Updated, 4:45 p.m.: The Republican National Committee seized on an answer O’Malley gave while on CBS on Sunday morning, sending out a YouTube video of his response to the question of whether he can “honestly say” that Americans are better off today than they were four years ago.
“No, but that’s not the question of this election,” O’Malley told “Face the Nation’s” Bob Schieffer. “We are not as well off as we were before George Bush brought us the Bush job losses, the Bush recession, the Bush deficits, the series of desert wars charged for the first time to the national credit card.”
O’Malley went on to say that a Romney presidency would return the country to those days.
The RNC characterized O’Malley’s response as “amazing” and cited other examples from Obama advisers who did not answer “yes” when posed similar questions.
Original post: Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) praised President Clinton, but managed to knock both president Bushes as well as President Reagan during a talk show appearance Sunday in advance of a very busy week at the Democratic National Convention.
“There were three things that you didn’t see at the Republican convention,” O’Malley said during a broadcast of CBS’s “Face the Nation” from the Democratic convention site in Charlotte. “You didn’t see any new ideas for creating jobs, you didn’t see George Bush, and you didn’t see Mitt Romney’s tax returns.”
O’Malley, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, defended President Obama’s stewardship of the economy, noting 29 months of private-sector job growth and improvement on the number of home foreclosures.
“It was George Bush’s policies that drove our country into the worse set of problems that a president inherited since Franklin Delano Roosevelt,” O’Malley told host Bob Schieffer.
Later, O’Malley predicted that President Clinton would “electrify this place” when he address the Democratic convention this week.
“He created a surplus when he had been left by Ronald Reagan a big deficit — Ronald Reagan and the first President Bush.”
Earlier Sunday, O’Malley delivered a similar message on CNN.
Asked about the state of the economy, he conceded “this is not the time to wave pom poms.” But O’Malley argued a Romney presidency would return the country to “the Bush recession.”
O’Malley also defended his state’s income tax increase on six figure-earners. That action has come under renewed scrutiny in light of recent news that Maryland ended its budget year with over a half-billion dollars in the bank, more than twice as much as expected.
“Look, you get what you pay for,” he said in response to Crowley’s question, citing the state’s AAA bond rating and schools that have been ranked No. 1 by Education Week magazine.