The party’s healthcare reform bill remains widely unpopular since being passed into law in March. Many of the members who voted for it have avoided addressing the legislation on the campaign trail, and Republicans have rallied supporters by saying they will repeal it.

"I know the media wants us to apologize for being Democrats," Cummings said Thursday at a rally on Federal Hill for Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D). “They want us to apologize for healthcare."

Cummings then said: "Why? Because the Democratic Party is the humane party."

Cummings was one of several speakers who warmed up the large crowd assembled in the park overlooking Baltimore's Inner Harbor. O'Malley faces former Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R) in his reelection bid. Early voting starts in Maryland on Friday, and many speakers urged the crowd to cast an early ballot as they waited for former President Clinton, the headliner, to arrive. 

"We're here today to get the vote out," said Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.). "We know what’s ahead of us. It’s tough out there."

He added, “If we pull the vote out, we will win and we will win big."