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Tue Jan 5, 2016, 12:40 PM

NOW'S NOT THE TIME TO TURN BACK THE CLOCK.

'With less than a month until the Iowa caucus, it’s the start of decision time for caucus goers, and it’s time for the Presidential candidates to make their closing argument.

Over the coming weeks Governor O’Malley will do just that — making his case for new leadership to the people of Iowa with a specific focus: Eight years ago, Iowa Democrats caucused for change and helped elect President Obama. Now is not the time to turn back the clock.

Iowans have a long history of defying conventional wisdom in favor of new ideas and a new kind of leadership. This year is no different.

Governor O’Malley is the best choice to bring new leadership to build on President Obama’s progress.

On issue after issue, Governor O’Malley has not only had the foresight to lead the pack, but the ability to deliver results. In the coming weeks, he will address specifically how he would build on the President’s achievements around the state – on issues that Iowans care about most:

1. On the Economy – President Obama pulled our country back from the brink of the great recession, and has achieved 69 months of job growth. Now is not the time to turn back the clock. Governor O’Malley raised the minimum wage and passed a living wage in Maryland. As President he would get wages rising again by investing in the things that build a strong middle class and support the foundation of our economy: our people.

2. On Immigration – President Obama signed DACA and DAPA to protect New American families and keep them together. Now is not the time to turn back the clock, we must expand executive action and stop tearing communities apart. Governor O’Malley signed into law the DREAM Act in Maryland, provided drivers’ licenses to New American immigrants, and led with our values in welcoming refugees into Maryland. As President he would use executive authority to bring millions of families out of the shadows while he works to achieve comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship.

3. On Gun Sense – President Obama has moved the dialogue forward in regards to gun violence, taking comprehensive executive actions to save lives. Now is not the time to turn back the clock, we must move forward with action. Governor O’Malley is the only candidate with a history of standing up to the NRA and delivering results on progressive values like the assault weapons ban. As President, he would use the full extent of his executive authority to prevent gun violence.

4. On the Environment – President Obama has led climate efforts both in our own country and through international agreements. Now is not the time to turn back the clock. Governor O’Malley has proposed the most ambitious plan for clean energy of any of the candidates — moving our country to 100% renewable energy grid by 2050 and ending our reliance on fossil fuels. And he is the only candidate who has the record on clean water and the environment to be able to get that goal done.

5. On College Affordability – President Obama became the voice of a new generation, successfully increasing Pell Grants, expanding access to community colleges and job training, and making higher education a possibility for more young Americans. Now is not the time to turn back the clock. Governor O’Malley froze tuition in Maryland for four years in a row, and as President he would make debt-free college an option for all students.

6. On Foreign Policy – President Obama has regained our standing in the world and responsibly ended the costly Bush wars. Now is not the time to turn back the clock and return to Cold-War era thinking. Governor O’Malley will bring new leadership to craft a more far-seeing and collaborative approach to foreign policy, to keep our nation safe and address the major challenges we face around the world.

Governor O’Malley will also embrace a new, even more open and accessible approach to campaigning that suits Iowa retail politics best.

For the final month of campaigning, we’re going to keep it simple and stick to Q&A at our community events. “O’Malley Unplugged: The New Leadership Tour” will let Iowans focus on what matters most — determining who is the best candidate to defeat Republicans like Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, and build on President Obama’s progress.

These events will take the Governor’s skill for retail politics to the next level for the final push ahead of the caucuses.

New Year, New Leadership

The choice ahead for Iowans is whether to return to old names, to re-litigate the Washington battles of the past, or to embrace a new, forward-looking leader who has a record of delivering on issues progressives care about.

In these final weeks, each candidate will have to make their closing argument, and Governor O’Malley’s will be a full throated call to build on President Obama’s progress with the kind of new approach that only he brings to the Democratic presidential race.

Eight years ago, Iowans caucused for change—now isn’t the time to turn back the clock.

https://martinomalley.com/iowa/closing-argument-memo/

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