By Jess Nocera
Capital News Service
PHILADELPHIA — Ex-presidential candidate and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley on Wednesday used some of the toughest language of the Democratic National Convention to tear into Republican nominee Donald Trump.
“It’s time to put a bully racist in his place, and it’s time to put a strong woman in hers — the White House!” a shirt-sleeved O’Malley told the roaring delegates in the packed Wells Fargo Arena. His speech lasted less than five minutes.
O’Malley attacked Trump as an “immigrant-bashing carnival barker.”
“Hillary Clinton understands the enduring symbol of America is not a barbed wire fence. It is the Statue of Liberty,” the former governor said, making an obvious dig at Trump’s proposal to build a wall on the border of the United States and Mexico.
O’Malley addressed global warming, mocking Trump’s claim that the Chinese invented the idea as hoax.
“If the Chinese were really capable of designing some kind of diabolical farce to hurt America, they wouldn’t invent global warming. They’d invent Donald Trump,” O’Malley declared.
On June 9, O’Malley officially endorsed Clinton, as did President Barack Obama.
O’Malley has been using tough language against Trump for a while. He even edited his prepared remarks to add more fire to his assault on the Republican nominee.
O’Malley interested in being DNC chair
In February, O’Malley officially ended his presidential bid after a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses. Speculation has been circulating this week at the convention over whether he will become the next chairman of the party.
“…If they wanted me to be the DNC chair I would do it and do it well,” O’Malley said in an interview with the Boston Globe. “But I am sure I am not the only person who could do that job well.”
O’Malley has had a long political career in Maryland. He was the mayor of Baltimore from 1999 to 2007 and then governor of the state from 2007 to 2015.
“Someone with that kind of experience has a future in politics or whatever they want to do,” said Sen. Catherine Pugh, the Democratic candidate for Baltimore mayor. “It is up to O’Malley to make that decision.”
While he was in the governor’s chair, O’Malley espoused progressive issues, including backing a ballot initiative that legalized same-sex marriage in 2012. He is also remembered for a series of tax hikes throughout his tenure.
O’Malley “accomplished a lot of groundbreaking things: same-sex marriage, repealing (the state’s) death penalty, and gun protection,” said Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, a convention delegate. “I hope he stays active in public service.”
Joseph Kitchen, a delegate from Fairmount Heights, called O’Malley a “strong progressive champion,” and said the ex-governor would be a great party chairman.
“He is the person in the party who can get both sides to come together,” Kitchen said. “We need one person who both sides can agree with.”
Delegate Brian Morrison, of Bethesda, said he thinks that having O’Malley as the next DNC chairman would be a “wonderful idea.” He added, “It worked for Tim Kaine to further his career.”
It’s “too bad the timing didn’t work for him running for president, but I think he still has a lot to offer the public,” said Morrison.
Whatever O’Malley’s next move is — political or not — he is going to go around the country to campaign for Clinton, Morrison said after speaking with O’Malley.
“I know Hillary Clinton. I’ve worked alongside her. I’ve competed against her,” O’Malley said in his speech to the DNC on Wednesday. “Hillary Clinton is as tough as they come.”