Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and current Maryland state Sen. Anthony Muse is railing against House Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer and Maryland Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley for what he calls “endorsement intimidation.”
O’Malley and Hoyer both endorsed incumbent U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, who Muse is challenging as a fellow Democrat, during Tuesday’s annual Maryland Democratic Party luncheon.
The Maryland Democratic Party and President Barack Obama broke the state party’s bylaws by endorsing Cardin over Muse and the others who have filed to run in the April 3 primary.
According to a statement from Muse, during the luncheon, after Hoyer and O’Malley endorsed Cardin for re-election, Muse took to the podium in protest. He said party officials cut his microphone before he was given the chance to make a case for why he’s better than Cardin.
“We have gone from voter suppression to endorsement intimidation,” Muse said in a statement. “Those in control assume that if they say ‘let’s go this way’ then the rest of us must fall in line with their suggestions. That is not democracy.”
Muse argued that if Hoyer and O’Malley are going to break party bylaws by making endorsement at an official Democratic luncheon, he and other candidates on site should have been allowed to as well. He said his invitation to the luncheon came with a message: that he was to “be seen” but “not heard.”
“There were many views and candidates in the audience,” Muse said. “If you are here to give endorsements, then there was absolutely no reason why I was not afforded an opportunity to express another view to my own party. As an elected official and a senior member of the State Senate, that was completely disrespectful.”
One local news outlet reported that Hoyer “shrugged” at Muse’s criticisms. “It speaks for itself,” Hoyer said, according to local Maryland news site Gazette.net.
Earlier this week, former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino — who left his post protecting Obama to run for the U.S. Senate as a Republican in Maryland — told The Daily Caller he thinks Obama’s and the Maryland Democrats’ endorsements of Cardin over Muse is an effort to silence candidates who aren’t “establishmentarian.” Bongino has called on the president to rescind his endorsement.