O'Malley calls Trump "fascist" in opening remarks of presidential debate

Martin O'Malley began the NH Democratic debate condemning the "fascist pleas of billionaires with big mouths"

Published December 20, 2015 3:01AM (EST)

  (AP/Mark J. Terrill)
(AP/Mark J. Terrill)

Candidate Martin O'Malley came out swinging in the Democratic presidential debate in New Hampshire Saturday night.

In his opening remarks, the former governor of Maryland insisted Americans "must never surrender to the fascist pleas of billionaires with big mouths," referring to far-right Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

"What our nation needs right now is to realize that, while we face a terrible danger, we also face a different sort of political danger. And that is the danger that democracies find themselves susceptible to when unscrupulous leaders try to turn us upon each other," O'Malley said.

"What our country needs right now is new leadership that will bring us together around the values that unite us and the freedoms that we share as Americans."

"We will rise to challenge of ISIL and we will rise together to the challenges that we face in our economy. But we will only do so if we hold true to the values and the freedoms that unite us, which means we must never surrender them to terrorists, must never surrender our Americans values to racist, must never surrender to the fascist pleas of billionaires with big mouths," O'Malley added.

"We are a better country than this. Our enduring symbol is not the barbed wire fence, it is the Statue of Liberty. And America's best days are in front of us if we move forward together."

Fellow candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton likewise condemned Trump for his anti-Muslim rhetoric, and for his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.

By Ben Norton

Ben Norton is a politics reporter and staff writer at AlterNet. You can find him on Twitter at @BenjaminNorton.

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