Both Bernie Sanders And Martin O'Malley Dinged Hillary Clinton On The Keystone XL Pipeline

At Rachel Maddow's Democratic primary forum on Friday night, both former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders criticized former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. President Obama vetoed the pipeline, which would have transported oil across the border between Canada and the United States, on Friday. Sanders didn't mention Clinton by name — O'Malley, on the other hand, did — but both candidates took her to task for not speaking out sooner against building the pipeline. O'Malley and Sanders believe Clinton should have come out with a stronger stance on the pipeline ahead of Friday's news.

During his interview with Maddow at MSNBC's Democratic forum Friday, 2016 presidential hopeful Martin O'Malley said that while he and Clinton both opposed the Keystone XL pipeline, he did so much sooner than she did. "Secretary Clinton just got there last week, and I was there a year ago," O'Malley said, to much applause from the audience. And he didn't stop there — when Maddow followed up to his statement, asking if the time frame was really important, since they both agreed now, O'Malley stressed that it should be a factor. "I think it's important, because I think leadership isn't about following polls," O'Malley said to Maddow, suggesting that Clinton came out against the pipeline to promote her presidential campaign efforts. "Leadership's about being clear about your principles," O'Malley added.

When 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders spoke with Maddow, he didn't criticize Clinton directly, saying, "For me, as opposed to maybe some other unnamed candidates, the issue of Keystone was kind of a no-brainer." Like O'Malley, Sanders suggested that Clinton hadn't expressed opposition to the pipeline as early on as he did.

And while Sanders may not have mentioned Clinton directly on Friday night, he did criticize her on the Keystone XL pipeline, among other things, in a meeting with The Boston Globe's editorial board on Thursday. "How many years do you have to think about whether or not we excavate and transport the dirtiest fuel in the world?" Sanders said to the Globe. "It didn’t take me too long to think about that."

All three of the 2016 Democratic presidential hopefuls — O'Malley, Sanders, and Clinton — praised Obama's veto of the Pipeline on Friday. Clinton tweeted that Obama made "the right call" on the pipeline, and that "it's time to make America a clean energy superpower." Still, O'Malley makes a good point about candidates being clear about what they believe in early on in the game, and it's something presidential hopefuls from both parties should remember this election season.