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Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley announces 2016 presidential bid

By Amy R. Connolly
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Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley announces 2016 presidential bid
Surrounded by family and supporters, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley announces his intention to seek the Democratic nomination for President of the United States of America on Thursday, May 30, 2015 at Federal Hill Park in Baltimore, Maryland. UPI/Pete Marovich | License Photo

BALTIMORE, May 30 (UPI) -- Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley announced his 2016 presidential bid Saturday morning, mounting a campaign against presumptive favorite Democrat Hillary Clinton for the party's nomination.

Announcing his bid in Baltimore, the city where he got his political start, O'Malley, 52, called on a new generation of leadership to "rebuild the American dream." The former twice-elected Baltimore mayor focused on the American dream, racial tensions and climate change, laying out his plans for his campaign.

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"We have saved our country before and we will save our country now. We will do that by rebuilding the dream," he said.

Speaking at Federal Hill Park, O'Malley stressed income inequality, the need to rebuild the country and focused on the role Wall Street executives played in the 2008 financial crisis.

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"Tell me how it is that in this country you can get pulled over if you have a broken tail light, but if you wreck the country you are absolutely untouchable?"

O'Malley has seated himself firmly to the left of Clinton, opposing the Keystone XL pipeline and a pending Pacific Rim trade agreement and favoring expanding Social Security benefits. O'Malley backed Clinton in her 2008 bid, but now says he represents a "new candidate with a clear voice" in changing times.

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On the campaign trail, O'Malley has touted his eight-year tenure as governor, which ended in January. He helped pass legislation to tighten gun restrictions, abolish the death penalty and grant in-state college tuition to some immigrants in the country illegally. Other parts of his gubernatorial record, including higher taxes and fees he said were necessary during the recession, have not been popular among voters.

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O'Malley is the third candidate to formally announce a bid for the 2016 Demoncratic nomination, joining Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Others considering a bid include Vice President Joe Biden, former Virginia Senator Jim Webb and former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee.

O'Malley left Baltimore after the announcement for Iowa for "meet and greet" events in Des Moines and Davenport.

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