MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley rallied New Hampshire Democrats at the state party convention Saturday by sounding the “move forward” theme of President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

“Move forward and not back,” said O’Malley, chairman of the Democratic Governors’ Association. O’Malley came to New Hampshire from Wisconsin, where he was campaigning for the recall of Republican Gov. Scott Walker. He was scheduled to speak to the state Democratic convention in neighboring Maine following his New Hampshire appearance.

Delegates from all of New Hampshire’s 10 counties braved pelting rain to fill the auditorium at Manchester Memorial High School for their biennial convention. Four-term New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch and U.S. Sen. and former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen were on hand to cite past Democratic accomplishments in the state and enlist support in November’s elections. O’Malley led the charge.

“We must move forward, out of the eight years of the disastrous presidency of George W. Bush,” said O’Malley. “The truth can defend herself, but she needs to be stated.”

He referred to the Republican presidential primary race as a “wonderful reality show” in which “everyone was voted off the island except Mitt Romney, who managed to fend off the competition armed with his trusty Etch-a-Sketch.”

O’Malley repeatedly defended Obama’s record on jobs, saying there have been 27 consecutive months of job creation. When asked about last month’s weak job growth numbers, he said, “We’d all like a perfect and predictable story,” and blamed the “constipation Congress,” tea party and lack of cooperation across the aisle for a less-than-robust recovery.

“The recovery could be faster, but that would require compromise pragmatism, and laser focus on common goals,” he said.

“Facts can be stubborn, but they can also be hopeful. Job creation is up. Unemployment is down. General Motors is alive. Osama bin Laden is dead,” said O’Malley, who promised that Democrats will be campaigning hard in New Hampshire.

“Elections have consequences,” O’Malley said. “A better future is not inevitable; it is a choice.”

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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