By Brian Goldsmith
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, a rising star in the Democratic Party, told Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric that this year’s presidential campaign is like “Bizarroland” — “a joke comic book where Donald Trump is in first place.”
Garcetti, a prominent supporter of Hillary Clinton, also called the former secretary of state’s loss to Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent, “an expected result,” given that, as he put it, Sanders is “the neighboring senator.” He described the contest as a battle between the heart and soul of the party — with Sanders representing the heart, and Clinton the soul.
Garcetti, who is Jewish and Latino, predicted that the upcoming primaries in Nevada and South Carolina will be more fertile territory for Clinton, because of her longstanding support among Hispanics and African-Americans. He said that “her idealism and activism can go toe-to-toe with anybody.”
Challenged about the drop in support for Clinton, from her 20-point lead in June, Garcetti described the New Hampshire results as more about the rise of Bernie Sanders than the erosion of Clinton’s core supporters. He said that although “this is a crazy year,” he believes that Clinton will prevail. Garcetti described her as the most qualified and experienced candidate. In his view, she is “an idealist who also gets results, and I think that’s what America needs.”
He also predicted that Trump, who won the GOP primary in New Hampshire, would be tough to beat for the Republican nomination, given the momentum and support he now has behind him.
On the water crisis in Flint, Mich., Garcetti blamed inaction in Congress among other factors, and said, “There’s a cost to rolling back environmental protections and not investing in infrastructure.”
Garcetti also reflected on the O.J. Simpson trial; his father, Gil Garcetti, was the Los Angeles District Attorney when the case was being prosecuted. He said that while he has not seen the new television series based on Simpson’s life, he believes that it is a mistake to focus on the racial divisiveness that the case stirred up. The trial, in Mayor Garcetti’s view, increased public awareness of the problem of domestic violence and has helped in the effort to combat it.
Watch Yahoo News’ complete NH primary coverage below: