Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) broke with his party Sunday to say Americans are not better off than they were four years ago — but said that’s not what the November election is about.

Democrats have been studiously avoiding the “are Americans better off today?” question, but O’Malley addressed it head-on during an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

“No,” he answered host Bob Schieffer, two days before the start of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. “But that’s not the question of this election.”

He continued, according to BuzzFeed: “Without a doubt, we are not as well off as we were before George Bush brought us the Bush job losses, the Bush recessions, the Bush deficits, the series of desert wars, charged for the first time to credit cards — the national credit card.”

Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter added that she wanted to “remind you what was happening four years ago at this time.”

“In the quarter before the president took office, we lost three million jobs. Our country was bleeding. Our financial system was on the verge of collapse. We were passing bank bailouts to ensure that our system could stay afloat.That’s what was happening before the president took office,” Cutter said.