Politics

O’Malley Attacks Hillary Clinton on Wall Street Coziness, TPP Silence

Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley attacked frontrunner Hillary Clinton on ABC's This Week Sunday for her closeness with Wall Street and for staying silent on the Trans-Pacific Partnership issue currently dividing the Democratic Party.

O'Malley, the liberal former two-term governor of Maryland, officially entered the race on Saturday, but he is badly behind in the polls, even trailing socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.). O'Malley, like Sanders, is trying to outflank Clinton from the left.

"Recently, the CEO of Goldman Saches let his employees know that he'd be just fine with either Bush or Clinton," he said at his Saturday announcement. "I bet he would. Well, I've got news for the bullies of Wall Street. The presidency is not a crown to be passed back and forth by you between two royal families."

Host George Stephanopoulos asked O'Malley about those words, wondering if he thought both likely Republican candidate Jeb Bush and Clinton were both beholden to Wall Street interests.

"I'm saying that what we need new leadership to accomplish is to rein in excesses on Wall Street, and when you have somebody that's the CEO of one of the biggest repeat offending investment banks in the country telling his employees that he'd be fine with either Bush or Clinton, that should tell all of us something," O'Malley said.

Stephanopoulos repeatedly asked O'Malley if he thought Bush and Clinton would have the same approach to Wall Street, and he would not directly answer.

"I don't know what Secretary Clinton's approach to Wall Street might be," he said. "She will run her own campaign, and I will run mine. I can tell you this. I am not beholden to Wall Street interests. There are not Wall Street CEOs banging down my door and trying to participate or help my campaign."

O'Malley also hit Clinton for being "awfully silent" on the TPP issue, which has dogged President Obama. Obama supports the measure, but critics like O'Malley and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) have attacked the trade agreement from the left.