Former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa slammed the current city administration in an interview on Sunday with NBC Los Angeles, suggesting that Mayor Eric Garcetti — recently tapped to become U.S. ambassador to India — had failed.
In what appeared to be a stinging critique of his successor, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called the city he once lead “rudderless” and “adrift.”
“I was born and raised here,” Villaraigosa said Sunday on NBC4’s NewsConference. “I have lived here my entire life. I have never seen this town so dirty, I’ve never seen crime go up so quickly… the spread of homelessness… I think there is a lack of clear leadership in this town.”
When pressed, the 41st Mayor of Los Angeles said his criticism wasn’t entirely about Mayor Eric Garcetti, nor did he blame the current mayor for leaving office early to take a job in the Biden administration. Nevertheless, he argued that there was a “lack of leadership” coming from city hall which he hears “all over this town.”
Garcetti, now in his second term, has promised for years to address homelessness, but has presided over its dramatic growth.
Villaraigosa left office in 2013, and ran against current Governor Gavin Newsom in the 2018 Democratic primary. He was considered a moderate figure within the Democratic Party, winning office with the support of the teachers’ unions but then pressing for school reforms.
In 2012, Villaraigosa chaired an infamously rowdy session of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, and declared that the plenary had adopted a pro-Israel resolution when the voice vote had clearly opposed it.
Villaraigosa recently endorsed Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) to succeed Garcetti as mayor. Bass is the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and has been an ardent supporter of the Cuban communist regime.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.