MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - In a mostly Republican state, the South Carolina Democrats made their presence known Saturday.
Potential Presidential hopeful Martin O'Malley gave a passionate speech to the room, focusing on the economy and American dream.
He says while job creation in America is getting better, no one would know since wages aren't changing too. That challenge is especially important in South Carolina, a state O'Malley knows a lot about. "This is not my first visit to South Carolina," said O'Malley. "It's a dynamic state, it's an important state, and it is a state I feel is being underserved by its leadership," O'Malley said.
Today was O'Malley's fifth visit to the Palmetto State since 2013. Since then he has also made contributions totaling $14,000 to several South Carolina government officials.
While chipping away at a mostly red state will be tough, he and his supporters believe the state isn't lost. "I think that the vast majority of us want the same thing, we want our children to live better lives," O'Malley said.
"The fact that he's showing up here, and getting the troops riled up and speaking up for democratic causes and successes that the president's had, shows me that there's a lot of hope left and the dream still lives as he said," said Jim Thompson, a democratic supporter who has been going door to door in South Carolina for years. Thompson says Democrats have a strong foundation in the state and these visits from O'Malley and other party leaders will just strengthen it.
At this point, O'Malley says he won't officially decide on his candidacy until the spring, but Thompson and others believe either choice will benefit the party in the end. "If he's not the democratic nominee for president, he definitely would be a terrific guy to have on that ticket," Thompson said.
O'Malley also spoke about what problems he sees with the Republican Party today. Following his speech, the RNC released this statement saying, "Martin O'Malley represents the same liberal policies that have left the middle class struggling for the past six years. Unfortunately for him and his 2016 presidential ambitions, the majority of Americans are calling for a candidate who will take the country in a new direction."?