The Democrat’s comments, in an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” are another signal that he’s likely to challenge Clinton in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary.
He’s focusing in recent weeks on issues like income inequality and wage stagnation – which liberal darling Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has made her signature, but that haven’t found a champion in the presidential race.
O’Malley said he won’t decide until this spring whether he’ll seek the Democratic nomination. But his shots at Clinton have been the most direct of any of the party’s likely challengers – with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders seeking to avoid the topic of Clinton at all costs.
Recalling the 2008 primary, when then-upstart Sen. Barack Obama challenged an inevitable-looking Clinton and won, O’Malley hinted he thinks Clinton could be defeated.
“History is full of times when the inevitable frontrunner is inevitable right up until he or she is no longer inevitable,” O’Malley said.
The pro-Clinton group Correct the Record hit back at O’Malley on Sunday afternoon, saying voters have seen Clinton “work her entire life” to earn her status as the Democratic front-runner.
“Hillary Clinton has earned the trust and the respect of Americans because they have seen Hillary work her entire life to ensure, through improving education, health care, fair pay and fighting every day for working and middle class Americans, that all of us have the opportunity to succeed,” said the group’s spokeswoman, Adrienne Watson.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has repeatedly said she's not running for president, but the Democrat -- a favorite among progressives -- has been urged to run by populists in her party. A first-term senator elected in 2012, Warren is known for her attempts to take on Wall Street -- both as a senator and as the creator of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau during President Obama's first term.
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has been laying the groundwork for a potential presidential campaign, headlining 80 fundraisers and 40 campaign events around the country. A two-term governor, his time in office ends in January. The Democrat's resume as governor includes legalizing same-sex marriage, repealing the death penalty and enacting strict gun-control laws.
Vice President Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton faced off in the early 2008 Democratic primaries, and both are weighing 2016 bids. A 2016 run would mark Biden's third bid for president; he also ran in 1988. Before becoming vice president, Biden served as a U.S. senator from Delaware for 36 years. He has already made visits to early primary states this cycle on official White House business. And if Clinton runs, Biden said her decision wouldn't affect his own.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont who caucuses with Democrats, has been testing the waters for a 2016 bid. He's hoping to push an agenda that focuses on income inequality, climate change and campaign finance reform. Sanders has already traveled to early primary states such as Iowa and New Hampshire.
Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb has said he's "seriously looking" into a 2016 bid for the Democratic nomination. Webb left the U.S. Senate at the end of his first term in January 2013. He's a veteran of the Vietnam War who also served as Navy secretary and assistant defense secretary.