Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s re-election campaign this week launched a website featuring a Jeopardy-style game show that mocks Democratic challenger Ben Jealous as embracing reckless tax-and-spend policies.
The site, MDCantAffordJealous.com, purports to tally the costs of Jealous’ policy proposals — including plans to expand health care, provide free college tuition and revive the Red Line light rail in Baltimore — and pins the total at more than $35 billion annually. The state’s operating budget is about $44 billion.
"That’s Not Free,” the website states. “That’s A Lot of Benjamin$!"
“Name this Maryland candidate for governor who is on a spending spree with your money,” says an announcer hosting a Jeopardy-style game show.
The site is the latest Republican attack on Jealous — if perhaps more light-hearted than earlier ads. For weeks, the Republican Governors Association have run negative TV ads featuring ominous music and darkened images that portray Jealous as a “socialist.”
Kevin Harris, a senior adviser to Jealous, said Republicans are trying to distract from Hogan’s record in office. Jealous’ proposals aim to improve the economy, lower the sales tax and reduce health care costs, Harris said.
“There’s nothing more unaffordable than four more years of the status quo, where under Larry Hogan health care premiums and prescription drug costs have surged while wages have stayed flat for Maryland’s families,” he said. “Instead of dishonest attack ads, Larry Hogan should explain to voters why in four years he hasn’t acted to make their lives better, and why now he’s only offering negative attacks instead of a positive plan to solve real problems in real time.”
The Maryland Democratic Party also this week released a web video attacking Hogan over comments he made last month during a discussion with financier David Rubenstein about having a positive relationship with the administration of Republican President Donald Trump.
Hogan, who polls well in Maryland, has consistently tried to distance himself from Trump, who is deeply unpopular in the state. The Democratic Party has been repeatedly attempting to tie Hogan to Trump.
“The president has always been gracious personally to me,” Hogan says in the video, recorded during an interview at an Economic Club of Washington, D.C. event. “We’ve had to work together with the administration and they’ve been very cooperative and good on a number of issues.”
The Democrats seized on those comments, highlighting the phrase “cooperative and good” in bold letters in the video.
“While Hogan says Trump has been cooperative, Maryland families have been hit hard,” the ad says, citing administration policies they say have harmed Marylanders’ health care and targeted immigrants.