MANCHESTER, N.H.—Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley rallied New Hampshire Democrats at the state party convention Saturday by sounding the “move forward” theme of President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.
“Move forward and not back,” said O’Malley, chairman of the Democratic Governors’ Association.
O’Malley came to New Hampshire from Wisconsin, where he was campaigning for the recall of Republican Gov. Scott Walker. He was scheduled to speak to the state Democratic convention in neighboring Maine following his New Hampshire appearance.
Delegates from all of New Hampshire’s 10 counties braved pelting rain to fill the auditorium at Manchester Memorial High School for their biennial convention.
Four-term New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch and U.S. Sen. and former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen were on hand to cite past Democratic accomplishments in the state and enlist support in November’s elections. O’Malley led the charge.
“We must move forward, out of the eight years of the disastrous presidency of George W. Bush,” O’Malley said. “The truth can defend herself, but she needs to be stated.”
He referred to the Republican presidential primary race as a “wonderful reality show” in which “everyone was voted off the island except Mitt Romney, who managed to fend off the competition armed with his trusty Etch-a-Sketch.”
The Democrats gathered as Republicans opened a Romney campaign field office in nearby Bedford, with promises that they’ll be working hard to deliver their party’s message of “job creation, limited government and fiscal discipline.”
“In rallying around our nominee, we will continue to hold Barack Obama accountable for his failed policies that have taken our nation in the wrong direction when it comes to spending, taxes and the role of government,” state GOP committee Chairman Wayne MacDonald said in a statement.
During his speech to the Democrats, O’Malley repeatedly defended Obama’s record on jobs, saying there have been 27 consecutive months of job creation.
When asked about last month’s weak job growth numbers, he said: “We’d all like a perfect and predictable story,” and blamed the “constipation Congress,” Tea Party and lack of cooperation across the aisle for a less-than-robust recovery.
“The recovery could be faster, but that would require compromise pragmatism, and laser focus on common goals,” he said.
“Facts can be stubborn, but they can also be hopeful. Job creation is up. Unemployment is down. General Motors is alive. Osama bin Laden is dead,” said O’Malley, who promised that Democrats will be campaigning hard in New Hampshire.
“Elections have consequences,” O’Malley said. “A better future is not inevitable; it is a choice.”