Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) is making no apologies for the time he spends out of state. In fact, in coming months, he plans to travel more than in the past, he told reporters late Tuesday.
As chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, O’Malley has made a series of recent political trips to destinations including Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Ohio and New York. That has opened the door to criticism from some lawmakers and others that he is not spending enough time tending to matters back home.
O’Malley pushed back against that notion Tuesday night in Ocean City when asked about it by a reporter from WBOC-TV, a Salisbury-based station.
The governor noted that for the past five years, he has held leadership positions with the DGA — he previously served as vice chairman and finance chairman — that involved travel to support Democratic candidates for governor around the country.
“It’s part of the responsibility,” O’Malley said.
People only seemed to notice, O’Malley said, once “2016” became an issue — a reference to the more recent talk that he is positioning himself to run for national office in the next election cycle.
Between now and November, his DGA duties are expected to pick up, and O’Malley said he will be active also in trying to help President Obama get elected in any way he can, some of which will involve out -of-state travel.
“As the nation goes, so too, in many ways, goes our state,” O’Malley said.
O’Malley was in Ocean City on Tuesday to address the Maryland Municipal League and host a fundraiser to benefit the campaign to uphold Maryland’s same-sex marriage law. He also made news talking about his continuing efforts to broker a consensus on expanded gambling in Maryland.