Not to be outdone by a lack of economic sense on one side and potential criminal indictments on the other, Martin O’Malley is going to stick to the one issue he knows will win him the nomination: Climate change. After all, it’s done wonders to get his numbers up so far, and he is polling well against the other Democrats running on this issue.

Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s plan to address climate change would “literally burn up” the earth, said rival candidate and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

“I don’t believe that her plan is very serious,” O’Malley said in an interview published Monday criticizing her campaign’s climate agenda. “I believe that it’s an incrementalist approach. And an incrementalist approach is not going to get us to where we need to go, nor is it going to claim this tremendous business opportunity for the United States.”

O’Malley told the publication Climate Wire that Clinton appears to want to spare large segments of business from federal action in focusing on solar power, rather than an economy-wide price on emissions as he and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are doing.

O’Malley has to move to the left of Hillary Clinton, while still being viewed as a viable alternative to Sanders (he isn’t). So, he is having to move even further left on climate change to appease the general liberal base while tossing out some harsh words about big businesses in order to try and woo some of Bernie Sanders’ supporters.

It is quite possible that, in an attempt to spite the Democratic Establishment, he is instead vying for a VP spot on the Sanders ticket. They are each hitting the rich, climate change, and other social issues with a lot more gusto than Clinton, who has decided to ignore literally anything about her e-mail business and focus exclusively on coasting in to what she still considers an inevitable coronation.

O’Malley’s best best, in fact, is to aim for that VP slot, because from there he can say whatever he wants and not be held accountable at all*. Poor O’Malley has been nothing short of an utter failure, the youngest face in a sea of old white people, and with nothing to show for his youthful exuberance and stellar record of law enforcement policy (of which even ThinkProgress has trouble being positive about).


*I’m basing this entirely on the media’s treatment of Joe Biden.