POLITICS

Martin O'Malley: 'Real Problem' With Republicans Goes Beyond Donald Trump

Donald Trump is "a hate-spewing character" and the rest of the GOP field isn't much better, Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley said Monday.

O'Malley, the former governor of Maryland, is making immigration central to his campaign platform for the Democratic nomination. In a speech at the National Council of La Raza conference in Kansas City, Missouri, he ran through a spate of his immigration policy proposals, including creating a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

He received particularly strong applause for going after Trump, the business mogul turned Republican presidential candidate who said during his campaign launch that Mexico is sending rapists, drug smugglers and other criminals to the U.S. Trump hasn't backed away from those comments, and told a crowd of a few thousand on Saturday that undocumented immigrants "wreak havoc on our population."

"I know that all of us here today share my disgust with the comments Donald Trump recently made," O'Malley said in his speech. "The real problem isn’t that the Republicans have such a hate-spewing character running for president -- the problem is that it’s so hard to tell him apart from many of the other candidates they have in their field."

He referred to a July 5 Los Angeles Times article with the headline "Republican field divided on Donald Trump's comments about Mexican immigrants," saying, "Divided, as in not sure he's wrong?"

"There’s nothing to be divided about here," O'Malley said. "If Donald Trump wants to run on a platform of demonizing immigrants, then he should go back to the 1840s and run for the nomination of the Know-Nothing Party."

A number of GOP candidates -- including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) -- have come out against Trump's statements. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus reportedly asked Trump to tone it down.

None of the Republican presidential candidates will be rebutting O'Malley at the National Council of La Raza conference -- all of them are skipping the event, as all but one did for last month's National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials conference.

Watch the video above.

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