The Washington Post

O’Malley tackles gas tax, other topics during ‘Morning Joe’ appearance

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) bantered with the panelists on ”Morning Joe” Friday about his Celtic rock band’s appearance at the White House, whether he will run for president — and his languishing plan to raise taxes on gasoline.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

While he said he is still pushing his plan — which would apply the state’s 6 percent sales tax to gas — O’Malley said he remains open to other options in the General Assembly.

The governor cited one possibility: Increasing the state’s general sales tax by 1 percentage point and dedicating that revenue to transportation. That approach, O’Malley said, would be “a way to diversify our transportation funding.”

He argued that Maryland’s transportation congestion, which is bad and growing worse, merits more investment in transportation. “We are all going to pay more if we do nothing,” O’Malley said.

The segment opened with footage of President Obama thanking O’Malley and his band, O’Malley’s March, for its recent performance at an Irish gathering in the East Room of the White House.

Host Joe Scarborough then pivoted to pressing O’Malley on whether he plans to run for president in 2016. O’Malley gave what Scarborough referred to as a “non-answer.”

O’Malley is scheduled to appear later Friday at a Democratic party dinner in Connecticut.

John Wagner is a political reporter covering the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

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