From this Sunday's Meet the Press, former Baltimore mayor and Maryland governor Martin O'Malley was asked to respond to John Boehner repeating the Republicans' favorite talking point of the week, that “fifty years of liberal policies” that “have not worked” are responsible for the economic problems in cities like Baltimore.
Todd also quoted from a recent article in the Washington Post which asked “Why couldn't $130 million transform one of Baltimore's poorest places?”
TODD: What are we getting wrong here? The money has been there. What are we doing wrong?
O'MALLEY: Well Chuck, that's just not true. We haven't had an agenda for America's cities for at least two decades.
TODD: So there's money, but no agenda?
O'MALLEY: No, that's not what I'm saying. We have not had an agenda for America's cities, probably since Jimmy Carter and the UDA grants and that era. We have left cities to fend for themselves and you know what? Because of the dedication of a lot of mayors and good people throughout cities in America, cities have been actually coming back. [...]
But look, the structural problems that we have in our economy, the way we ship jobs and profits abroad, the way we failed to invest in our infrastructure and failed to invest in American cities, we are creating the conditions. Please, Speaker Boehner and his crocodile tears about the $130 million, that is a spit in the bucket compared to what we need to do as a nation to rebuild our country. And America's cities are the heart of our country. We need an agenda for American cities. We need to stop ignoring especially people of color and act like they are disposable citizens in this nation. That's not how our economy is supposed to work, it's not how or our country works.
TODD: Do you think you can still run on your record as mayor of Baltimore and governor of Maryland, given all this? You are getting a lot of scrutiny now. Do you think this is a positive thing voters will look at and say, “You know,Martin O'Malley ought to be president?"
O'MALLEY: I tell you what Chuck, I did not dedicate my life to make Baltimore safer and more just place because it was easy. And I am more inclined and deeply motivated to address what's wrong with our country and what needs to be healed and what needs to be fixed. This should be a wake-up call. What's happened in Baltimore should be a wake-up call for the entire country.
The protests that also happened in New York, Philadelphia, and other cities--we have deep problems as a country. And we need deeper understanding if we are going to give our children a better future.
O'Malley also added this about his potential announcement should he decide to jump into the 2016 presidential race: O’Malley says Baltimore would be setting for announcement of presidential bid:
Former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley said Sunday that he will announce his presidential campaign in riot-scarred Baltimore if he moves forward with a White House bid.
"I wouldn't think of announcing anyplace else," O'Malley, the city's former mayor, said during an appearance on NBC News' "Meet the Press."