Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley speaks during an event to announce that he is entering the Democratic presidential race, on Saturday, May 30, 2015, in Baltimore, as his wife Katie, right, looks on. O’Malley joined the Democratic presidential race with a longshot challenge to Hillary Rodham Clinton for the 2016 nomination. “I’m running for you,” he told a crowd of about 1,000 people at Federal Hill Park in Baltimore, where he served as mayor before two terms as governor. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
By Ken Thomas, Associated Press
Posted: 05/30/15 – 8:41 AM PDT |
BALTIMORE >> Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley entered the Democratic presidential race on Saturday in a longshot challenge to Hillary Rodham Clinton for the 2016 nomination, casting himself as a new generation leader who would rebuild the economy and reform Wall Street.
“I’m running for you,” he told a crowd of about 1,000 people in a populist message at Federal Hill Park in Baltimore, where he served as mayor before two terms as governor. O’Malley said was drawn into the campaign “to rebuild the truth of the American dream for all Americans.”
O’Malley has made frequent visits in recent months to early-voting Iowa, where he was headed later Saturday, and New Hampshire, his destination Sunday. Still, he remains largely unknown in a field dominated by Clinton.
Already in the race is Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who could be O’Malley’s main rival for the support of the Democratic left.
An ally of former President Bill Clinton, O’Malley was the second governor to endorse Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2007. But he made clear that he thinks Democrats deserve a choice in the 2016 primary.
“The presidency is not a crown to be passed back and forth … between two royal families,” O’Malley said. “It is a sacred trust to be earned from the people of the United States, and exercised on behalf of the people of the United States.”
He pointed to recent news reports that Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein would be “fine” with either Clinton or former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a leading Republican contender and the son and brother of presidents, in the White House.
It was a forceful message that O’Malley will focus on overhauling the financial system, a priority for liberals opposed to the bailouts of Wall Street banks.
“Tell me how it is, that not a single Wall Street CEO was convicted of a crime related to the 2008 economic meltdown? Not a single one,” O’Malley said. “Tell me how it is, that you can get pulled over for a broken tail light, but if you wreck the nation’s economy you are untouchable?”
Aides said O’Malley called Hillary Clinton on Friday to tell her he was running.
The 52-year-old O’Malley has spoken often about the economic challenges facing the nation and said he would bring new leadership, progressive values and the ability to accomplish things.
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