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CNN "State of the Union with Candy Crowley" - Transcript

Interview

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CROWLEY: They are. Thank you all so much, I appreciate it.

President Obama and Democrats are not laying low during the Republican Convention. Their counter-message with Maryland Martin O'Malley next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CROWLEY: One of many Democrats who will be following the Republican convention is Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley who joins me now. He is Washington.

Governor, thanks for being here. I think that you heard our previous panel talk about the need for them to expand the party, but they believe that in the next 75, 76 days they can do that. In fact, that is kind of what this convention is about is kind of opening up the party and letting voters see what Republicans are about.

Your reaction?

O'MALLEY: Well, I think it is going to be very hard, though they will try to reinvent Mitt Romney and try paper over some of the more extreme comments he has made about immigration or women's rights, but I think that will be very difficult.

Candy, what people are going to see very clearly, simply in the pictures, that come into their living rooms of these two conventions is a party of exclusion and a party of inclusion. The Republicans have kind of painted themselves into a kind of a real demographic corner, if you will. And you hear people like even Jeb Bush even saying that they have the change for the long-term, because the view of white Anglo-Saxon American, a true American, on questions where I was born sort of thing is really off putting to those of us who believe that our diversity is our strength, that we are nation of diversity.

CROWLEY: Well, governor, it is absolutely true that the president has joked I think over the past two couple of White House correspondents dinners that I have been there, he has joked about the whole birth certificate thing, can't you just take this Mitt Romney at his word, he was joking. He was in his hometown of Michigan, what is so wrong with that?

Have we lost, quote, our sense of humor as one of the previous guests suggested?

O'MALLEY: Well, I think that what it betrays, though, is a loss of and a lack of perspective and an appreciation that when you have policies and when you advance positions that are bashing of new Americans and new immigrants, when you have policies that want to take us back in terms of women's rights and freedom of women to choose, I think it becomes a very exclusive party and that birther comment is simply more -- is more icing on that cake.

I do think, though, that the real issue of this campaign is going to be about...

CROWLEY: I'm sorry, what do you mean more icing on what cake? What did you think that the birther comment was about?

O'MALLEY: I think the birther comment when you combine it with Mitt Romney's other comments, the comments he made abroad about the president not truly appreciating when he was in England the Anglo- Saxon perspective in the world, when you put it together with his anti-immigrant policies and the things that he has said, I think that what it reveals is a sort of perspective on America that would take us back to the days of Ozzie and Harriet rather than recognizing that we are in fact a strong people, because we are a diverse people.

We are people who believe that every individual has and should have the opportunity to succeed, and that opportunity expands in our country when each of us has the ability to make it in America.

CROWLEY: Is that code for you think he is appealing to the white vote?

O'MALLEY: I think that his -- I think, well -- I think that their party in fact is a party that has a problem as Jeb Bush has said with being an exclusive party, a party that makes comments about women's rights, about immigration, about even basic voting rights.

I mean, look at the number of their Republican governors who have signed bills who make it harder to vote. When you have a party that says coded things that makes totally false adds up about falsely saying that the president is trying to undo welfare reform, I think you are going to see a lot of pretty heavily and not so subtly coded messages from the Romney/Ryan campaign that it's not in keeping with an America that is going forward and becoming more diverse with fuller freedom for every individual.

CROWLEY: Democratic Governor Martin O'Malley. We will see you in Charlotte a week after this.

O'MALLEY: Thanks very much, Candy.

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