L.A. mayor isn’t waiting for Washington
November 13th, 2011
09:18 AM ET
11 years ago

L.A. mayor isn’t waiting for Washington

(CNN) – Faced with what he sees as unprecedented gridlock in Washington, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is not waiting on the nation’s capital to fix his city’s sluggish economy.

Villaraigosa, a Democrat, who also serves as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, said the failure by national politicians to fix the economy and work across the aisle is equivalent to “malpractice,” and is the impetus behind his jobs program.

“As our cities go, so go the nation,” Villaraigosa said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “So what we’re doing here is we’re working, we’re focused on a self-reliant program to create jobs.”

The mayor’s five-point economic plan includes cutting business tax to lure industry to the area, as well as decreasing government red tape. As of September 2011, unemployment in the City of Angels stood at 12.2%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Despite the perceived failures of Washington, Villaraigosa predicted President Barack Obama will win reelection in 2012 due to his bipartisan action, an economy that will “start to turn around” and the flawed GOP presidential field. He specifically pointed to weaknesses in the candidacies of Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Herman Cain.

“I acknowledged it's going to be a tough road ahead. But if President Obama was relying on the numbers and past performance, he never would have been elected president,” Villaraigosa told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. “He defied the odds.”

When asked about the president’s failure to push comprehensive immigration reform in his first years in office, the Mexican American mayor said Obama is “unabashedly in support of fixing this broken system” and pointed to his backing of the DREAM Act. The act, which failed in Congress, proposed a mechanism under which children of illegal immigrants who attend college or join the military can progress toward citizenship.

However, Villaraigosa said he disagrees with the Secure Communities program, started in 2008 by former President George W. Bush and since expanded under Obama. Although the program is intended to remove criminal aliens living in America, Villaraigosa said the majority of those arrested are not criminals.

“In fact, some of them were victims of domestic violence and crimes themselves,” Villaraigosa said.

“I don't have to agree with everything this administration is doing to support President Obama. I unqualifiedly support him,” he added. “But I also, you know, disagree with some of their proposals. And that's one of them.”

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: 2012 • Economy • President Obama • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Little Jimmy Truth

    Why we must pay our taxes to illegal immigrants? They love Obama and our money.

    November 13, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The republican's jobs program includes anti abortion language, a reaffirmation of "In God We Trust," and 10 bills involving tax cuts for big oil, big corporations and the wealthiest; and an end to consumer safety regulations. I think we are all frustrated with the teabaggers.

    November 13, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  3. Annie, Atlanta

    Trickle down economics, 2011. Good luck to him. Nothing like giving to those who don't need it, while taking away from those who do to survive. Look what Rick Perry did in TX. Sure, cut taxes for those job creators, who will take it to the nth degree and provide non-living wages. You're not going to give corporations the incentive to care about your community, you're just giving them incentive to make as much money as they can off your citizens. Good luck with that. It's worked so well everywhere else.

    November 13, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  4. Ray E. (Georgia)

    California is a Basket Case isn't it. My Tea Leaves say Villaraigosa will be gone before the Economy improves in Los Angeles. Deport the illegals. I guess the Liberal Policies aren't working very well. I wonder why.

    November 13, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  5. willie floyd

    I agree with the mayor, one doesn't necessarily have to agree with any one person on everything in order to support them.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    November 13, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  6. Rod C. Venger

    Sadly, Antonio Villa (his real name) is right. “As our cities go, so go the nation,” he said, and Los Angeles is a proving ground for every demented idea, perverted act and racially biased taxpayer dollar giveaways. Los Angeles County gave up $600 million dollars to the children of illegals in the year 2010 alone, this according to the LA Times. LA is a sanctuary city and LAPD operates under Special Order 40, which for years has prohibited officers from inquiring about the immigration status of Villa's cousins. The goal of any jobs program is to provide jobs for US citizens and legal immigrants...those that have been rotting in the unemployment lines...not to hand out work to illegals. Any jobs program that Villa produced would have to specifically target illegals as being ineligible, and he's never going to do that.

    November 13, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |