Texas Gov. Rick Perry has a running campaign going to attract companies and jobs to his state’s low-tax, pro-growth business environment, and he turned his attention to Maryland last week with radio and television ads suggesting to Maryland residents that, “when you grow tired of Maryland taxes squeezing every dime out of your business, think Texas, where we’ve created more jobs than all the other states combined.” Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley was neither pleased nor impressed by this display of Texas gumption, insisting that “the gentleman is all hat and no cattle” in defense of his own economic track record.
CNN got the two rumoredly potential presidential contenders together on Crossfire last night to duke out the respective economic merits of their states; Perry may have succumbed to a few of the verbal stumbles to which he is wont, but he and Gingrich together gave O’Malley a pretty thorough going-over to which I’m not convinced O’Malley adequately rejoined. There’s a fuller transcript at RCP:
GINGRICH: Let me ask — let me ask you this. As an objective fact, in the five years you’ve been governor, Texas has gained 440,000 people. According to the U.S. Census, Maryland has lost 20,000.
Now, if we’re having all this upward trajectory, why is Texas doing 22 times better in population migration over the last five years than Maryland?
O’MALLEY: Actually, you need to check your facts. We’ve actually added 230,000 people. And we’ve actually grown by 4 percent. But that fact is dubiously put out by some blogs…
GINGRICH: This is the U.S. Census.
CUTTER: And I think the other issue is that the number of people coming to Texas, those are lot of low-wage workers looking for jobs, and that’s where they’re finding them, in Texas.
PERRY: Again, you’re absolutely incorrect on that. Look, how do you — how do you justify, how do you stand there and say that you’ve got all these low-wage workers that are coming to Texas when Facebook, eBay, all of the technology companies, Apple — you’ve got, again, Caterpillar, Toyota — major manufacturers that are coming into the state of Texas?
Martin’s state lost 4,700 jobs in July. That’s the fact. You lost 4,700 jobs in July. Texas created 18,200. So this idea that, I mean, there’s some real…