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Eying 2016, O'Malley criticizes 'feckless' Wall Street regulation

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is dialing up his rhetoric as he tests a presidential run.

DES MOINES, Iowa – Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is dialing up his rhetoric as he tests a presidential run, challenging both the "inevitability" of Hillary Clinton and part of President Obama's economic record.

"Our Democratic Party has come up short -- people expected us to actually put some common sense regulations in place," he said, discussing Wall Street reform in a new MSNBC interview. "There are more repercussions for a person being a chronic speeding violator in our country," he said, "than there is for a big bank being a chronic violator of SEC rules."

O'Malley argued Obama's appointees to the SEC and Justice Department have been too soft on the financial industry. "I think that the SEC has been pretty feckless when it comes to reining in reckless behavior on Wall Street," he said, adding, "We can't expect Wall Street to police itself -- that's why we have a federal government."

WATCH: O’Malley calls for new blood in 2016

Asked about the potential political dynasties in the presidential race, O'Malley said the presidency should not be "a hereditary right."

O'Malley, who first entered politics while working on Gary Hart's 1984 campaign in Iowa, contended that history shows early front-runners are anything but inevitable. "There is an 'inevitable' front runner who remains 'inevitable' right up until he or she's no longer inevitable," he said. "And the person that emerges as the alternative is the person that usually no one in America had heard of before -- until that person got into a van and went county to county to county."

In the interview, airing on MSNBC's "The Cycle" at 3 p.m. ET Friday, O'Malley also discussed his views of the death penalty in the Boston Marathon terror trial, the recent shooting of an unarmed man in South Carolina, ways his potential campaign would challenge the Democratic party, areas of agreement with Sen. Rand Paul and his record on crime and policing in Maryland.