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Martin O’Malley, a Democratic presidential candidate, said Sunday that Republicans and the media are raising “legitimate” questions about Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: Polls flash warning signs for Trump Polls suggest Sanders may be underestimated 10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall MORE’s use of a private email server. 

O’Malley, a former two-term Maryland governor, said the questions surrounding Clinton’s email habits as secretary of State aren’t allowing Democrats to talk about the economic issues worrying voters.


“So long as our Democratic Party is not talking about the issues that matter most around the kitchen table, the only question that will be asked every day, and it's a legitimate question, by media people like yourself, or by the Republicans, are questions about Hillary Clinton's emails,” O’Malley said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“Those are questions that I will leave to her and to her lawyers to answer. But as a party, we need to wake up and we need to start having debates about the issues that really matter, like making college more affordable for more families, making wages go up and not down,” O’Malley added.

O’Malley also repeated his call for the Democratic Party to hold more presidential debates, insisting that Democrats won’t be able to get past questions about Clinton’s trustworthiness without more discussion about the issues.  

“Until we start having debates, and offering those ideas that move our country forward, we're going to be bogged down in questions of, 'What did Hillary Clinton know and when did she know it?' ” O’Malley said.

The former Maryland governor, who is running far behind Clinton in the polls, campaigned at a hotel owned by GOP front-runner Donald TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE in Las Vegas in recent days to try to give his bid a spark.

Trump called O’Malley a “disgusting little weak, pathetic baby” in the wake of that appearance. On Sunday, O’Malley bemoaned Trump's "hateful" speech.

“When you listen to their debates, very few of their candidates take him on directly for the hate-mongering, for the hateful speech about women and about immigrants,” he said.