BALTIMORE – Former Governor Martin O’Malley announced Saturday his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, with the theme of “rebuilding the American dream.” O’Malley said he wants to bolster the growth of the middle class, temper corporate power, work toward living wage policies, create a jobs agenda for renewable energy and pass immigration […]
BALTIMORE – Former Governor Martin O’Malley announced Saturday his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, with the theme of “rebuilding the American dream.”
O’Malley said he wants to bolster the growth of the middle class, temper corporate power, work toward living wage policies, create a jobs agenda for renewable energy and pass immigration reform. He pointed to his accomplishments as governor of Maryland, including passage of the DREAM Act, marriage equality and improving the public schools.
“The only way we are going to rebuild the American dream is if we retake control of our own American government,” O’Malley said before the hundreds that gathered on Federal Hill to hear him speak. “…So when a child with a world of learning ahead asks you who you voted for I want you to be able to tell that child ‘I voted for you.’ When you see a dad sweating through another long shift in order to give his daughter a better future, I want you to be able to tell that dad ‘I voted for you.’”
Prior to O’Malley’s speech, four residents of Maryland helped by his policies discussed why they support him. Robert Nolan, a resident of Old York Road who is also blind, said he has known O’Malley for 30 years and he was the only politician to come to his neighborhood, a place most would not dare go.
“(He has the) understanding that you can not only serve the affluent, you have to serve everyone,” Nolan said.
O’Malley, who served as mayor of Baltimore from 1999 to 2007, also said the riots after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody show us the values for which the country needs to strive.
“There is something to be offered to our country from those flames…It is about everything it is supposed to mean to be an American,” O’Malley said.
After the announcement, three protesters urged people not to vote for O’Malley because they do not believe he cares about addressing racism and his policies in Baltimore did not work. One carried a sign with expletives directed toward police and shouted that it is a “waste of time” to put faith in O’Malley. Protester Gabriela Munpower said she did not want to see O’Malley in power because he could not even fix his own town. And to make the issue not about racism is “ignorant,” she said.
“It is about racism. It is about the color of your skin. If you’re in a black tinted window SUV and you’re a young black male you’re probably going to get pulled over,” she said.
But Dave Asche, a Silver Spring resident, attended the rally to support O’Malley because of his dedication to the middle class. He said he thought the protesters could have conveyed their ideas in a better way.
“They do a disservice to their legitimate concerns when they do stuff like this,” he said.
Clinton showed she was not the best for the job when she lost the nomination in 2008, Asche said, and O’Malley is a better candidate than her or far-left candidate Bernie Sanders.
Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III has said he will support O’Malley, and sent out a notice before the announcement saying he was “pleased to announce that I will be standing with Governor Martin O’Malley when he makes his special announcement.”
Montgomery County Council President George Leventhal (D-At large) said he decided long ago that he would support Clinton because of her vast experience.
“I think she’s probably the most qualified non-incumbent that the Democrats have had in my lifetime,” he said.
O’Malley said Clinton is part of the “royal family” that would cater to big corporations in the finance sector like Goldman Sachs. Leventhal said that argument might appeal to those outside Maryland, but for those in the state O’Malley is part of the Democratic machine.
“He was a good governor. I don’t mean Democratic machine in a bad way…(but) I don’t think of him as an outsider,” Leventhal said.
O’Malley served as governor of Maryland from 2007-2015. His Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown ran to be his successor but lost to Republican Larry Hogan in the November elections.