O’Malley praises Perry for bucking GOP ‘racism’ on immigration

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Maryland’s Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley has seldom had kind words for Republicans, but he offered praise Thursday for Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s immigration policies, praising him for standing up to “thinly-veiled racism” within the GOP ranks.

Mr. O’Malley, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, praised the Republican presidential candidate for his defense of a Texas law that allows children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates. Mr. Perry signed the bill into law in 2001, and was booed by some attendees at Tuesday’s GOP debate after he reiterated his support for the idea.

Speaking with reporters Thursday morning at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, Mr. O'Malley expressed admiration for Mr. Perry’s stance while also taking a shot at other Republicans.

“I do admire his willingness to stand up to the immigrant-bashers and thinly-veiled racism and scapegoating that is so rampant in their party,” Mr. O'Malley said.

Texas is one of 11 states that have passed legislation allowing in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. Maryland passed its own version of the law this year, but opponents have collected enough signatures to force a voter referendum on the plan next year.

Mr. O'Malley also predicted that President Obama would win re-election next year, despite his low standing in the polls right now.

He said Mr. Obama would prevail when the election becomes a choice between two candidates, saying, “He’s not running against the Almighty. He’s running against an alternative.”

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