O’Malley Accuses DNC of Trying to Help Clinton, Compares to Pro Wrestling

Democratic presidential candidate and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley blasted the DNC for limiting debates to help Hillary Clinton and wondered “what is this, the World Wrestling Federation?” on Thursday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Lead.”

O’Malley was asked if he thinks, “the DNC is rigging the process and stacking the deck for Hillary Clinton?” He answered, “Yes, I do, and I think that the country, and our party would be much better served by a full schedule of debates. Tonight, we’re going to hear the Republican candidates have their debate. We have yet to have any debates — until today, that were even scheduled in our party. So look, we are going to be best served as a country, and a party, by a robust discussion of the issues, and the actions we need to take in order to make our economy work again for all of us, to get wages to go up, rather than down. The good news is, our party actually has ideas. Our party actually has solutions. Their party does not. And I think we’re hurting yourselves if we try to circle the wagons and limit debate. I mean, what is this, the World Wrestling Federation? This is the Democratic Party, and we need democratic debates about the solutions that will actually serve America’s families on affordable college, getting wages to go go up, climate change, and all the rest.”

O’Malley added, “we are doing much better in Iowa. When I announced, 60 days ago, we were at 1%, and now in both of those, we’re up to 5%. And it’s those early states that actually determine this campaign, and how the dynamic unfolds, and the rest of it.” And “voters can’t be informed by a limited debate process. So, let’s ask the people if they think that it’s right that party bosses limit the number of debates for a vote that we cast that’s as personal as president of the United States. This process has shown time and time again, the candidates that the rest the country perhaps had never heard of, emerge in those early states. Why? Because that’s the place — those are the places where the voters have the opportunity to see the candidates exchange ideas, to state where they stand on issues like Wall Street reform, or these bad trade deals that we keep entering into, that send jobs abroad. These are issues that candidates need to stand up, and be accounted to, and for the people about where they stand on the issues.”

He also stated that Hillary Clinton’s answer on the Keystone XL Pipeline wasn’t acceptable, adding, “it’s easy not to take a position, if the party limits the number of debates, isn’t it? But once you’re in the debate, and you’re onstage, then the whole public sees whether you’re triangulating, avoiding issues, or not taking a stand. And that’s not what leadership’s about. Leadership’s about being clear, about forging a new consensus, not about putting your finger to the wind, and following polls, or ducking and not taking stands on issues. That’s why we need debates.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett