Potential Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley jabbed Hillary Clinton by name for the first time on Thursday evening, taking swipes at her for switching her positions on same-sex marriage and immigration.
Speaking to reporters at Harvard University where he gave a speech about the economy, the former Maryland governor called out the Democratic frontrunner with subtle insinuations that she was flip-flopping for political convenience.
In recent days, Clinton’s newly minted campaign has said she believes same-sex marriage is a constitutional right (she said in June 2014 it should be left up to states) and supports letting undocumented immigrants obtain drivers licenses (after she opposed the idea in her 2008 campaign).
“I’m glad Secretary Clinton’s come around to the right positions on these issues,” O’Malley said, according to audio of his remarks. “I believe that we are best as a party when we lead with our principles and not according to the polls. And every election is about the future. And leadership is about making the right decision and the best decision before sometimes it becomes entirely popular.”
On Wednesday, Clinton spokesperson Adrienne Elrod said the candidate “supports marriage equality and hopes the Supreme Court will come down on the side of same-sex couples being guaranteed that constitutional right.”
On Thursday, an anonymous campaign spokesperson told the Huffington Post that Clinton “supports state policies to provide driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.”
O’Malley touted the fact that he signed laws in Maryland to legalize gay marriage and offer driver’s licenses to people there illegally.
“I believe marriage is a human right, and not a state right. I’m glad she’s come around to that position as well,” he said. “I believe that we do our country a disservice when we make it harder for new American immigrants to be able to abide by the rules of the road and obtain driver’s licenses. And I’m glad she’s come around to that position now too.”
O’Malley, who said he’ll decide “by the end of May” whether to officially jump in the race, trails Clinton by at least 50 points in recent Democratic polls.