign said is running in the Baltimore market.

"Today, Maryland is in trouble," Ehrlich says, with the State House in Annapolis visible behind him. "We're worse off than we were four years ago. Dangerous debt, higher taxes, not enough jobs. We need real leadership to turn this state around."

The ad closes with Ehrlich saying: "Now let's get down to work."

Ehrlich's ad is debuting barely a week before the Sept. 14 Republican primary. O'Malley has been on the air since July 12.

In a statement, O'Malley campaign manager Tom Russell blasted the ad as "an insult to the intelligence of Maryland voters."

"In his pie in the sky TV ad, Bob Ehrlich is once again distorting the facts and making more empty promises as he tries to run away from his record," Russell said. "Marylanders have good reason to be skeptical of Ehrlich's empty promises, given his record as the biggest spending governor in Maryland history who raised taxes and fees by over $3 billion."

The complete text of the ad, as released by the Ehrlich campaign is below.

"Let's Get to Work"

Bob Ehrlich: I'm Bob Ehrlich...
Bob Ehrlich: I'm not the kind of guy who likes to hang around on the sidelines.
Bob Ehrlich: Today, Maryland is in trouble.
Bob Ehrlich: We're worse off than we were four years ago...Dangerous Debt, Higher Taxes, Not enough jobs
Bob Ehrlich: We need real leadership to turn this state around.
Mother: Fix the budget, honestly.
Small businessman: Grow small businesses, really.
Student: Excellent Schools, everywhere.
Waterman: Protect the bay, finally.
Bob Ehrlich: It's why I'm running. To make the state we love, not just good, but great. Now let's get down to work.

By John Wagner  |  September 5, 2010; 5:35 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections , John Wagner  
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Ehrlich increased fees by over $3 billion but won't own up to it. O'Malley decreased spending by 3% while Ehrlich increased spending by 33%. O'Malley created a nation leading tax credit to hire people back to work while Ehrlich did who knows what to make over $2 million without creating a single job.
Under O'Malley we have the #1 schools in the country and he has increased school construction funding by over 50%. And oh yea, Ehrlich increased college tuition by 40% while O'Malley froze college tuition for 4 years.
O'Malley has protected over 28,000 acres of open space while Ehrlich tried to sell off state owned land to his buddies. And not to mention the crab population is rebounding from smart policy.
The questions remains: what did Bob Ehrlich accomplish during his 4 years to warrant a second chance? Answer, nothing.

Posted by: InformedMarylander | September 5, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Big mistake to focus visuals on his mug (and rug)in a race against Marty "The Hottie" O'Malley. Not a particularly attractive family either but at least he wrung out the bar rag.

Its Labor Day weekend. The governor should make sure to do a photo op where he is featured shirtless and wet. It would be worth 100 times whatever Ehrlich spends to air this drivel.

Posted by: SoCali | September 5, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

What a crock. "Dangerous debt? Higher taxes?" Did Ehrlich forget that he left a $1.7 billion deficit? Did he forget that he raised the property tax and the car tax, eachy by 58%? Nevermind that Ehrlich tripled corporate filing fees. Bob Ehrlich must have amnesia.

Posted by: Dwigt | September 5, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Ehrlich talks about dropping the sales tax back to 5%.

Why not drop it down to 4% when Bobby, Marty and I were kids here in MAryland?
Or are there government services added in the 80s that are important enough to keep the sales tax at 5%

Posted by: edlharris | September 5, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Let's be honest here. As governor, Bob Ehrlich was a failure, which is why he wasn't re-elected. He didn't really want to run this time around, mainly because he was making so much money as a corporate mouthpiece. His wife, though, "talked" him into running again, by his own admission. Do we really want to step back to a failed governor, who didn't really even want to run again, so that he can keep peace at home? Let's keep our state moving forward by re-electing Governor O'Malley, and the rest of the Democratic team!

Jonathan Inskeep
Crofton, MD USA

Posted by: jonathaninskeep | September 5, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Dang. I was thinking about voting for Ehrlich. Then I discovered he's a Republican. That clinches it. I'm voting for O'Malley.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | September 5, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

InformedMarylander: You can 321 the right all you want. but we also regect your 40 and 4. It is mandated that all those that work with their hands are voting on the right this year. thats 345. we can argue this in court all you want. I got Ehrlichs warrant right here. with three hammers on it. We will Life in 2012 and this is merely one stone in the road. SK7

Posted by: spk202 | September 5, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I am surprised that Ehrlich didn't hire homeless black folks from Philadelphia to be in the commercial....remember the seven busloads of homeless African Americans he hired and shipped from Philadelphia the last election day, Erhlich has no scruples, he's dishonest, a liar and a Republican to boot, no redeeming qualities.

Posted by: quavaduff | September 5, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

The Ehrlich legacy = Michael Steele

"Talked him into it" ? I thought Kendel, the Belle of Havre de Grace, Ehrlich was usually so bombed she couldn't put two words together to complete a sentence. Maybe they let her out of rehab to shoot this. It would seem from the roots that she hasn't seen her colorist in a long time so maybe she has been "away".

Posted by: JackStar | September 5, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

"O'Malley decreased spending by 3% "

No, no he did not.

O'Malley reduced the rate of increase by 3%. If you pull up the budgets for the past few years, you'll see that Maryland in recent memory has never reduced the size of the overall budget.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | September 5, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

It is funny that Ehrlich's ad mentions "honesty" when he is not being honest with Maryland families.

He has promised everything to everyone so much so this ad can't name one specific policy Ehrlich wants to advocate for. Does he expect Marylanders to vote for him when he doesn't seem to have any new ideas?

Lastly, does Ehrlich want us to forget that he failed to do all these things during his first term as Governor?

Couldn't trust him then, can't trust him now.

Posted by: MarylandMatt | September 5, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Its funny how Bob Ehrlich has absolutely no problem running away from his record as Governor.

In terms of education, Ehrlich didn't full fund public education, cut construction and raised college tuition by record amounts. Now he wants "good schools everywhere" but I doubt his charter school idea will accomplish that. Maybe he should change that to "good schools for those people who can afford it" Doesn't sound so catchy then.

In terms of the budget, all I've heard is about tax cuts and new promises he's made to different groups around the state. He's promised new tax breaks to veterans, promised new aid for local and state governments and the list seems to keep going. I bet if we add up all of his promises, the budget will be further in the red than ever before.

In terms of the Bay, let's look beyond his infamous flush tax to his gutting of Program Open Space, and his willingness to allow sprawl on our beautiful Eastern Shore and refuges. More than anything, I presume this means more spending.

Doesn't anyone else think that he ripped off Rushern Baker?

Baker: "Make a good county, great"
Ehrlich: "Make the state ... not just good but great"

Posted by: JoshPG | September 6, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

At least Ehrlich is honest. How about Marty's promise on BG&E rates how's that working for ya? You Libs think you know what's best for the us unwashed "commoners". Watch how quickly O'Malley throws Sen. Currie under the bus. Most Dems politicians cannot be trusted.

Posted by: cheverly1 | September 6, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

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