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Former Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-Md.), who announced his 2016 presidential campaign on Saturday, said in an interview broadcast Sunday that he’s running for the White House because the U.S. is “facing some very deep challenges.”

“I believe that we're not going to overcome our problems without new leadership,” he said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” “So what I offer in this race, George, is 15 years of executive experience accomplishing difficult things and bringin' people together to get them done. And the most difficult challenge we face right now is restoring the truth of the American dream that we share, making wages go up, and making our country work again and our economy work for all of our people.”


O’Malley dismissed his poor showing in polls, saying the primary processes and caucuses “have a certain greatness to them.”

“And it is this-- that people there have seen 1 percent candidates before-- get into the van, go from county to county to county and make their case about their better choices that they would offer the nation, and suddenly become very well-known overnight when people make up their mind.”

O’Malley dodged a question about Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account while secretary of State.

“She's-- she's capable of defending herself. She has had a-- a very-- noteworthy-- career of public service and service to our country. So-- I think we should focus on the ideas.”

O’Malley also said he should be more attractive to progressive voters than Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) because he has a “track record of actually getting things done, not just talking about things.”

O’Malley also addressed critics who say the seeds of mistrust between the police and community were sown his tenure as Baltimore mayor.

“For all of the progress that we make, there's always so much more that needs to be done,” he said. “I would not have been elected with 91 percent of the vote first time or reelected four years later with 88 percent of the vote if we were not making substantial progress.

When I was elected in 1999, George, our city had become the most violent, and addicted, and abandoned city in America. It was a huge challenge. But we went on in the next ten years to achieve the biggest reduction of part one crime of any city in America. “

O’Malley said that the “anger” that erupted during riots in the city “happened in some of the poorest, hardest hit neighborhoods where unemployment's actually higher now than it was seven years ago.”

“I'd be angry too,” he added. “The poet once wrote that the unemployment in our bones erupts in our hands and stones. We can do better as a country. And we can't leave behind so many that are underemployed, or unemployed, or earning less than they were 12 years ago.”