Ill Will Over Md. Governor's Goodwill Trip to Iraq

Former governor critizes timing of trip

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    A war of words has erupted in Maryland over a goodwill trip to Iraq.

    Today, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) brushed off criticism over the trip.
    "I can't be bothered by that sort of negativity," O'Malley told the Washington Post.
    Over the weekend, O'Malley visited Maryland-based soldiers and members of the Maryland National Guard as part of a Pentagon-sponsored visit.
    On his regular radio show on WBAL, former Maryland governor Robert Ehrlich  was critical.
    Everybody has their own style," Ehrlich said Saturday. "I just think governors belong in state capital in session. That is all."
    Ehrlich added he would not have made the same decision. The former governor, a Republican, is weighing whether to challenge the Democratic incumbent in this year's governor's race.
    "Bob Ehrlich's comments were inappropriate," said Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown on Monday, "and in some ways an affront to men and women who have gone to Iraq in uniform."
    Brown, an Iraqi war veteran, added it's important for the governor to get a firsthand look at how deployed Maryland National Guard members are doing.
    O'Malley aides also added the timing of the trip was determined by the U.S. Department of Defense.