(This post is from our new blog: Unofficial Sources.)
Former Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich this morning used a strikingly mild characterization of the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, calling it “a case where maybe somebody screwed up.” Ehrlich, speaking on WMAL radio, added that “you have to let the process play itself out.” By contrast, Ehrlich emotionally condemned city residents who engaged in looting or arson, saying, “The way you don’t react is to trash somebody’s business and place police lives in danger. It loses all sense of credibility, all sense, none, zero, no rationalizations here, no excuses, no defense.”
Ehrlich’s response was elicited by a question from one of the hosts of Mornings on the Mall about riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968: “It was different then, wasn’t it? Because there were some people who stood on corners with shotguns, and entire neighborhoods were protected, were they not?”
Ehrlich was elected as Maryland governor in 2002, losing to Martin O’Malley in 2006 and then again in a 2010 rematch. In 2006, Ehrlich’s campaign mailed fliers to Prince George’s County, which is heavily African-American, suggesting that then-NAACP President Kweisi Mfume and two local black Democratic officials had endorsed Ehrlich. Mfume called it a “real malicious attempt to mislead voters in the 11th hour.”
In addition, Ehrlich’s 2010 campaign manager was convicted of attempting to suppress the vote during that year’s race in Prince George’s County and Baltimore, also majority African-American, via robocalls.
Listen to the interview here:
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty