WASHINGTON — Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley on Thursday called on his competitors to propose specific policies to overhaul Wall Street, suggesting that only those who do so can consider themselves "credible" to voters.
"We made a commitment to the American people that we would follow through on Wall Street reform and we have not yet done that," O'Malley said during a policy discussion. "On this issue I don't believe that anyone can credibly run for president without offering a framework for how it is that we deliver on Wall Street reform."
O'Malley, who is barely registering in polls compared with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, reiterated his call for a "modern version" of the 1930s-era Glass-Steagall Act, which separated commercial and investment banks.
Those provisions were repealed during President Bill Clinton's administration.
The former two-term governor of Maryland has been hammering the financial sector since launching his presidential bid earlier this year -- part of a populist message intended to appeal to the wing of the party that supports Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and also to plant himself to the left of Clinton.
He spoke Thursday at a forum alongside former Rep. Brad Miller, a North Carolina Democrat who served on the House Financial Services Committee and was a leader on the issue.
Clinton is set to deliver her own speech on the economy in New York on Friday.
Wall Street reform is receiving renewed attention this week because it is the fifth anniversary of the passage of the Dodd-Frank banking regulations approved in the wake of the 2008 bailout of some of the nation's largest banks.
O'Malley has also called for better enforcement of financial regulations, and closing the "revolving door" between financial institutions and the government agencies that regulate them.
The effort won him praise Thursday from a leading progressive group that has long been aligned with Warren.
"Progressives are looking for a race to the top among Democratic candidates on big, bold, economic populist ideas," Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee said in a statement.
"Martin O'Malley was the first candidate to make criminal prosecution of Wall Street bankers a 2016 issue -- and it's been great to see a race to the top with Clinton and Sanders making bold statements in favor of accountability for bankers who break the law," he said.