O'Malley: I never shook Blagojevich's hand
Gov. Martin O'Malley appeared on CNN today to discuss the need for a infrastructure-based stimulus package that would provide jobs as it launched road and bridge projects. The governor said he thought the government should spend $500 billion on such projects.
"President Obama -- and the governors agree with him -- believes that if we're going to borrow these dollars, at least we should be doing things like rebuilding our infrastructure, our roads, our bridges, our mass transit systems, so that our children will have some legacy benefit from this effort to restart our economy," O'Malley said.
O'Malley pegged the blame for the collapse of an auto bailout plan on Senate Republicans, and said he hoped President-elect Barack Obama would revive the issue. He said jobs at Allison Transmission and cargo traffic at the Port of Baltimore would be impacted if GM or another auto company went out of business.
Interviewer Tony Harris then asked O'Malley for his reaction to the travails of another Democratic governor, Rod Blagojevich of Illinois, charged this week witth seeking personal financial gain in exchange for filling the Illinois Senate seat.
O'Malley said he found the "brazeness" of Blagojevich's demands, caught on tape, to be shocking. He then took pains to distance himself from the Illinois governor as much as possible.
"I've never shaken the governor's hand," O'Malley said. "I really don't know the man very well."
O'Malley said that Blagojevich has not attended meetings of the Democratic Governors Association for the past two years, but did participate in a recent governors meeting with President-elect Barack Obama in Philadelphia.
-- Andy Green and David Nitkin