O'Malley: Hillary Clinton Using 9/11 to Defend Wall Street Ties Was 'Pretty Shameful'

November 16, 2015

Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley blasted Hillary Clinton Monday for invoking the memories of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to defend her strong financial backing from Wall Street, calling them "pretty shameful."

After Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) hit Clinton for her Wall Street ties at Saturday night's Democratic debate, she went on defense in a manner that surprised many onlookers.

"I represented New York, and I represented New York on 9/11 when we were attacked," she said. "Where were we attacked? We were attacked in downtown Manhattan where Wall Street is. I did spend a whole lot of time and effort helping them rebuild. That was good for New York. It was good for the economy, and it was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country."

Clinton was roundly criticized for the remarks, and O'Malley did not hold back either.

"I thought that moment, frankly, was pretty shameful," O'Malley said. "I don't believe that people watching were applauding the notion that Secretary Clinton was pumping out this smokescreen and wrapping herself in the tragedy of 9/11. I don't think they saw that as something appropriate to do, to mask her coziness and her closeness to Wall Street and all of the architects of the crash in 2008."

O'Malley said Clinton subscribed to an economy benefiting the big banks and the most wealthy, calling it a big difference between the two in the race.

"We should not be on the hook as taxpayers for the bad bets that are made by banks that have grown too big to manage on Wall Street," O'Malley said. "That's a fundamental difference in this race, and in that shameful moment, I think Secretary Clinton was trying to pump out a smokescreen to cover her tracks on this one."

O'Malley's deputy campaign manager, Lis Smith, ripped Clinton for the statement while her boss was on the stage.