-- Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley announced this morning that he will seek the 2016 Democratic nomination for the presidency.
"Today, to you, and to all who can hear my voice, I declare that I am a candidate for the president of the United States and I'm running for you," O'Malley said at rally in downtown Baltimore, where he served as mayor for two terms before his tenure as governor.
O'Malley presented himself as a younger Democrat to the left of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying he would take a tougher stance with big banks.
"Recently, the CEO of Goldman Sachs let his employees know that he'd be just fine with either Bush or Clinton. I bet he would," he said. 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."
According to a source close to the O'Malley campaign, the former governor called former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday and told her it's time for "new leadership."
Another major focus of O'Malley's speech was the necessity of rebuilding the middle class. "The American Dream we share, its powerful history, its current condition, and most importantly, its urgent need for rebuilding," he said.
Before taking the stage, O'Malley actually tweeted his presidential announcement on his official account, writing, "I'm running for president to rebuild the American Dream."
Clinton responded on the platform following her Democratic challenger's announcement, saying, "Welcome to the race, Gov. O'Malley. Looking forward to discussing strong families and communities."
The former governor, who is only polling about 1 percent nationwide according to a Quinnipiac poll out this week, was headed straight out on the campaign trail today with events in Iowa and New Hampshire this weekend.
O'Malley was scheduled to sit down for an exclusive interview with ABC News' Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos today. The interview will air Sunday on "This Week."