August 26th, 2012
12:02 PM ET
10 years ago

O'Malley: GOP is an 'exclusive' party

(CNN) - Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley on Sunday chastised Mitt Romney for his birth certificate joke, adding that the comment was reflective of a wider dilemma the Democratic governor sees within the GOP.

"I think that their party in fact is a party that has a problem ... with being an exclusive party," O'Malley said on CNN's "State of the Union."

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He argued Republicans make "comments about women's rights, about immigration, about even basic voting rights" that reflect outdated views.

O'Malley took issue with Romney making a remark about his birth certificate while in the presumptive GOP nominee’s home state of Michigan on Friday.

"I love being home in this place where Ann and I were raised, where both of us were born. Ann was born at Henry Ford Hospital; I was born at Harper Hospital. No one has ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised," Romney said, drawing cheers from the crowd.

Some Democrats pounced on the comment, calling it an out-of-touch knock against the president that fuels claims by those who question where President Barack Obama was born. The president, answering those attacks, released his long-form birth certificate last year confirming he was born in Hawaii.

Romney later said the comment was "not a swipe" at Obama and that he firmly believes the president is a U.S. citizen.

"He was born in the U.S. This was fun about us and coming home, and humor - you know, we've got to have a little humor in the campaign as well," Romney said in a CBS interview.

Along with Friday's birth place comment, O'Malley pointed to a controversial statement made during Romney's London trip in late July, which O'Malley incorrectly attributed to Romney. The remark was reportedly made by an unnamed Romney adviser.

"We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special," the adviser is quoted in The Daily Telegraph as saying. "The White House didn't fully appreciate the shared history we have."

Some argued the comment was racially charged, but Romney said the remark did not come from him, nor did it reflect his views.

O'Malley, however, said the comments, paired with Romney's immigration policies, were representative of views that are behind the times.

"I think that what it reveals is a sort of perspective on America that would take us back to the days of Ozzie and Harriet rather than recognizing that we are in fact a strong people, because we are a diverse people," the governor said, referring to a television sitcom that aired during the 1950s and 1960s.

O'Malley also pointed to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a Republican who said Sunday that the GOP needed to appeal to the party’s changing demographics.

"Long-term, conservative principles, if they're to be successful and implemented, there has to be a concerted effort to reach out to a much broader audience than we do today," Bush said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Filed under: 2012 • Martin O'Malley • Mitt Romney • Republicans
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. T'sah From Virginia

    ►Romney later said the comment was "not a swipe" at Obama and that he firmly believes the president is a U.S. citizen◄

    He should have apologized where he stood when he said it. That did not happen because he meant it. I cannot believe on my previous blog on the last ticker, I stated that Romney had a chance to clean it up if he thought it was a joke and here in this ticker, he is saying exactly what I thought he should have said. The problem, and this is very obvious, he MEANT IT when he said it and now, he wants to “clean it up” after hearing how both sides, Republican and Democrats, reacted.

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!

    August 26, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. manhandler1

    I don't see that happening anytime in the immediate future. They've veered way too far to the extreme Right. With the tea party entrenched, it's gonna take a good decade for them to change....that's only if they're even going to try. They've alienated, blacks, latinos, gays and who knows who else, and the upcoming generation is way more inclusive. It may already be too late for them. Impressions diie hard.

    August 26, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  3. drake mallard

    Our country needs a Statesman! Not a Corporate Executive opportunist
    turned liberal politician turned moderate turned conservative turned pro
    life.Mitt Romney’s not running a cautious campaign; he’s running from tough questions. Running from his record of flip-flops and avoiding controversial stands doesn't amount to presidential leadership.Mitt Romney loves to throw people off his path. Now he believes in this, now he doesn't. The world may never know.He will have to check with his corporate sponsors for the appropriate response, then cross check with polling of his base, and then confirm the best way to word the answer with his team of corporate marketing experts.

    August 26, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  4. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Well of course Republicans an exclusive party!! Will Rogers even joked as much over 50 years ago. It's the rich Republicans and everybody else. The only reason they ever get elected is by using wedge issues to pit other groups against each other, and paying them lip service, when they actually DO get in power, and then laughing all the way to the bank at the fools who yet again entrusted them with it.

    August 26, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  5. uscentral

    If the GOP doesn't win the house this time around, they will swing even further right and may not have a chance to come back. Add Hillary to the Democratic ticket and who know's what extremist to the Repub slate in 2016 and that spells doom. That can only be good as it may spur other parties.

    August 26, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  6. ST

    One thing I have noticed is Romney say something according to that moment and don't think the repercussion of it and what might follow next. Thats why he keeps changing positions all the time. Good leaders always avoid this kind of behaviour in order to cement peoples trust in them. Unfortunately I do not see this quality in Romney as a leader.

    August 26, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  7. jr.

    Hey GOP keep throw-in that Demmey dog a bone so it will keep wag-in it's tail.

    August 26, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  8. Kenny K

    The mainstream GOPers have been taking advantage of birthers by allowing them to voice themselves. Unfortunately, Romney make them party of mainstream GOPers.

    August 26, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |