O'Malley vs. McDonnell: a key contrast in the 2012 election - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

O'Malley vs. McDonnell: a key contrast in the 2012 election

BALTIMORE, MD (WWBT)-  The State of Maryland is solidly blue and its votes probably won't have that big of an impact on the general election, but it's governor just might.

Martin O'Malley is a rising democratic star, who may one day be a candidate for president himself.  He shares quite a bit in common with our Governor Bob McDonnell.

"On a personal level, Governor McDonnell and I get a long fairly well," O'Malley told me in a one on one interview from Baltimore.  

And why shouldn't they? They are both military veterans, Irish Catholics, with big families and important jobs. They both also serve as the chairs of the republican and democratic governor's associations. But despite all they have in common, when it comes to practical politics O'Malley and McDonnell couldn't be more different.

"I believe the way me move America forward is by not treating like an old car that you stop repairing when it gets old," O'Malley said.

O'Malley believes that republicans like McDonnell, are advocating policies that keep the country locked in neutral. He was particularly critical of Virginia's past general assembly session. A session he believes will resonate into the presidential election.

"We have very different views when it comes to workers rights, when it comes to women's rights and when it comes to voters rights," said the Maryland Governor.

But republicans argue that McDonnell's leadership during the same time as O'Malley's has led to better results. Virginia has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and is considered by independent organizations as the best state to do business.

McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said that his boss and O'Malley part greatly when it comes to the issue of taxes.

"Governor O'Malley is a really nice guy who just happens to really love raising taxes" said Martin.  "Right now he's trying to increase taxes in Maryland on everything from gas to income to cigars."

So even though, at least for now, McDonnell and O'Malley won't appear on a ballot come November, their work could still speak volumes to voters when making a choice for president.

A choice that these two men with so much in common will once again be on opposite sides of.

We've posted our entire interview with Governor O'Malley on Decision Virginia.

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