Martin O'Malley Lead intv 08 06
O'Malley accuses DNC of stacking deck for Clinton
06:27 - Source: CNN

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The former Maryland governor made the observation Thursday at the Iowa State Fair

The barbs come as Sanders is gaining momentum in the polls

Des Moines, Iowa CNN  — 

Martin O’Malley thinks Bernie Sanders might have a long-term problem: He’s an avowed socialist.

The former Maryland governor – Sanders’ foremost progressive challenger for the Democratic presidential nomination – made the observation Thursday at the Iowa State Fair.

“I don’t think it’s a problem for the Democratic Party, but it might be a problem long-term for Sen. Sanders,” O’Malley said when asked whether Sanders’s self-declared socialism would be a problem.

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Asked what he meant, O’Malley took another dig at the Vermont senator, suggesting that Sanders joined the Democratic Party just to run for president.

“I am a lifelong Democrat and I believe very deeply in the principles of our party. I believe very deeply in what Franklin Roosevelt was about, what John Kennedy was about, and that’s why I choose to be a Democrat, not just in presidential years, but all the years of my life,” O’Malley said.