Outgoing Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is "seriously considering" a 2016 bid for the White House, the Democrat told an audience at the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics on Thursday night.
"I'm very seriously considering running in 2016," O'Malley said at the packed discussion focused on "progressive politics in a post-Obama world."
"Right now, my primary responsibility is to move my family back to Baltimore, which I will do in another week," added O'Malley, who leaves office January 21. "So I am going to be taking some time over the next couple of months to get my family resituated and make us well and get us back to the city where we all feel comfortable, but I'm very seriously looking at it, is what I would say."
Here's a clip of O'Malley commenting on a potential 2016 run for president:
In a Thursday interview with the Associated Press, O'Malley said his decision on whether he will launch a 2016 presidential bid will come by spring, adding that he is not holding off to see whether former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton makes a run for the White House.
"It's really not about any horse race aspect of this," the governor told the AP. "I've been full-time governing and helping a whole lot of people in the midterms. It's very essential that if you were to offer yourself in this sort of service that you do so after a lot of reflection and proper preparation."
In Maryland's November gubernatorial election, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, who O'Malley picked to be his successor, was defeated by Republican Larry Hogan.
At the U of C talk, O'Malley was asked whether he thinks the Maryland gubernatorial election results damaged his 2016 prospects.
"I'll let others determine whether the prospects were hurt. I can tell you my feelings were hurt," O'Malley joked, later pointing out, "I was not on the ballot in Maryland."
O'Malley said the overall outcome of the November elections, in which Republicans swept to victory across the country, have prompted many in his party to wonder "where is the progressive movement going if this is the sort of shellacking we receive in the midterms?"
"We're certainly asking ourselves that question at home in Maryland, where not withstanding the fact that voters elected a Democratic comptroller by overwhelming numbers, Democratic attorney general, Democratic Senate, Democratic House. Unfortunately, from our perspective, the people voted to elect a Republican governor," O'Malley said.
One audience member asked the governor what he predicts will be the top issues of the 2016 election cycle.
"I think the driving issue is the question of how we make our economy work again for all of us," he responded. "We've come a long way in restoring that economy, but we're not yet to a point where wages are actually rising again, where people feel that if they're working harder, they'll be able to get further ahead."
Climate change was another topic brought up at the discussion, with an event attendee asking O'Malley how "progressive policy makers can keep Americans interested" in the issue.
"We have to wrap this imperative of addressing climate change in a prosperity framework, and secondly, we have to do a much better job of putting forward an American jobs agenda that's a match for the climate challenge," the governor said.
"What we haven't figured out is how to address the potential for job displacement, the sort of training programs, and the overlays that we need to apply so that the people in coal country know there's other opportunities and other training ... available for them as we make this shift, and that as a nation we're not going to forget about people that have been displaced from these economies of extraction and depletion and fossil-fuel burning," he added. "We have to do a much better job of allowing people in those regions ... to see their own family in this new story."
O'Malley also answered questions about national security and America's role in fighting global terrorism and extremism.
"We have to move beyond what very often were quick military reactions to the threats around our globe to a new and more consistent and intelligent way of being consistently engaged all around the world," he said.
Video of the full event with O'Malley can be found here.