O'Malley on Biden Run: Would be Nice to Have Another 'Lifelong' Democrat

The Maryland Governor spoke with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos.

ByABC News
August 23, 2015, 1:18 PM

— -- Responding to reports that Vice President Joe Biden is seriously considering entering the 2016 presidential race and met privately with liberal star Sen. Elizabeth Warren this weekend, Democratic presidential hopeful Martin O’Malley told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos today that it would “be nice to have at least one more lifelong Democrat in the race.”

Stephanopoulos asked O’Malley if that was a shot at Bernie Sanders, a self-described Democratic Socialist, who is the longest-serving independent member of Congress, but is seeking the Democratic nomination for president.

“No, it is a compliment to Vice President Biden for also being a lifelong Democrat," O'Malley said, adding that he has "a great deal of respect" for Biden and thinks he is a “very, very good and decent man."

Speaking live on ABC’s "This Week," O'Malley also responded to new polling from Quinnipiac University that finds a majority of voters in battleground states do not think Hillary Clinton is honest. O'Malley did not directly say whether he believes Clinton is trustworthy, but said questions about his opponent justify his call for more Democratic primary debates.

“Until we start having debates and start offering those ideas that move our country forward, we're going to be bogged down in questions of, 'What did Hillary Clinton know and when did she know it?'" he said. "We cannot allow our party to be branded by those sorts of questions of the past. We have to look to the future."

O'Malley said he would prefer to talk about issues like making college more affordable, wages, and climate change, and continued that he believes the Democratic National Committee will ultimately decide to host more than the six debates that are currently scheduled.

O'Malley also took on the frontrunner on the Republican side. Earlier this week, he held a press conference in front of one of Donald Trump's Las Vegas hotels to call attention to the issue of low-wage workers. Trump responded by calling O'Malley a "disgusting, weak, little pathetic baby" because he apologized to members of the Black Lives Matter movement after saying "all lives matter."

The former Maryland governor told Stephanopoulos, "I am not going to get into get into name calling debate with Mr. Trump." Adding, "I did take great exception to the hateful language he uses with regards to whole groups of new American immigrants. And I also have a great deal of disagreement with the economic policies he espouses, which are good for billionaires but bad for working people."