Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa weighed in on Anthony Weiner's twitpics at NBC's Meet The Press this morning, calling the three-week media coverage a "circus" from people "on another planet." Villaraigosa urged the debate to return to the nation's unemployment rate (California's is in the double digits), foreclosure crisis, and infrastructure problems.
Villaraigosa also laid the blame for the nation's deficit and faltering economy squarely at the feet of the Republican party. The mayor called out GOP members for threatening to default on the national debt without considering the impact on jobs and the economy. He blasted President George W. Bush for taking the U.S. to "the highest deficits and debt in our history."
Earlier on in the program, Villaraigosa also offered his take on the recent Republican presidential candidates debate, saying "it feels like these people are on another planet" and calling the candidates "out of touch." Still, his criticism of national leaders wasn't limited to the GOP. Speaking on behalf of mayors across the U.S., Villaraigosa said,
You have Democrats who don't want to address entitlements, medicare, and social security. You have Republicans who say that defense spending is off the table, so what's left? It's infrastructure, it's transportation, it's education, it's public health, it's eviscerating medicaid and the safety net.
Mayor Villaraigosa spent the weekend on the East Coast to attend the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Baltimore, Maryland. Tomorrow he is set to succeed Mayor Elizabeth Kautz of Burnsville, Minnesota as the organization's president. Both his acceptance speech and subsequent tenure as president will focus on transportation infrastructure and improving public school districts, reports the LA Times.
Last Friday, Villaraigosa added his signature to the U.S. Conference of Mayors' resolution asking Congress to redirect spending on wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya to domestic projects like job creation, sustainable energy, and infrastructure. To the Associated Press, Villaraigosa said,
How did we get to a deficit and a debt larger than at any time not only in U.S. history but in human history? We got involved in two wars that, no matter what you think about those wars, we haven't paid for... That we would build bridges in Baghdad and Kandahar and not Baltimore and Kansas City, absolutely boggles the mind.