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Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley Announces Presidential Candidacy; Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert Indicted for Lying to FBI; Senate to Debate Passing Parts of Patriot Act. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired May 30, 2015 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:04] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: New competition for Hillary Clinton. This hour former Maryland governor and one-time Clinton supporter Martin O'Malley enters the race for the White House.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: A big question there, once two steps from the Oval Office, now under indictment, former House speaker Dennis Hastert at the center of a sexual abuse allegation.
PAUL: Plus where is Natalee Holloway? For 10 years no one has been able to answer that question. Now CNN talks to one man who says he knows.
So grateful to have your company this morning, I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: And I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to have you in the CNN Newsroom.
A big announcement coming this hour.
PAUL: Any moment, in fact, former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley is announcing that he's running for the Democratic nomination for president, yes, taking on Hillary Clinton. Let's take you live to Baltimore where O'Malley was mayor. Here you're looking at Federal Hill. That's where he's going to kick off his campaign.
BLACKWELL: We'll bring his announcement to you live as soon as it happens. Protests are expected there, though. CNN senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny is in Baltimore. There are a lot of people, Jeff, who don't know Martin O'Malley. He's got a lot of work to do to change that.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. There's no question that Martin O'Malley has a big task ahead of him, an uphill battle, not only running against Hillary Clinton, but also, as you said, introducing himself to voters in those early states of Iowa, New Hampshire.
But I just learned a few moments ago that Governor O'Malley actually called Secretary Clinton late yesterday to tell her that he was going to jump into the Democratic presidential campaign, saying he was going to run against her. But sort of an interesting element here, he is presenting himself as a new generation. He says he's a new face of the Democratic Party. He's also presenting himself as not only a politician, but a musician. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
ZELENY: The man strumming "Hail to the Chief" is Martin O'Malley, and he wants to be president.
MARTIN O'MALLEY, (D) FORMER MARYLAND GOVERNOR: Hi, Martin O'Malley.
ZELENY: He's a musician and former Maryland governor, ready to go head to head with Hillary Clinton.
O'MALLEY: Right now our country's in a fight for the very future of the American dream, and I am drawn to that fight.
ZELENY: On a recent visit to New Hampshire, he acknowledged he's hardly a household name.
Do you start this race having to introduce yourself to a lot of people?
O'MALLEY: Sure. I start this race as a new face to a lot of people and somebody totally unknown, and which is the same way I started when I ran for city council or state Senate, or mayor.
ZELENY: His time as mayor of Baltimore is now in the spotlight given the violence and protests in the city. He talked about it with CNN's Jake Tapper.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Do you shoulder any of the blame here? Are you responsible at all?
O'MALLEY: Well, we're all responsible. I was responsible when I decided to run for mayor in 1999 and I told people all across our city, vote for me, and together we will not only improve the policing of our streets, we'll improve the policing of our police.
ZELENY: His record will be seen in a new light in his uphill battle to knock off the Democratic frontrunner.
O'MALLEY: History is full of examples where the inevitable frontrunner was inevitable right up until she was no longer or he was no longer inevitable.
ZELENY: This year he's been sharply critical of Clinton.
O'MALLEY: The presidency of the United States is not some crown to be passed between two families.
ZELENY: It's a different tune from eight years ago when he was one of her biggest fans.
O'MALLEY: It is with great pride and enthusiasm that I endorse my friend, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, to be the next president of the United States.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I could not be prouder than to have this endorsement. ZELENY: Those old bonds now broken as he seeks to stop her
ZELENY: Now we're going to see a different side-by-side view of O'Malley and Clinton later this year when they appear on the same debate stage. Again, he's presenting himself as a new generation Democrat. Even his super PAC is called generation forward, a not so subtle nod that he is 52, Secretary Clinton is 67 years old. So an interesting Democratic race ahead, Victor.
BLACKWELL: Jeff, there are protests planned this morning at the time when the governor will make this announcement. What do the numbers look like? What can you tell us about these protests?
ZELENY: As of now, the protests have not materialized. We are here on Federal Hill just outside downtown Baltimore. A lot of supporters are gathering here in the crowd as you can see. Heavy security presence, but no protesters yet. CNN's Bonnie Calf, who is out looking for protesters, says she's seeing nothing around Baltimore right now. So we'll see if the protests actually develop.
[10:05:10] But right here the crowd is obviously supporters, obviously an invited crowd. So Governor O'Malley is going to give a speech here and then travel on to Iowa and New Hampshire over the weekend.
BLACKWELL: All right, Jeff Zeleny reporting live in Baltimore. Again, we're awaiting the announcement from former Maryland governor, former Baltimore mayor, Martin O'Malley, announcing his candidacy for president of the United States. As Jeff reported he has already called former secretary of state Hillary Clinton to alert her that he's entering the race. We will bring the announcement live. We're expecting it in about 25 minutes.
PAUL: Meanwhile, indicted former speaker of the House Dennis Hastert could be arraigned as early as next week. The 73-year-old ex- Republican congressman accused of lying to the FBI and skirting bank laws so he could give millions of dollars in hush money to an unidentified person who apparently knew about alleged misconduct. Now a law enforcement source tells CNN Hastert was paying a former male student to keep quiet about allegations of sexual abuse. Hastert used to be a high school teacher, and a history teach, in fact, and a wrestling coach. That was in Illinois back in 1965 and continued until 1981. He allegedly paid nearly $2 million in this hush money, but agreed to pay $3.5 million overall.
BLACKWELL: Well, joining us on the phone now is Katherine Skiba, a Washington correspondent for the "Chicago Tribune." Katherine, good to have you with us, because we're looking for some clarity here.
KATHERINE SKIBA, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, "CHICAGO TRIBUNE": Good morning.
BLACKWELL: There is this report from another "Tribune" paper about a second person who has come out now with similar allegations that corroborate what the first person is alleging. Clarify this for us. Is this a second person alleging a second instance or example of abuse or just corroborating the first allegation?
SKIBA: Actually, it's the second person law enforcement tells us is a man who has raised similar allegations about Dennis Hastert's conduct. But this individual has not been paid. And we're also told by law enforcement that this probe is ongoing. Hastert was not only a teacher, he was a wrestling coach. He was a Boy Scout troop leader. And I don't think that the seven-page allegation that we have, the indictment, is the last we'll hear of this case by any means.
BLACKWELL: Katherine, I don't want to belabor this point, but I think it's important to find out if the second person is saying that there are separate allegations in addition to the allegations that are made by the first person, that whatever this misconduct is, that one person, the first individual A is referring to, this second person is now talking about a separate instance?
SKIBA: Yes, our understanding is there is a separate victim, a separate set of circumstances involving Dennis Hastert's misconduct. But again, this person has not been paid. The indictment focuses on a person who has lived in Yorkville, Illinois, that's far west suburban Chicago. The indictment says he's known Hastert nearly all his life, and that they met in 2010 and they got together, and the money, the $3.5 million that was agreed to was to compensate for and conceal past misconduct from years earlier.
BLACKWELL: And this individual A, this is the alleged person, this misconduct occurred with or this is someone who had knowledge of --
SKIBA: No, A is the victim. A, it is our understanding is the victim here.
BLACKWELL: OK. OK. Let's talk about the federal pension for former speaker Hastert. Does he receive that even if he's convicted?
SKIBA: Well that's a story that is now at ChicagoTribune.com. And I spoke yesterday to the National Taxpayers Union which looks at congressional pensions, and I looked up the statute. Hastert at age 73 is now eligible for three separate pensions totaling $116,000. His federal pension is $73,000. He looks like he'll keep that. He's got a pension from his years as a state legislator in Illinois, $27,000. It looks like he'll keep that. He has a teaching pension of $16,000 a year, and that's the one that at this early stage appears to be in jeopardy, because if convicted, and the alleged misconduct is traced to his days as an educator, then that pension could be pulled away from him.
When I spoke to the National Taxpayers Union, President Pete Sepp told me yesterday with respect to the federal law regarding federal congressional pensions, if there's a loophole it will be exploited. And let me say two things. Congress has taken steps in recent years in both 2007 and 2012 to tighten the statutes with respect to what triggers a pension loss. And so now there's 30-plus felonies that can trigger a lawmaker, a congressional lawmaker to lose his pension. [10:10:06] But there are two criteria that have to be met. The
misconduct has to have occurred while the person was a member of Congress, and the misconduct has to directly relate to the performance of that individual's official's duties. And what is known about the Hastert case so far suggests that even though lying to the FBI is one of these 30 felonies that will trigger a pension, because the lie allegedly occurred last December when he told the FBI that he was stockpiling this cash because he didn't feel safe with the banking system, that happened seven years and change after he left the congress.
BLACKWELL: All right, Katherine Skiba with us from the "Chicago Tribune" offering some clarity here, and again, this the latest reporting is on your website there. Thank you so much for speaking with us, Katherine.
SKIBA: Thank you, Victor.
PAUL: Meanwhile, we are just we believe a short while away from Martin O'Malley's big announcement, that he's joining the Democratic race for the White House. There alive pictures coming to you out of Baltimore, the city where he's going to make that announcement, where he started his political career. And when he takes that stage we're going to bring you right there, live.
Also, when we come back, the deadline is fast approaching for a particular key component of the patriot act. The Senate, however, isn't returning until tomorrow. So a lot of people are wondering, is the security of the United States at risk here?
[10:15:00] PAUL: It's 14 minutes past the hour right now, and President Obama is warning of grave consequences without resolution on the National Security Agency's massive data collection program. He says if lawmakers don't scramble and, you know, make a deal by midnight tomorrow, a terrorist could slip past U.S. intelligence. Sunlen Serfaty is following the story for us from the White House. Sunlen, what are you hearing there today?
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Christi, there's no sign of a resolution yet just one day, as you noted, before this deadline. The White House has really been ratcheting up their rhetoric on this, saying it would be irresponsible and reckless of Congress if they let these surveillance programs expire. President Obama yesterday in the Oval Office called for the Senate to act.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't want us to be in a situation in which for a certain period of time those authorities go away and suddenly we're dark, and, heaven forbid, we've got a problem where we could have prevented a terrorist attack or apprehended someone who was engaged in dangerous activity, but we didn't do so simply because of inaction in the Senate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SERFATY: Administration officials say the only viable option here is for the Senate to tomorrow to take up pass the House bill. That bill would extend these revisions, but it also makes changes to the controversial bulk forward data collection, basically moving it from the hands of the government into the hands of phone companies.
Now, Senator Rand Paul, a Republican, he has promised to block this bill tomorrow in the Senate. Here's what he said on the campaign trail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAND PAUL, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think it's a fight worth having. I have some detractors who say we shouldn't be having this fight. We'll have this fight again. They're aren't happy with me because I made them work on their vacation weekend last week, and I'm making theme back on Sunday because I still object to this thing passing. I may not win the battle, but at the very least I want to draw attention.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SERFATY: And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, his office says that they will pass some version of the NSA bill. But the question, Christi, of course what version will that be and will it allow these provisions to lapse?
PAUL: Sunlen Serfaty, thank you so much for the update, appreciate it.
BLACKWELL: Lieutenant Colonel James Reese joins us now for more. He's a CNN global affairs analyst. Lieutenant Colonel, good to have you. Let's get to the central question here. Does the White House's rhetoric match the reality? Does the U.S., do Americans face grave consequences if these programs go away?
LT. COL. JAMES REESE, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Good morning, Victor. Grave? No. Critical? Yes. Our politicians need to stop playing politics and give the people on our front line who do this, give them the authorities to do what they need to do. We've got to keep our technology up, especially intelligence world, because we don't want to have friction points into our intelligence to allow our threats and our enemies to get into the homeland.
BLACKWELL: The argument is there has to be some balance between security and civil liberties. That's not a new one. It goes back centuries. And this of course is the central question for people who are opposing this.
REESE: Victor, there's no question. But we also have to realize that technology and everything else continues to move. And if we do this, just transnationally here, and sometimes these programs have become revolutionary to protect our homeland, especially after 9/11. Again, my concern is we have politicians playing politician through 2016, through the presidential aspects, and we need to give our intelligence folks everything they need to do their jobs to protect us.
BLACKWELL: All right, Lieutenant Colonel James Reese, thank you so much.
REESE: Thanks, Victor, have a great day.
BLACKWELL: You too.
PAUL: You know the race for the White House is getting a little bit larger this hour as former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley is getting ready to jump in. His announcement is ahead. We're going to bring it to you live as soon as he steps up to that podium.
Plus, a college student from Kansas now being called a hero. Killed in a suicide bombing in Saudi Arabia, what he did to try to stop that. We'll be back in a moment.
[10:22:54] PAUL: It's 22 minutes past the hours right now. And a Wichita State student was killed in a terror attack. Now his friends and family say this guy was a hero. A 22-year-old electrical engineering student, he died when he tried to stop a suicide bomber from killing hundreds of people at a mosque in Saudi Arabia yesterday. The bomber did not get inside, but he did blow himself up, killing the student and several other people. CNN's Nick Valencia is covering this for us. And I understand you are getting some new details this morning, Nick?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Christi. We just heard from the ministry of the interior for the government of Saudi Arabia. They're talking about the details of Friday afternoon's attack at that Shia mosque in Saudi Arabia, saying in part security men suspected a car when it was heading to the car parking adjacent to the mosque. When the security men approached the car, it exploded, killing four people, where one of them is believed to be the driver and spreading fire to a number of cars.
Now the government of Saudi Arabia has not officially named 22-year- old Abdul Jalil al-Arbash as one of the victims, but his family is saying that he's a hero, that there was hundreds of people inside that Shia mosque at the time of the attack, and if it weren't for him more would certainly be dead. He's 22 years old. He was taking electrical engineering classes at Wichita State University. And his family says that he was in Saudi to get married and talked about him at a memorial service held this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His move in Saudi Arabia was bravery. Because of that bravery and heroism, he saved a lot of people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's like a brother or more than a brother for everybody. If you can see him right now, you'd see a smile on his face.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VALENCIA: That young man was volunteering as a security guard. There were heightened tensions in the region because of another separate attack on a different Shia mosque in the region. Victor, Christi?
PAUL: So Nick, have the people from Wichita State, the university there, made mention of this or given any public statements?
VALENCIA: They have, and they're offering their condolences. They're calling him a very good kid, a good student, and they did release a statement to the media, part of that saying "The Wichita State University Community is saddened by the tragic death of one of our students. Our condolences go out to the Abdul Jalils and friends and colleagues in the time of this loss."
[10:25:09] A good man by all intents and accounts from his friends and family, saying he was always smiling. You see a photo of him there smiling.
PAUL: Really good point. Nick Valencia, thank you so much.
VALENCIA: You got it, guy, thank you.
BLACKWELL: It's been 10 years and still no trace of Natalee Holloway. The teenager vanished during a trip to Aruba, and now on the anniversary of her disappearance one man claims he knows what happened to her. That's ahead.
Also, we're waiting for Martin O'Malley, former government of Maryland, former mayor of Baltimore, to take the stage there in Baltimore in Federal Hill. He's about to announce his candidacy for the presidency. We'll take you there live next.
[10:30:47] PAUL: Thanks to the beauty of television you get to go from your living room or wherever you might be right now to Baltimore live, where at any moment former mayor, Maryland governor Martin O'Malley is announcing his official White House bid. O'Malley making this announcement in the city that he served as mayor for seven years.
BLACKWELL: Let's bring in CNN senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny. Also we have Chris moody, senior correspondent for CNNpolitics.com, and national policy strategist Craig Varoga. Jeff. I want to start with you. We've got people out waiting for this announcement. There were reports that there were going to be some protests today, although the latest reporting is that those have not come to fruition. When are we expecting to hear from the former governor?
ZELENY: Good morning, Victor. You're right, many more supporters here for Governor O'Malley as you can see behind me, than protesters. Governor O'Malley is going to present himself as an authentic liberal, a new face of the Democratic Party. You can even see it from the signs and banners that are here. If you can see it behind me, it says "For president, 2016, new leadership." Of course this is not so subtle attack or critique of Hillary Clinton.
He's presenting himself as a new face of the party. He's 52 years old. Secretary Clinton is 67 years old. So that's one of the things in his speech, he'll be presenting himself as what he's done in his time as Maryland governor, leading on a liberal progressive agenda. Not expected to go after Secretary Clinton during his speech. This is about him. This is about introducing himself to voters. But we will hear a call for a new moment for the party, a new generation of leadership.
BLACKWELL: And this PAC is Generation Forward. One question here to Craig, you worked with the governor on his campaign for governor of Maryland. Guys, let's put up this bio full-screen explaining his history and politics. He served in elected office every year since 1991. He's clearly spent more time in political office than Hillary Clinton, and it's been almost 25 years. How does he sell Generation Forward, a new face, a fresh face for the Democratic Party having been in elected office since 1991?
CRAIG VAROGA, NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well think he's going to look at this as a candidate who has both experience and a forward- looking vision. My advice both to the governor and to the campaign is to recognize that, one, this is not 2008. Hillary Clinton is in a stronger position than she was then. And, two, to also recognize that Bernie Sanders has already done a very good job in launching his campaign and having a fundraising launch in last several days. So I think what Governor O'Malley needs to do is highlight the specific issues where he was -- disagrees with Senator Clinton or Secretary Clinton and to that that's the type of change that he will pursue as a candidate and as president.
BLACKWELL: All right, we see the governor here coming out with the now former first lady with the state of Maryland. They're going to be approaching the stage soon. Chris, before we hear from the governor, tell us, are we expecting an aggressive pitch here? Or is this going to be, I wonder what his treatment or his approach to Secretary Clinton will be?
CHRIS MOODY, CNN POLITICS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, on paper Mr. O'Malley has a strong progressive record that something liberals can look to not only in his beliefs, but also what he did as governor and as mayor. And as Jeff noted, this is his opportunity to introduce himself to not only the people -- people of Maryland know who he is, but outside the country, or outside of the state, in New Hampshire and Iowa. People don't know who he is. He does not have high national name I.D. So before he starts attacking Clinton he has to define himself and who he is, and he's going to be traveling around the country to do that.
Now, of course, Hillary Clinton is sucking a lot of oxygen out of the room here. But she does have nowhere really to go but down. So starting today this will be his opportunity to start to chip away at the lead as much as he can, and he has a lot of time to do it.
BLACKWELL: A lot of the oxygen out of the room, metaphorically, but I wonder, Chris, money out of the process. I mean, I would imagine that secretary Clinton has locked up a lot of big supporters and bundlers. What about the governor's chances to get the money early on?
[10:35:15] MOODY: Money is going to be very difficult. And you have to think of the Democratic donor and what might happen to them if they are seen donating not to Hillary Clinton. There are risks involved as far as, you know, just, you know, being shunned by the Clintons or you know. They do have a history of remembering who donates to whom. So I think it will be interesting to see what kind of money he can raise from prominent Democratic donors. I think that's going to be a real challenge for him.
BLACKWELL: Jeff, let me come back to you, and just on the left side of your screen if you're watching at home, that's a campaign video that they're watching there. And then we're going to hear from Governor O'Malley. Jeff, I wonder more than this forward-looking approach, more than this Generation Forward, what is his approach to Secretary Clinton? I heard from Chris a bit, but what is your reporting tell you, if he's going to as he goes out to the early caucus and primary states, hit her record pretty hard.
ZELENY: Well, Victor, we've seen an indication of this over the last couple of months. He is going to try and remind voters and tell voters that he is, is a liberal progressive Democrat. He's going to remind voters that he passed laws for gay marriage and other things, into law. So he's going to be pushing her a little bit to the left. But I do not believe that he is going to attack her. And we can see him taking a stage right now, behind me. He will begin his speech in just moments, Victor.
BLACKWELL: All right, let's listen here and let the moment fill out. We've got Governor O'Malley and his wife there standing with him as well, former first lady Kate O'Malley. They've been married for 25 years.
O'MALLEY: My goodness. Thank you all for coming out today. Katie and the kids and I want to thank you for being here. And we have a little announcement we'd like to share with you.
O'MALLEY: I want to talk with you today about the American dream, about the American dream we share, it's powerful history, its current condition, and its urgent need of rebuilding. Our nation was founded on two self-evident truths -- that all of us are created equal, and that we are endowed by our creator with certain rights to life, to liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
And with these words, the American dream began. No fine print, no expiration date. All of us are included, women and men, black people and white people, Native Americans, Irish-Americans, Asian-Americans, Latino-Americans, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Americans, young and old, rich and poor, workers and business owners, gay, lesbian, and transgender, and straight Americans, all of us are needed.
(APPLAUSE) O'MALLEY: For in our idea of country, there is no such thing as a spare American. There is, however, a growing gap of injustice in our country today. It is the gap between the strong, just nation our children need for us to be and the nation we are in danger of becoming. For today in America, 70 percent of us are earning the same or less than we were 12 years ago, and this is the first time that that has happened this side of World War II.
Today in America, family-owned businesses and farms are struggling to compete with ever-larger concentrations of corporate power. And 50 years ago, the nation's largest employer was G.M., and the average G.M. employee could send his kid to college on two weeks' wages.
[10:40:07] Today in America, with dreams of college and a decent- paying job and a secure retirement slipping beyond the reach of so very many, the American dream seems for so many of us to be hanging by a thread. And yet for American, there is always a yet, and the a final thread that holds us just might be the strongest. It is the thread of generosity, compassion, and love, that brings us together as one American people.
O'MALLEY: For over 200 years, we have been the architects of our own future. And now we must build anew. My father and mother, Tom and Barbara O'Malley, were born to the Great Depression, and they grew up to be part of that great generation of Americans that won the Second World War. My dad flew 33 missions over Japan in a B-24 liberator, and went on to college only because of the G.I. Bill. And my mom herself flew in the civil air patrol at the age of 17.
O'MALLEY: They raised their children, the six of us, to a secure middle class future because of the sacrifices and the better choices of their generation. But they would never accept the notion that somehow theirs was the greatest generation, for they believed and they taught us that every generation of Americans has the ability and the sacred responsibility to make themselves great for their country.
O'MALLEY: And so we must, and so we will, no matter the odds, no matter how tough the fight, no matter how big the challenge. And that is the urgent calling for us today, to rebuild the American dream now in our time.
Last month, television sets around the world were filled with the anger, and the rage and the flames of some of the humblest and hardest-hit neighborhoods in Baltimore. For all of us who have given so much of our energies to making our city a safer, fairer, and more prosperous place that was a heartbreaking night for all of us. For us, Baltimore is our country, and our country is Baltimore. And there is something to be learned from that night. There is
something to be offered to our country from those flames, for what took place here was not only about race, not only about policing in America. It was about everything it is supposed to mean to be an American.
O'MALLEY: The scourge of hopelessness that happened to ignite here that evening transcends race, it transcends geography. Witness the record numbers of young, white kids killing themselves on heroin in suburbs and small towns across our country. The hard truth of our shared reality is this -- unemployment in many cities and many small towns across the United States of America is higher now than it was eight years ago. Conditions of extreme poverty breed conditions of extreme violence.
We have work to do. Our economic and political system is upside-down and backwards, and it is time to turn it around.
O'MALLEY: Understanding precedes action, and we must understand that what happened to our economy, the damage done to the American dream we share, did not happen by chance, nor was it merely the result of global forces somehow beyond our reach. Powerful, wealthy special interests here at home have used our government to create in our own country an economy that is leaving a majority of our people behind, an economy that has so concentrated wealth and power in the hands of the very few that it has taken opportunity out of the homes of the many.
[10:45:16] An economy where the majority of our people are unheard, unseen, unneeded, and left to conclude that their lives and their labors are worth less today than they were yesterday and will be worth less still in the future.
We are allowing our land of opportunity to become a land of inequality. Main Street struggles while Wall Street soars. Tell me how it is, tell me how it is that not a single Wall Street CEO was convicted of a crime related to the 2008 economic meltdown? Not a single one.
O'MALLEY: Tell me how it is that you can get pulled over in this country for having a broken taillight, but if you wreck the nation's economy, you're absolutely untouchable?
O'MALLEY: You know and I know, this is not how our economy is supposed to work. This is not how our country is supposed to work. This is not the American dream. It does not have to be this way. This generation of Americans still has time to become great. (APPLAUSE)
O'MALLEY: We have saved our country before and we must save our country now and we will do that by rebuilding the dream, as I look out here today, over this original land of the free, and the home of the brave, I see the faces of so very much who have helped so many people in the life of our city and the life of our state. Together we made our city a safer, healthier, and better place for kids. Together we made our city believe again. And we invented a better and new way of governing call City Stat, and we got things done.
O'MALLEY: Together we made our state's public schools the best in the nation. We made college more affordable for more families.
O'MALLEY: Let's hear it from the teachers back there.
O'MALLEY: We led our people forward through a devastating recession and we took greater care to protect the land, the air, and the waters of our Chesapeake Bay.
O'MALLEY: And we passed the Dream act and we passed marriage equality.
O'MALLEY: Together we raised the minimum wage and we maintain the highest median income of any state in the nation. We achieved top rankings in innovation, entrepreneurship, and women and minority business ownership and participation.
O'MALLEY: And yes, it took new leadership, it took new perspectives, and it took new approaches. But together we believed in the American dream, we took action to make it real, and that is exactly what our nation needs to do today.
O'MALLEY: You see, our economy isn't money. Our economy is people, all of our people. We measure success by the growing prosperity and security of our people, all of our people. A stronger middle class is not the consequence of economic growth. A stronger middle class is the cause of economic growth.
O'MALLEY: And together as one people we must build an American economy that works again for all of us. This means good jobs and wage policies, wage policies that allow families to earn more as they work harder and harder.
[10:50:01] O'MALLEY: And that means a higher minimum wage. That means overtime pay for overtime work. And that means making it easier rather than harder for workers to organize and bargain collectively for better wages.
O'MALLEY: And if together we take these actions, the American dream will live again. Climate change is real, and it also happens to be the greatest business opportunity to come to our country for 100 years. So we must create an American jobs agenda for America's renewable energy future.
O'MALLEY: And we must also launch a new agenda to rebuild American cities as places of hope, opportunity, and justice for all.
O'MALLEY: And if we take these actions, the dream will live again. For the sake of our country's security, our country's well-being, and our country's economic growth, we must also bring 11 million of our neighbors out of the shadows by passing comprehensive immigration reform, because the enduring symbol of our nation is not the barbed wire fence. It is the Statue of Liberty.
O'MALLEY: Yes, we are a nation of immigrants, we are a compassionate and generous people, and if we act according to our principles and the better angels of our nature, if we return, in other words, to our true selves, the dream will live again. Make no mistake about it. Our ability to lead the world, our ability to be safe in the world, depends on the strength of the American dream here at home.
The challenges we face in this world today are not the challenges that we faced in the 1990s. So together we must construct a new national security strategy and build new alliances that are forward-seeing and forward-acting.
O'MALLEY: And the center of this new security strategy must be the reduction of threats, fast-evolving threats from violent extremism, pandemic cyber-attacks, nuclear proliferation, nation-state failures, to the drought, famine, and floods of climate change.
We must also craft a new foreign policy of engagement and collaboration. We must join with like-minded people all around the world and especially right here in our own hemisphere for the cause we share of a rising global middle class.
O'MALLEY: And we must put our national interests first, we must put America first. And we cannot and will not rebuild the American dream here at home, though, by catering to the voices of the privileged and the powerful. Let's be honest, they were the ones who turned our economy upside-down in the first place. And they're the only ones who are benefitting from that.
We need to prosecute cheats. We need to reinstate Glass-Steagall. And if a bank is too big to fail without wrecking our nation's economy, then we need to break it up before it breaks us again.
O'MALLEY: True story -- Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs was one of the biggest, repeat investment banks in America. Recently, the CEO of Goldman Sachs let his employees know that he would be just fine with either Bush or Clinton. I bet he would.
O'MALLEY: Well, I've got news for the bullies of Wall Street -- the presidency is not a crown to be passed back and forth by you between two royal families. It is a sacred trust to be earned from the American people and exercised on behalf of the people of these United States.
[10:55:15] O'MALLEY: The only way we are going to rebuild the American dream is if we retake control of our own American government.
O'MALLEY: The poet laureate of the American dream, Bruce Springsteen --
O'MALLEY: -- once asked, "Is the dream a lie if it don't come true? Or is it something worse?" Whether the American dream becomes a lie or becomes an ongoing truth that our children can enjoy, that our children can live, that our children can build upon, is really up to you and to me. It's up to all of us. It's not about Wall Street. It's not about the big banks. It's not even about big money trying to buy our elections. It's about us. It's about whether together we the people still have the will to become great Americans.
I believe that we do, and my decision is made. Now you will all have a vital choice to make next year for the good of your families, for the good of the country that you love and country that you carry in your hearts. And it is a choice that people will ask you about for years to come. And so, when a child with a world of learning ahead asks you who you
voted for, I want you to be able to tell that child I voted for you. When you see a dad sweating through another long shift in order to give his daughter a better future, I want to be able to tell that dad -- I voted for you.
When you see a mom working long hours at two jobs for the dream of being able to send her only son to college, I want you to be able to tell her I voted for you.
And when you see a young father who hungers for a decent job to support his family, I want you to be able to tell him I voted for you.
For the story of our country's best days, is not found in the history book, because this generation of Americans is about to write it.
O'MALLEY: And that is why today, to you and to all who can hear my voice, I declare that I am a candidate for president of the United States, and I am running for you.
O'MALLEY: May God bless you and may God bless the United States of America. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley there with his family as he announces he is a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States. We've got with us Craig Varoga, Jeff Zeleny, and Chris Moody. Chris, I want to start with you, the governor hitting all of the progressive hot points, Glass-Steagall, climate change, marriage equality, immigration reform, minimum wage increase, and income inequality. But in the latest polls just out a couple of days ago, he's still at one percent support. What does he have to do to increase that?
MOODY: You hit the nail on the head. He went the gamut of the liberal coalition, focusing a lot on jobs and allowing the American dream to reach more people, many people that is hasn't had an impact on. As you said, his polls are low. People around country don't know who he is.
[11:00:00] So now his task is to take the message that he just gave in Baltimore and try to take that across the nation, to Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and other states. I think it's a message that will certainly resonate. He's going to be able to look back at his record when he talks to liberals as governor and point to a lot of concrete wins.
But also his opponents are going to be able to point to what has happened in the city where he was mayor, Baltimore, and the possible effects of his policies on the community there. So he has a tough road ahead. But with a message like that I think some people might give him a chance, at least to hear him out.
PAUL: All right.
Hey, Chris, thank you so much and thanks to all of our guests. They're going to stick around here as we pass it off to Randi Kaye. She's going to continue to walk you through all the politics and the happenings of the day -- Randi.
RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Thank you all very much. Appreciate that. Have a great day.