Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) on Thursday blamed “a small cabal of senators” from the Republican party for ending Susan Rice’s bid to be U.S. secretary of state during an appearance on the Rev. Al Sharpton’s MSNBC show.

“People are not going to be very forgiving of this,” said O’Malley, who is weighing a 2016 presidential bid and was an Obama surrogate this year. “Sadly, the Republican party still hasn’t gotten the message of this last election.”

The segment on Sharpton’s show, “Politics Nation,” which leans heavily to the left, was dubbed “Witch Hunt.”

Rice, the United Nations ambassador, said in a letter to President Obama Thursday that she had become convinced that her confirmation process “would be lengthy, disruptive and costly – to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities.”

O’Malley became a regular on the talk show circuit during his tenure as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, which ended this month.