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O'Malley continues fight with GOP over ISIS, climate change comments

O'Malley continues fight with GOP over ISIS, climate change comments
Democratic presidential candidate former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley speaks during the Iowa Democratic Party's Hall of Fame Dinner, Friday, July 17, 2015, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) ORG XMIT: IACN1 (Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press)

Martin O'Malley continued his fight with Republicans on Wednesday over a comment he made suggesting climate change contributed to the rise of Islamic fighters in Syria and Iraq as his campaign sought to raise money off the exchange.

"We need to get some money in the door to help fight these attacks, and to elect a candidate who won't repeat the mistakes of the past," the campaign blasted in an email to supporters. "Take a second today and add your support to this campaign -- as someone who believes in science," it wrote.

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The email followed criticism O'Malley received Monday when, in an interview with Bloomberg, he said that "one of the things that preceded the failure of the nation state of Syria and the rise of ISIS was the effect of climate change." The O'Malley campaign has pointed to a New York Times story from earlier this year in which a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that climate change had contributed to a drought and subsequent political destabilization in Syria.

O'Malley's comment received considerable attention from conservative news outlets and promoted Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus to release a statement late Monday that said "it's abundantly clear no one in the Democrat Party has the foreign policy vision to keep America safe."

O'Malley's campaign responded that it would be more than happy to engage with Republicans on the issue.

"They defend the wrong-headed decision to invade Iraq -- a war that cost thousands of American lives and trillions of dollars. When faced with cold, hard scientific facts, they bury their heads in the sand and deny the adverse effects of climate change on the planet. Is it any surprise that Donald Trump is leading the pack?" campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith said on Monday.

"Martin O'Malley isn't running to repeat the mistakes of the past -- he's offering bold, new and progressive leadership," she said. "And unlike the Republican Party, he is proud to believe in science."

The email sent by the campaign Wednesday -- under the subject line "hilarious" -- included much of the same language in O'Malley's original statement late Monday but also included a link to make a donation.

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