Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) is not ready to weigh in on whether he will run for president in 2016.
O’Malley on Sunday also declined to criticize Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.), another potential 2016 candidate who is under fire for lane closures on the George Washington Bridge last September.
“It’s an honor to even be mentioned in the company of those that might lead our country forward after President Obama, and right now I’m focused on the work at hand and the work of this general assembly session in Maryland,” O’Malley said.
“Sure, I’ve said I’m thinking about it, but right now I’m primarily focused on what I need to do for the good people of our state,” he said.
Much of the potential Democratic 2016 field is waiting to see what former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will do, but if Clinton does not run, O’Malley would be considered one of the top candidates for the Democratic nomination.
On the Republican side, Christie’s stock has taken a hit in the fallout from the bridge lane closures, as he fired a top aide last week over her involvement in the scandal.
O’Malley declined to offer his opinion on the bridge lane closures or whether they had hurt Christie’s stock in 2016 as a result.
“I don’t know that I can really shed more light on it,” O’Malley said. “I think this is something for the people of New Jersey and the authorities up there to get to the bottom of.”
Asked whether he could conceive of a similar scenario happening in his state, O’Malley focused on the frequent complaints constituents have about traffic.
“There’s certainly no issue that bothers our citizens quite as much as traffic congestion,” he said.
O’Malley did weigh in on another potential 2016 candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), saying he was opposed to Rubio’s proposal to move poverty programs to the states and out of the federal government.
“What he’s saying is, we’ll send you less money, because this year we want to cut dollars to feed hungry children,” O’Malley said in response to Rubio’s speech on poverty this week.