Baltimore Sun

Obama coming to Maryland for O'Malley

** Updated with location information **

President Barack Obama will stop in Maryland to campaign for Gov. Martin O'Malley on October 7, according to a top Democratic source.

The O'Malley campaign says the event will be in "the afternoon" at Bowie State University in Prince George's County. There's no word yet on the location or time Bringing the President could excite African American voters who O'Malley must convince to vote in large numbers if he wants to win his contest against former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican. (To the right is a 2006 photo of O'Malley with then-Sen. Obama.)

Already the Obama administration has shown support for O'Malley, taping a 60-second radio ad for him that began airing today and inviting him to a White House bill signing for a new program he pushed to extend capital to small businesses. Vice President Joe Biden headlined a fundraiser for the governor in July.

When asked this morning at a news conference if the President would come to Maryland, O'Malley was coy. "I sure hope so," he said. "I hope the President comes to Maryland. He is leading this country out of this recession, it is hard every single day. We are making more progress ever day."

The GOP, however, was not impressed. Parish Branden, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee said in a statement that O'Malley has "nothing to show for his fiscal mismanagement but unrelenting, high unemployment" and it's "no wonder Governor O'Malley is looking for some outside help."

Using the latest department of labor figures, Branden pointed to 216,000 out of work Marylanders and said O'Malley's claim that the President is moving the country out of the recession "clearly indicates that he has no understanding for the financial hardship many families in his state are facing."

Maryland's unemployment rate crept up last month to 7.3 percent, but is still below the national average of 9.6 percent. 

** U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings told WOLB radio host Larry Young this morning that Obama would make the Oct. 7 stop in Prince George's County. Cummings also hinted on the radio that Baltimore might host a visit from First Lady Michelle Obama later, but the O'Malley campaign has not confirmed.