WASHINGTON (CNN) — Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley called the Republican Party’s assertion that overly-burdensome regulations are contributing to inequality “patently bulls—.”
In an interview with NPR “Morning Edition” host Steve Inskeep that aired Monday, O’Malley, who is openly contemplating a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, responded to questions concerning the GOP’s crusade against regulations.
He said he didn’t see “any truth” to the argument from Republicans that too many government regulations can prevent Americans from advancing economically they’re unable to hire the lawyers to navigate them. O’Malley went on to agree that large corporations can navigate regulations in a way small businesses can’t, saying “our tax code’s been turned into Swiss cheese.”
“And certainly the concentrated wealth and accumulated power and the systematic deregulation of Wall Street has led to this situation where the economy isn’t working for most of us. All of that is true,” he said.
“But it is not true that regulation holds poor people down or regulation keeps middle class from advancing. That’s kind of patently bulls—.”
They were some of the strongest words yet from the former governor, who has been working to frame himself as a progressive alternative to former secretary of State Hillary Clinton if he enters the race, as is expected.
O’Malley insisted he hasn’t made a decision, and said he will by the end of May, but sounded like a candidate in the interview, promising to lay his policies out “when I get into the race.”
He said he would draw a contrast with Clinton as a “progressive executive with a record of accomplishments,” versus Clinton’s “experience as a legislator and secretary of state,” and also suggested there would be a “perspective difference” between the two.
“I see, having spoken to younger people, people under 40, where our country’s headed. And it is not the sort of siloed and bureaucratic and ideological world of many of us baby boomers and our older siblings. It is a more connected world and it is a more collaborative and open and transparent world,” he said.
The former Maryland governor has avoided criticizing Clinton outright, but has emerged as master of critical innuendo, last week hinting at an attack on Clinton’s shift on gay marriage. He refused to directly criticize that move in the NPR interview, but offered another pointed non-answer when asked whether Clinton could win the presidency if nominated.
“Both of those decisions, the nomination and the ultimate election are up to the people of the United States,” O’Malley said. “I think she would be a far better president than any of the candidates I’ve so far seen emerge in the Republican Party.”
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