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Rick Perry Trying To Court Maryland Businesses

Rick Perry spoke to reporters outside Morton's in the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
Matt Bush
Rick Perry spoke to reporters outside Morton's in the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Texas governor and potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry made two stops in Maryland today in an attempt to get businesses to leave the state and relocate to his.

Perry's two stops were closed to the press, first at the Beretta gun factory in Accokeek, and then an address to business owners at a steakhouse in Bethesda.

But after the Bethesda event, he spoke to reporters, saying tax increases that have been passed during the tenure of Democratic governor Martin O'Malley have created a very unfriendly business climate.

"We pray for rain in Texas. They tax it in Maryland," Perry said.

Perry's visit to the Beretta factory came despite the company's vow to remain in Maryland as one of the strictest gun laws in the country takes effect Oct. 1. The 2012 GOP presidential candidate did not apologize for his efforts to get businesses to leave Maryland, likening it to the recruiting college football coaches do to get top players.

"(University of Maryland football) Coach (Randy) Edsall goes outside of Maryland to recruit players," Perry said. "My bet is he probably has a couple of Texans on that team. But that's okay. That's how the Terps get to be a better, more competitive team. I will suggest that Governor O'Malley go recruit businesses in other states."

Perry has made similar stops in other states with Democratic governors, like California, Connecticut, and Illinois.

In an op-ed published in the Washington Post today, Maryland governor Martin O'Malley called Perry's economic policies "slash-and-burn," which he says has led Texas to the bottom of the country in public education and the number of residents with basic health insurance.

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