Gov. Martin O'Malley Says 'New Leadership' Needed to Rein in Wall Street

ABC News' George Stephanopoulos goes one-on-one with the 2016 presidential candidate and former Maryland governor.
6:46 | 05/31/15

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Transcript for Gov. Martin O'Malley Says 'New Leadership' Needed to Rein in Wall Street
We'll turn now to the newest candidate for president, Maryland's martin O'Malley, he launched his challenge to Hillary Clinton yesterday. He starts out as a long, long shot. But as he told me, he believes that many democrats are looking for a fresh candidate. I declare that I am a candidate for the president of the United States! Why you why now? Because I believe our country is facing some deep challenges and I believe that we're not going to overcome our problems without new leadership. So, what I offer in this race, George, is 15 years of executive experience. The most difficult challenge we face right now is restoring the truth of the American dream that we share, making wages go up and make our country work again and making our economy work for all of our people. We have had democratic presidents, 16 of the last 24 years, how would a martin O'Malley's presidency be different from bill Clinton's and Barack Obama's? Because of president Obama's choices we were able to avoid a second great depression. I guess I differ, I would say, from president Obama in my background and my experience. His was that of a legislator. Mine was of a big city and also facing divot challenges and also of a state that we had to lead through the recession and that's a big difference with his experience. Also, it could be a double-edged sword, everyone has been focused on the issues of Baltimore, the recent unrest, you were the mayor of Baltimore for eight years, big drop in crime, but a lot of your critics say, your tenure sow the seeds of distress, I was struck by something that was said. He said that martin O'Malley is going around Baltimore is his claim to fame. I think this should be his greatest embarrassment. That's interesting. Isn't it? For all of the progress we make, there's always so much more that needs to be done. I would haven't been reelected with 88% of the vote if we weren't making substantial progress. When I was elected in 1999, George, our city had become the most violent and addicted and abandoned city in America. It was a huge challenge. We went on in the next ten years to reduce crime. Now, the city's population is growing again, with greater Numbers of young people moving back here than before. But it's also true that we have huge pockets of poverty in our city and in other cities in the United States. And the anger that erupted in our city happened in some of the poorest, hardest-hit neighborhoods where unemployment is actually higher now than it was six years ago. I would be angry, too. A poet once wrote, the unemployment in our bones erupts in our hands and stones. We can do better as a country and we can't leave behind so many that are underemployed or unemployed or earning less than they were 12 years ago. In your speech today, you had some tough words for Jeb bush and Hillary Clinton. The CEO of Goldman Sachs let his employees know that he would be just fine with either bush or Clinton. 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. Are you saying both bush and Clinton are beholden of the bullies of Wall Street? I'm saying we need new leadership to accomplish to rein in excesses on Wall Street. When you have a CEO telling his employees that he would be fine with either bush or Clinton, that should tell all of us something. You don't see a difference? Do I see a difference? Sure I see many differences. But one of the most important differences when it comes to reining in Wall Street is who is on our side. Do you think Hillary Clinton and Jeb bush would have the same approach to Wall Street? I don't know what secretary Clinton's approach to wall Street might be. She will run her own campaign and I will run mine. I can tell you this, I'm not beholden to Wall Street interest and one more difference, the president's controversial pacific trade agreement. O'Malley staked his claim. Hillary Clinton hasn't weighed in. Do you think she'll be for it? She's been silent. I haven't been silent. I'm opposed to it. We shouldn't be in a race for the cheapest labor in the world. It hurts our economy. Secretary Clinton also faces questions about her e-mail account and her foundation. That something that voters should be worried about? She's capable of defending herself. She has had a very, note-worthy career of public service to our country. I think we should focus on the ideas. President Obama had some fun at your experience. Martin O'Malley going completely unrecognized at a martin O'Malley campaign event. I was there. Well, you know, I don't know what your reaction to the joke was. He's sitting on a real problem, you're 1% in the pools before. Your path to victory? I think the presidential primary process and the caucuses in Iowa have a certain greatness to them and it is this, that people there have seen 1% candidates before get into the van go from county to county. Make their case about their better choices they would offer the nation and suddenly become very well known overnight when people make up their mind. How do you get into the poll position right now? Bernie sanders has kind of shot up in both the national polls in Iowa and New Hampshire the last few weeks, that's a challenge to your candidacy. Well, I think it's an encouragement to my candidacy and for this reason, I think the public is looking for new leadership, leadership that doesn't apologize for having Progressive values. Why should Progressive voters pick you over Bernie sanders? Because I have a track record of actually getting things done. You're heading to Iowa now. Heading to Iowa now and then New Hampshire. And coming up, two republican senators live this

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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