BEDFORD, N.H. —Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley was back in New Hampshire on Tuesday as he continues to explore a White House run.
The Democrat said he knows that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is a heavy favorite for his party’s nomination should she run, but he offered a clear distinction on one hot-button issue.
“We have to realize that the greatest power we have is the power of our principles,” he said.
Speaking at a Politics and Eggs event in Bedford, O’Malley painted a vision of unity when talking about the country’s future, but he became much more pointed when asked about the religious liberty debate unfolding in Indiana when it comes to same-sex marriage.
“I think the wave of anti-gay, anti-lesbian legislation that is sweeping across many states is reprehensible,” he said.
Following the event, O’Malley said the topic offers a little daylight between himself and Clinton who has said she sees same-sex marriage as a state-based issue.
“I don’t believe it is a state issue,” O’Malley said. “I believe that marriage equality is a human rights issue.”
O’Malley made news recently by saying the presidency isn’t a crown to be passed between two families, a thinly veiled reference to the Clintons and Bushes.
O’Malley’s visit also came while former U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes, Clinton’s potential New Hampshire campaign manager, was visiting the state to assemble support ahead of a likely announcement.
Hodes said while Clinton is the favorite, there is an undecided pool of support to be had.
“And there are Democrats who looking for an alternative who they might perceive as more liberal,” Hodes said.
With his populist message, O’Malley could be emerging as the alternative to Clinton.
“I think the presidency is an awesome and sacred trust, and the people deserve to have a choice,” he said.
On Tuesday night, O’Malley planned to take part in a Young Democrats event and said he will be back in New Hampshire soon. He said a decision on a presidential run will come during the spring.
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