BETHESDA, Md. (WJLA) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry expressed his First Amendment right Wednesday while hosting a business luncheon in Maryland. The Republican governor is trying to lure Maryland businesses to Texas.
About 50 area executives broke bread with Gov. Perry inside Morton’s Steak House at the Hyatt Regency. Following lunch, leaders of the Maryland Republican Party also managed to snag a meeting with the man trying to poach jobs from the Free State.
A radio smear campaign valued at $500,000 started an interstate battle for business.
“At a point in time, over-taxation, over-regulation, over-litigation is going to catch up with you,” Gov. Perry said.
A recent study by the Tax Foundation, a group aimed at creating a simpler tax code, found Texas to be the ninth lowest state for taxation; Maryland sat at 41st.
"Thirty percent of all the jobs created in America in the last 10 years were in Texas. That didn't happen by accident," Gov. Perry said. "I hope that we can all get together and agree that competition is good. I know it's uncomfortable."
"Gov. Perry is not here hijacking businesses," says Republican gubernatorial candidate Charles Lollar. "He's here to at least give them the opportunity to chose Texas because the problem is they're already leaving."
“We can’t say we exactly wish him well in his ventures, but we also thank him for shining a very bright light with the commercials that he’s done and his visit here,” says Diana Waterman, Md. Republican Party chairman.
But entrepreneur Zack Kline says he’d never relocate his landscaping business.
“That’s why I’m here right now,” he says. “I’m not over there listening to him. I’d rather be here in the state of Maryland, growing my business where I have my roots and see it come to fruition.”
The debate is only heating up. O'Malley and Perry will go head-to-head on CNN's Crossfire Wednesday evening. Perry will then hold more meetings Thursday before heading home Friday morning.