Former Maryland governor Martin O' Malley during a State of the State address in 2012. (Photo by Mark Gail/The Washington Post)

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley had a few choice words for an economic argument being advanced by Republicans. During a radio interview that aired Monday, he called it “patently bulls---.”

O’Malley, a Democrat who has been positioning himself for a White House bid, was asked by National Public Radio’s Steve Inskeep about comments made recently by Republican hopeful Marco Rubio and echoed by others in his party.

As recounted by Inskeep, Rubio argued that “an active government actually keeps people frozen at their economic status because if you are well off, if you can afford a lawyer, if you can deal with regulations, you can maneuver through government and stay prosperous.” Conversely, “if you’re not so well off, it’s hard to work the system.”

O’Malley offered a different view -- and got bleeped.

“I don’t think there’s any truth to that,” he told Inskeep. “It is not true that regulation holds poor people down or regulation keeps the middle class from advancing. That’s kind of patently bulls---.”

“That's quite a last word, by the way, on that subject,” Inskeep said, before moving on to discuss trade policy.

O’Malley has said he will decide by the end of next month whether to move forward with an uphill run for the Democratic nomination against Hillary Rodham Clinton, who formally entered the race last week.