Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is seemingly on the outside looking in when it comes to his chances of securing the Democratic presidential nomination, at least according to polling, but shortly after the party's latest debate kicked off Saturday night, it seemed that he had a similar problem when he tried to voice his opinion on the issues discussed. Early on, O'Malley constantly looked to get a word in edgewise, to no avail, and had to all but force his way into the conversation once the topic of gun control came up, despite admonishments from moderators Martha Raddatz and David Muir to patiently wait for his turn to speak.
"I'm the only person on this stage who has passed comprehensive legislation on gun control," O'Malley said while interrupting the moderators. He went on to blame Clinton's and Sanders' respective voting records on gun control. O'Malley charged that Clinton changes her opinions on gun control every campaign season. He also accused Sanders of "flip-flopping" on the topic of gun control.
“What we need on this issue is not more polls – we need more principles,” O'Malley said in reference to Sanders' citing a recent poll indicating that an "overwhelming" number of Americans are in favor of increasing background checks for people who try to buy guns. However, when O'Malley was asked if he would make assault rifles illegal, he balked, instead deflecting to talk more about the "flip-flopping" while he pointed to his right at his fellow Democratic presidential candidates.
— Bustle (@bustle) December 20, 2015
Clinton and Sanders fired back that O'Malley had misrepresented the facts.
O'Malley entered Saturday night's debate at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, heavily trailing his two Democratic rivals by double-digit percentage points, according to the most recent poll, which puts him in the single digits, behind Sanders. However, his 5 percent polling was actually a milestone for his campaign, as it is the highest support he's seen on the campign trail thus far, ABC News reported.
— O'Malley for NH (@omalleyfornh) December 19, 2015
With the national minimum wage a major campaign issue, O'Malley took to Twitter in the days leading up to the debate to tout his previous achievements in that arena for the state of Maryland, possibly offering a glimpse of what he has planned to discuss Saturday night.
As Governor, O’Malley raised the state’s minimum wage and signed the nation’s first living wage law.
— Martin O'Malley (@MartinOMalley) December 17, 2015
The former Maryland governor has voiced his displeasure with the times at which the Democratic debates have been held, and he's been especially vocal about Saturday's debate taking place on the weekend before Christmas.
“They’ve scheduled it during shopping season, Dec. 19th,” O’Malley said, the New York Times reported. “I don’t know why that is. I think it’s out of a false sense that they have to circle the wagons around the inevitable front-runner.” O'Malley's campaign has said the Democratic National Committee, which sanctions its party's presidential debate, has taken steps to protect Clinton from national scrutiny by scheduling the debate on a weekend, suggesting viewers are more likely to tune in during prime time on a weeknight.