Martin O'Malley uses Al Sharpton show appearance to tout Maryland

Gov. Martin O'Malley followed his Wednesday afternoon speech on the Mall to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington by appearing on the Rev. Al Sharpton's MSNBC program to hold up Maryland as an example of a state that is striving toward justice.

O'Malley, making an evening appearance on  Sharpton's "PoliticsNation," lamented the trends in some conservative-leading states but asserted that Maryland is doing a better job in increasing economic opportunity.

"A lot of this work is happening in states and sadly some examples are states going backwards," he said.

He held up Maryland as a state that does not belong on that list, boasting that it has set the highest minority contracting goals in the nation and is meeting those targets. The state has also closed the achievement gap between white and black children more than almost any other state, he said.

Such economic opportunities are "tied hand in glove with making our society more just," he said.

For O'Malley,  who is edging toward a possible run for the presidency in 2016, the appearance on the liberal-leaning show was an opportunity to speak to the Democratic base in other states about his record as governor. He capitalized on the chance by touting Maryland's  job creation gains over the past year and its No. 1 ranking by the Chamber of Commerce in innovation.

The governor said participating in the commemoration of the 1963 civil rights march had been a "tremendous" experience.

"It was a great day today because it reminds us our best days are ahead," he said.



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