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Tue Dec 1, 2015, 03:35 PM

O'Malley huddles with House Dems.

'Martin O'Malley huddled with House Democrats on Tuesday to pitch his long-shot bid for the White House.

The former Maryland governor faced an audience consisting largely of Hillary Clinton supporters.

Still, even those who've already endorsed the former secretary of State praised O'Malley's leadership chops and progressive agenda.

Rep. Joe Crowley (N.Y.), vice chairman of the Democratic Caucus, characterized O'Malley as “an old friend.” And Rep. Xavier Becerra (Calif.), who heads the Caucus, said the Maryland liberal received a hero's welcome.

“Not only was he well-received, he received a standing ovation,” Becerra said. “So he's considered a great friend, a great Democrat and one of the best governors that we've seen in quite some time.”

Both Becerra and Crowley have endorsed Clinton.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (Calif.), the only congressional Democrat to back O'Malley, highlighted his track record as Maryland governor and Baltimore mayor. He emphasized O'Malley's push for tougher gun laws, an issue that's gained prominence since last Friday's deadly shooting at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado.

“He helped marshal through some of the most sweeping gun violence measures any state has taken, from universal background checks, to licensing and fingerprinting, to also limits on ammunition purchases,” Swalwell said. “He is also calling to reduce gun violence by 50 percent over the next 10 years, setting a clear deadline and a goal for our country to aspire to, but also meet, so that these types of tragedies do not continue to haunt and hurt people in our country.”'


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