Texas Gov. Rick Perry visited Maryland Wednesday on a mission to take local jobs back to Texas with him.
Perry won’t say if he's seeking the Republican nomination for president in 2016, but he is targeting primarily Democratic states, including New York, California, Connecticut and now Maryland, to broadcast TV advertisements saying Texas offers lower taxes in an effort to attract businesses to move.
Perry met with business owners in Bethesda.
“If you want to live free, free from over-taxation and free from over-litigation, free from over-regulation, a place that’s got a great, skilled workforce, move to Texas,” Perry said.
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley took issue with Perry in an op ed piece for The Washington Post, saying slashing taxes cripples the ability to invest in schools, job training, infrastructure and health care.
"The governor of Texas has followed an economic model that is based on very low paying, and apparently ever-lower paying, minimum wage jobs," O’Malley said. “In Maryland we believe that a stronger Maryland depends on a stronger middle class.”
Perry attended a lunch meeting with business owners at Morton's steakhouse at the Bethesda Marriott. A bus from Startup Maryland, an organization to grow and keep businesses in Maryland, showed up outside.
“We believe Maryland has more to offer than most states out there, Texas included,” said Mike Binko, of Startup Maryland.
“The criticism, of course, is that he’s not creating jobs in Texas, he’s poaching jobs, and if you look from a net perspective nationally, a job moved from Maryland to Texas is not a created job,” said Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau Chief Todd Gillman. “It’s just a job moved from one state to another.”
The owner of a local tech business who supported Perry's presidential bid last year and is interested in what he's saying now.
“He’s done a lot of things about making Texas pro-business,” Charles Curran said. “Low regulation, low taxes, very business friendly.”