Ehrlich Q&A: Former Gov. Talks ICC, Slots, Multiculturalism As 'Bunk' | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

Ehrlich Q&A: Former Gov. Talks ICC, Slots, Multiculturalism As 'Bunk'

Play associated audio

Former Maryland governor Bob Ehrlich has been in the news this week. His former campaign aide, Paul Schurick was convicted Tuesday of conspiring to use robocalls to suppress black voter turnout on Election Day 2010 -- in the same week that Ehrlich released a new book: Turn This Car Around: The Road Map To Restoring America. Ehrlich talked with WAMU Maryland reporter Matt Bush after a speech in Maryland Dec. 7.

The former governor has maintained that he had no knowledge of the robocalls, he would say little about the verdict this week. He said he disagrees with the verdict, but respects the legal system, declining to comment further. 

In his book, Ehrlich reflects on several controversies during his time as governor, including banning his staff from talking to two Baltimore Sun reporters, and calling multiculturalism "bunk." 

Here are some highlights from the interview: 

On successes during his tenure as governor: "The Chesapeake Bay Restoration, that huge environmental a initiative, it was very popular, and very successful … charter schools may be number one … and the ICC. Every time i drive it, I just get a big smile. It could not have happened but for our administration." 

The disappointments: "Clearly, slots," Ehrlich says. "When I no longer became governor then it became okay to pass slots, it's kind of interesting." 

On whether his comment that multiculturalism is "bunk" holds up: "In fact I'm even stronger on it today," Ehrlich says. "It can't work, it's a multi-ethnic melting pot; assimilation is the goal, not separatism. 

What that means for ethnic Marylanders: "That's my point. I'm German, I'm proud of my German heritage, but I don't look to Germany for my political values … English is my language, not German," he says. "The whole idea in this country, you assimilate. To the extent you don't or wish not to, sooner or later, you're not going to have a country." 

On the battle between his administration and Baltimore Sun reporters: "Ultimately we won that. Whether we won in the court of public opinion is a different matter," he says. "I just think there needed to be a very clear distinction between what's on the front page and what's on the editorial page."

Whether Republicans can make more political inroads in Maryland: "The state party needs to focus on where it can win. Statewide is very difficult and getting more difficult," Ehrlich says. "In the suburban counties, outer suburban counties, and rural areas … there are probably a dozen and a half seats that Democrats presently … where Republicans can not only be competitive, but they and can win." 

Listen to a longer version of Ehrlich's interview.

NPR

Deggans Picks 'Gotham,' 'Black-ish,' 'The Flash' Among Fall TV's Best

As the fall TV season begins this week, NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans gives his picks on new shows to watch and a few to avoid (or hate watch, if you like).
NPR

Syrup Induces Pumpkin-Spiced Fever Dreams

Hugh Merwin, an editor at Grub Street, bought a 63-ounce jug of pumpkin spice syrup and put it in just about everything he ate for four days. As he tells NPR's Scott Simon, it did not go well.
NPR

Hillary Exhilaration Helps Energize Generation Z

Many young people are excited about the 2016 presidential election — and the chance to make history.
WAMU 88.5

Cellphones In Class Are No Problem In One Maryland School District

An Eastern Shore school district is allowing teachers to treat students' cellphones, tables and laptops as a resource rather than a nuisance.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.