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O’Malley: Tea Party is ‘going nuts in Tampa’

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Robert Gibbs (center) and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (left) in Tampa, (Hayley Peterson/Examiner)

TAMPA, Fla. — Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said Tea Party Republicans attending the party's national convention this week are “going nuts in Tampa” over Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the GOP vice presidential candidate.

“I think we should… acknowledge that Paul Ryan really speaks to that sort of Tea Party, more libertarian wing of the Republican Party so of course they’ll be enthused about him,” O’Malley, a Democrat, told reporters at the Obama campaign’s “rapid-response war room” headquarters in Tampa. “While some of the Tea Partiers here going nuts in Tampa will be very excited about a country of less… that’s not what Moms and Dads across America want.”

O’Malley accused House Republicans of “trying to do everything they can to slow our economy and our jobs recovery before the election,” adding, “they are delighted with themselves because the dog has just about caught up with the fire truck.”

O’Malley, head of the Democratic Governor’s Association, was flown to Tampa on Monday to serve as an Obama surrogate for the duration of the GOP convention. He spoke to reporters alongside Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs and a few other Democratic officials that the party’s national committee has enlisted to serve on its Tampa response team.