DES MOINES, Iowa – Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley took a veiled shot at Hillary Clinton, his potential rival for the Democratic nomination, on the issue of same-sex marriage Wednesday evening, just as she wrapped up her first foray here of her 2016 presidential campaign.
O’Malley, who is exploring a run to Clinton’s left flank, did not mention the former secretary of state by name. Instead he posted a new, campaign-style video and let the timing doing the talking for him.
Earlier in the day, Clinton’s campaign said the newly-minted presidential candidate “hopes the Supreme Court will come down on the side of same-sex couples being guaranteed that constitutional right.”
It was an apparent evolution on the issue for Clinton from last year, when she suggested that she did not support a federal right for same-sex couples to wed. “For me, marriage had always been a matter left to the states,” she told NPR last June.
Several media outlets pointed out the change of opinion Wednesday, but Clinton and her campaign ignored questions on whether she has flip flopped on marriage after an event Wednesday.
O’Malley seized the opportunity to take a tacit swipe at his potential Democratic rival. His PAC posted their video on the subject of marriage equality to Twitter featuring the former governor lamenting Democrats who take positions of “convenience” on the right to wed.
“History celebrates profiles in courage, not profiles in convenience. The dignity of every person tells us that the right to marry is not a state right, it is a human right,” O’Malley says.
Given the controversy of the day over Clinton’s position, the video was clearly aimed at showing a contrast with the former first lady.
However, O’Malley’s political team declined to put out a statement directly confronting Clinton or mention her by name on the record.
Meanwhile, Clinton also came under fire on Wednesday for allegedly inflating the immigrant past of her ancestors during her first official campaign stop on Tuesday. “All my grandparents, you know, came over here and you know my grandfather went to work in lace mill in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and worked there until he retired at 65. He started there when he was a teenager and just kept going,” Clinton told a group of community college students in Iowa.
But according to Buzzfeed, records show that just one of her grandparents, Hugh Rodham Sr., immigrated to the U.S. as a child.
“Her grandparents always spoke about the immigrant experience and, as a result she has always thought of them as immigrants,” a Clinton spokesman told BuzzFeed. “As has been correctly pointed out, while her grandfather was an immigrant, it appears that Hillary’s grandmother was born shortly after her parents and siblings arrived in the U.S. in the early 1880s.”
Apparently, it’s not too early for the Clinton campaign to absorb blows from the press and potential opponents.