TIME

Exclusive: Martin O’Malley Says Bernie Sanders’ Strength is Socialism

Martin O'Malley
Charles Krupa—AP Democratic presidential candidate, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley talks with employees during a campaign stop at at the Timberland apparel company in Stratham, N.H., Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016.

An underdog reflects on his unsettled party

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley says it’s easy to see why Bernie Sanders is tapping into the populist anger: He’s a socialist.

In an interview Friday with TIME at a coffee shop in Portsmouth, N.H., the Democratic long-shot contender reflected on his inability yet to break out in the race for the White House in a year in which voters in both parties are frustrated with Washington, as well as Bernie Sanders’ ability to emerge as a challenger to Clinton.

“Yeah, he sure was,” O’Malley said, commending Sanders on his success, before laying down his explanation. “I don’t take anything away from him by being the socialist challenger to the Democratic Party.”

O’Malley has campaigned relentlessly over the past year with only incremental results in the three-person Democratic field. He averages just 2% in national Democratic polls, while notching about 5% in Iowa and 3% in New Hampshire. He said Sanders, who is leading Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire and closing the gap in Iowa, had advantages that he did not.

“It really screamed not establishment in ways I couldn’t,” O’Malley continued, about Sanders’ political philosophy. “I’m a lifelong Democrat. I’m proud of it. But I could not out-anti-establishment the first socialist to join the Democratic Party to run for president. That’s pretty anti-establishment.”

Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


YOU BROKE TIME.COM!

Dear TIME Readers,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team