Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry can expect a forceful defense of Maryland from Gov. Martin O'Malley when Perry arrives here next week to try to lure businesses to Texas.
"Gov. Perry, frankly, has a lot more hat than cattle," O'Malley said told a crowd of Democrats Thursday night. "I debated Gov. Perry before. I did it only once. I kicked his (expletive). And he's never come back for more."
The more than 650 state Democrats gathered in a Greenbelt ballroom for an annual fundraiser erupted in applause to O'Malley's zinger, which the governor followed with a list of statistics that ranked Maryland above Texas in schools, economic achievement and median income and below the Lone Start state in poverty rates and residents without health insurance.
The governor later told reporters, "I'm going to greet him with facts."
Perry began airing radio and television ads in Maryland Thursday that criticized the state's business climate, took a swipe at O'Malley's tenure as governor and invited businesses to move to Texas. Perry also announced he would arrive in Maryland next Wednesday for private meetings with companies.