Villaraigosa’s Tap Dance Alignment With Obama

Villaraigosa’s Tap Dance Alignment With Obama


In predictable fashion, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa gave a standard answer to a fairly standard question: why should Latinos support President Barack Obama in 2012? In a phone interview with Politic365 on Thursday, he cited 25 months of private sector job growth; 1.2 million new jobs for Latinos; 2 million Latinos out of poverty; expanded tax credits for 4 million Latinos; Pell grants; and the idea that the American dream would be in safer hands with Obama than with GOP rival Mitt Romney.

But, considering other recent conversations with some of the seven Latino co-chairs of Obama’s campaign, what Villaraigosa did not provide was enthusiasm — especially when it came to the issue of immigration.

Villaraigosa railed against Romney for supporting anti-immigrant laws in Arizona and Alabama, and for working with Kris Kobach — the author of those laws.  He also spotlighted Romney’s “self-deportation” of 11 million that would inevitably divide families. However, when asked why Latinos should support Obama given his blockbuster deportation record — which also divides families — the mayor again fell flat.

“First of all, I don’t accept that characterization, that [the president] has been so harsh. I do acknowledge that the Secure Communities initiative got off to a rocky start,” Villaraigosa told me, by way of defending Obama.  “I’ve been a passionate advocate for immigrants since I was walking alongside César Chávez. It’s not the only issue.”

Yet in the end, the best Villaraigosa could do was to bash Romney some more.

“It’s not a question if the lesser of two evils, it’s a question of, you have two candidates, and you vote for the candidate that you think will move us forward,” added the mayor.  He  then reiterated that Democrats were better for the country than Republicans. “I don’t think it’s a question of lesser of two evils, I think it’s a question of right or wrong.”

There are a number of factors to consider when parsing through Villaraigosa’s messaging.  He is mayor of a jurisdiction saddled with a $238 million budget deficit – and he will, shortly, cease being the head of that city, the country’s second-largest. He’s also not particularly popular there, and would probably not ascend to a larger statewide role anytime soon.  So, it’s no wonder that Villaraigosa is trying to align himself with the Obama campaign.

What is a wonder is that he’s not reaching beyond standard fare to do so.

Politic365 also asked Villaraigosa why he, as a Latino, would encourage other Latinos to vote for Obama. His answer: the “Latino agenda” is actually just the American agenda. And ultimately, President Obama and the Democrats would pave the way to this agenda for Latinos. You have to look at the bigger picture, he said. Everything from jobs to opportunities for children to healthcare to retirement to immigration show a “marked difference” when you look at it from Obama’s, or Romney’s, point of view.

Throughout our brief conversation though, I couldn’t shake the feeling that his words were perfunctory. When I asked him why he was away from the city days after he suggested eliminating hundreds of city jobs in a budget missing hundreds of millions of dollars in funding, he seemed to get defensive. He said that at the Conference of Mayors he was advocating for tourism, which would ultimately help the city. There have been tough times before and everything worked out in Los Angeles, he said, referring to previous budget cuts. In this sense it seemed like he finally got the alignment between himself and Obama right: not perfect, but working on it.

“I think the [president’s] record is pretty clear,” he said — right before he began clarifying it.


  1. Americans are a funny group. While they talk about how they are losing jobs, losing housing, losing opportunities, they at the same time, allow politicians like Hilda Solis, Antonio Villaraigosa , and so many others to use them like a giant ATM machine to benefit Mexico's citiizens at the cost of the taxes they pay and their own jobs. Go figure.

  2. P.S. Notice the answer Villaraigosa gave as to why Latino's should support Obama. Because he helps Latino's. Interesting isn't it. Yet the leftist democrats would immediately label a white politician a racist,if he were asked the same question and said, Obama helps whites. Question: are European AMericans EVER GOING TO WAKE UP, IN THE NATION THEIR GRANDFATHERS AND FATHERS BUILT THROUGH SWEAT BLOOD AND TEARS? So far, they are gleefully giving away their inheritance. STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES.

  3. Why are Americans complaining about losing jobs and about massive immigration? Don't they understand that NAFTA the NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT, (put forth by Bush senior and pushed through by Bill Clinton, that icon of honesty) prescribes American job loss and income to Mexico, all to benefit the elite and Wall Street. But why would people be amazed when most Americans can't find their state capitol on a map, let alone where D.C. is. LOL….!!

  4. That the farming and agricultural commerce have an obligation to pay the benefits for their labor and not the state’s taxpayers. There will no importation of migrant poverty anymore, by cutting off access to welfare, food stamps, and section 8 housing programs. Taxpayer doesn’t need or should we accept any new low skilled workers, instead we must necessitate in supplying our own citizens with more occupational programs. Further we must safeguard our voting system which has been compromised by the far left, its Liberal associates, Democrats and groups like ACORN that became a vital factor of a growing number of state requiring official ID to vote. Illegal aliens are voting and will again in local, state and federal elections and this dishonesty must be ended. Another set of regulations to amend, would be a careful examination of the current visa system allowing around a million legal immigrants annually into the U.S. No further violation can be tolerated from businesses and we should only permit the highest intelligence in engineering, the sciences, mathematicians and computer technology professionals to immigrate.

    Illegal immigration must become a thing of the past by securing our border fences. Business that intentionally ignores E-Verify should face harsh sanctions, including prison. Elected officials, who allow such provisions as Sanctuary City ordinances, should be punished and government legislators should sever funds to these perpetrators. All federal and state legislators, governors, majors, police chiefs should be put on notice, that voters will unseat them, specially the Tea Party members. Any illegal alien invaders of this sovereign country, should be prosecuted as a Felony, not a civil infraction, with ID theft or Voter Fraud should be mandatory prison sentence, with no exceptions.

    America is bleeding badly from years of neglect by both political parties and pampering of foreign nationals cannot be accepted any more as the norm. Internal enforcement is more urgent than ever before, because of supporting illegal aliens is skyrocketing and taxpayers are on the hook. Illegal aliens have also found a way, to obtain $4.6 billion dollars annually by defrauding the IRS and the taxpayers, using non-existent children tax credits. Elections are no longer safe as Democrats and their less honest followers are participating in voter fraud. We either need a national ID card or that all voters must possess a government picture ID for proof of who they are?

    If you cherish your freedoms from the corruption in Washington that benefits all of us, we need a balanced tax system with no subsidies, a right to drill on the Peoples National land and sea for plentiful reservoirs of oil, natural gas to alleviate our out-of-control deficit. No more government bail outs for the friends of the White house. Throw out all the profiteering lawmakers and by cleaning house, put recognizable TEA PARTY leaders in their place. Voters need to demand from Congress, specifically from GOP House speaker, John Boehner of Ohio and Dave Camp of Michigan, as the Chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee to stop blocking the 50-state E-Verify bill. Call the central switchboard at 202-224-3121 Washington, DC. For further information on this crisis subject, check with NumbersUSA website, where even Congress consults on immigration matters.

    Latest News: Governor of Oregon, a Democrat of course has allowed police to accept the Mexican Matricula Consular ID cards as proof of citizenship for driving. The FBI has stated that this Picture ID, is very unreliable document of representing the individual who they say they are?

  5. We have one way in returning the power to the American people, is to retire the majority of Democrats, Liberals and Republican politicians, and give that influence to the Constitutional TEA PARTY leadership. Under Obama we have seen the U.S. deficit rising to an almost fanatical 16 trillion dollars. In Sen. Harry Reid’s party no move towards a balanced budget. Then both parties have deliberately ignored the astronomical $113 billion dollars a year, pander to the 20 plus million illegal migrants and immigrants already settled here. Our only real chance to stop the illegal invaders is adopting more Tea Party Senators and Representatives. Millions of demoralized Americans of different racial make-ups, religions and political parties have joined the Tea Party that represents all citizens, permanent residents whether of Hispanic, Latino, European, and Asian, Pacific Rim or any part of the world’s population who came here legally.

    Beginning with Arizona v. the justice Department who revolted against the high court’s unfunded mandates, that STATES must give health care, an education and welfare programs to anybody who can slither past our fences or just lie to an agent, when they alighting from a jet plane from another country. Other than Sanctuary states, the rest are waiting for the outcome in June by SCOTUS. Patiently waiting is Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and the majority of other states to at least have some confirmation, whether they can advance a policing policy to check a person’s eligibility to be in the United States?

    Senator Marco Rubio has his own plan for the Dream Act, other than the very incendiary law that Democrats have in mind. For any realistic chance of the Dream Act gaining passage in Congress, certain provisions must be in effect. The central government has to enact a nationwide mandatory E-Verify program, that Chain Migration must be rescinded from immigration law, that only children below the age of ten would be considered and that all recipients to obtain a path to citizenship, must depart the country and apply for a entry at an Embassy, as every other patient immigrant must do. A larger majority of the Tea Party members would also insist that the Birthright Citizenship law be amended, so no pregnant illegal alien mother or parents could take advantage any more with their child/children getting instant citizenship. That no baby/infant should become a taxpayer’s burden, unless one parent is a U.S. citizen. Over the years this law has become mutated, and should not be a foothold, for every illegal migrant or immigrant who smuggles themselves into America to gain admittance to welfare and public assistance. Our own pregnant females suffer a large disadvantage by the hospital clogged by illegal alien Mothers, whereas citizens and residents must pay maternity fees, while others get a free uncompensated ride. These programs should only be available to citizens, naturalized citizens and green card holders.