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Wed Aug 19, 2015, 02:57 PM

While in Vegas, O’Malley makes an appearance in front of Trump’s hotel.WaPo

Democratic White House hopeful Martin O’Malley attempted a little showmanship of his own here Wednesday: He staged a news conference in front of Donald Trump’s gold-plated hotel tower to voice solidarity with workers there trying to unionize, and to knock the Republican frontrunner on immigration.

With an intense noontime sun bearing down and the temperature hovering around 100, the former Maryland governor was surrounded by television cameras set up on a median in the road with the Trump International reaching skyward in the background.

"There are a couple of things that Donald Trump doesn't understand," O'Malley said, before decrying the business mogul's unwillingness to allow the hotel workers, many of them Latino, to join a powerful union here.

"I want to say that all of these workers here have a lot more guts than the candidates running for president for the Republican nomination," O'Malley said. "They have the courage to stand up to the hate, to the division, to the sort of rhetoric that actually makes it harder for us to make our economy grow and work well for all Americans."

Later, in response to questions from reporters, O'Malley said that persistent questions about Democrat front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton's e-mail server are "a huge distraction" from other more important issues. And he repeated his accusation that the Democratic National Committee is "circling the wagons" to limit the number of debates that Clinton will have to appear in.

The scene prompted one national television reporter to note O'Malley's low standing in the polls and ask whether he was making "a desperation move to get some media attention" by latching onto Trump.

O'Malley, who was in town to address the Nevada AFL-CIO, said he wanted to address the media to highlight the contrast between his views on the economy and those of Trump, which O'Malley said have led to a narrow concentration of wealth in the country.

Trump's campaign did not immediately respond to an inquiry about O'Malley's appearance.

’Malley was joined by a handful of hotel workers, who held a sign behind him, and by the leader of Culinary Workers Union Local 226, a politically potent force in Nevada’s early caucuses whose endorsement is being highly sought by Democrats angling for their party’s presidential nomination. . .

After his news conference, O’Malley headed to the Luxor hotel and casino, where the Nevada AFL-CIO was holding a statewide convention. Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) appeared before the labor group Tuesday, and both were warmly received, according to people who attended the closed-to-press addresses.

On immigration, O'Malley and Trump have suggested that the country move in opposite directions. Trump recently released a plan seeking to crack down on illegal immigration. Last month, O’Malley released his own plan, pledging if elected president to limit deportations through further executive action and to push Congress to adopt comprehensive immigration reform.


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