Md. Dems highlight divide between Ehrlich, Murphy
The Maryland Democratic Party apparently is hoping a radio interview given Wednesday by former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) won't help him bring Brian Murphy's supporters back into the fold.
In an appearance on WBAL radio, Ehrlich was pressed by host Ron Smith and guest Blair Lee, a Gazette columnist, about what he is doing to court the nearly one-quarter of GOP primary voters who cast ballots for Murphy Tuesday.
A recording of the interview and a transcript was released Thursday morning by the Democrats, who pointed out that Murphy endorsed Ehrlich and attended a "unity" rally in Annapolis with him shortly before the radio program.
Speaking about Murphy on the radio, Lee told Ehrlich that "you need to publicly embrace this guy, you need to call him a rising star in the party, you need to borrow his rolodex, and you need to get all of his voters to vote for you."
Ehrlich's response: "Well, Blair, I respect him, but quite frankly we have a lot of rising stars in our party, including people who have won races."
Lee continued: "Brian Murphy's followers are now looking for a signal from you, a very clear signal, and you need to give that signal."
Ehrlich, who until this spring co-hosted a weekly radio show on WBAL, said he understood the advice and added: "We didn't criticize Brian Murphy one time during the campaign, and I haven't criticized him yet, anywhere, and we talked last night. So all is fine. Don't be creating needless controversy here."
The Maryland Democratic Party didn't heed that advice.
"It's clear that Bob Ehrlich doesn't have time for Brian Murphy and can't even bring himself to compliment his former opponent," the party said in a press release issued Thursday morning.
Henry Fawell, Ehrlich's communications director, shot back with this later Thursday morning: "Did Martin O'Malley 'compliment' his primary opponents who garnered 60,000 votes from Democrats who want new leadership in Maryland?"
Fawell was referring to little-known Democratic candidates J.P. Cusick and Ralph Jaffe, who won nearly 10 percent and about 4 percent, respectively, of the primary vote against the sitting governor.
September 16, 2010; 9:13 AM ET
Categories: 2010 Elections , John Wagner
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