BALTIMORE — Former President Clinton singled out Karl Rove and the "secret committees" for causing a "crazy food fight" that’s confusing voters during a rally for Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D).
"They're banking on you not thinking," the former president said at the event on Federal Hill in Baltimore. "They're banking on some people being so mad that facts don’t matter."
The Republicans' "only hope," Clinton said, "is that on Election Day in 12 days, tomorrow's America, the America that showed up in 2008, will stay home. And yesterday's America will show up and people will be so mad, it won’t be like sports, we won't be thinking, the facts won't have nothing to do with it."
"Show up, claim your future, keep your governor," said Clinton, whose voice was often hoarse. The Baltimore rally was his third campaign stop after starting his day with events in Florida for Democrat Alex Sink and in North Carolina for Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.).
Clinton has emerged as a weapon for the Democratic Party as it tries to hold on to majorities in the House and Senate and prevent Republicans from winning gubernatorial contests across the country.
Speaking to a large crowd assembled in the park overlooking Baltimore's Inner Harbor, Clinton framed the election in similar terms as President Obama and other Democrats — as a choice between going forward with their party or going back to Republican policies under former President George W. Bush.
“This election is about whether you want to reverse all the things that we’ve done,” Clinton said. “Because there’s always a time lag between when you do the right thing and you feel better. We’re in the gap here. This election is occurring in the gap."
He asked the crowd to vote Democratic in November.
“Essentially what our party is asking for in these [midterm] elections is four years to get out of a hole the American people gave them eight years to dig,” he said. “It seems fair to me, don’t you think?”
O’Malley faces former Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R) in his reelection bid. Clinton urged voters to back O’Malley in November. “If ever there was a tale of two governors, this is it,” Clinton said. “You couldn’t have a more strong contrast. The governor’s opponent has basically promised to cut education.
“Why is this a race? Because people are frustrated,” he said.
Early voting starts in Maryland on Friday, and many speakers urged the crowd to cast an early ballot as they waited for Clinton, the headliner, to arrive.
“We’re here today to get the vote out,” said Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.). “We know what’s ahead of us. It’s tough out there.
He added, “If we pull the vote out, we will win and we will win big.”