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Monday, June 22, 2009

CNN: Villaraigosa Not Running for Governor

Credit CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer (stand by for transcript, CNN has promised it to us shortly)


Courtesy The Situation Room with Wolf Blizter, CNN

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We're about to get the exclusive announcement right here in THE SITUATION ROOM. The mayor of Los Angeles set to announce whether he will or will not run for governor of California.

The mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, is joining us live from Los Angeles.

Mayor, thanks very much for coming in.



You told me a few weeks ago that you would tell us right here in THE SITUATION ROOM your decision. I know you've been agonizing over this decision for weeks if not months.

Are you going to run to become the next governor of California?

VILLARAIGOSA: The answer is no. And I make that decision because, as I've said many times, I love the city I was born and raised in, the city that my grandpa came to a hundred years ago.

Cities all across the country are on the front lines of the challenges facing us in terms of the economic crisis. Here in the city of L.A., a 12.5 percent unemployment rate, 21,000 people have lost their home over the last two years. We're facing an unprecedented and historical budget deficit at $530 million. And I feel compelled to complete what I started out to do.

I said to Los Angeles four years ago to dream with me. I said we were going to take on the many challenges that we face in the city, public schools and public safety, the issue of the environment. I said that we were going to do everything we could to come together as a city, and I can't leave this city in the middle of a crisis. It's as simple as that.

BLITZER: But you know, Mayor, if you're the governor of California, there's a lot you could certainly do to help not only the people of Los Angeles, but a lot of other cities throughout that state, as well.

VILLARAIGOSA: You're right, Wolf, and that's why this was an agonizing decision. What is going on in Sacramento currently is an abomination.

The system is fundamentally flawed. It's broken. It's currently in a meltdown as we speak. But I was elected mayor and re-elected by the people of this city. They've given me the honor for a second term, and I feel compelled to complete the promise that I made to them.

I'm going to dream, and I want the people to dream with me. But in order to do that, we're going to have to take on the immediate challenges of finding jobs, of turning the economy around, of continuing the education reform, of building on the public safety record that we've established where we're the second big city in America, crime down eight years in a row, and safer than any time since 1954.

But those things are good, but they're not good enough. We've got to do more. And I've been...

BLITZER: I was going to say, Mayor, the other guys who are running, including Jerry Brown, Gavin Newsom, the mayor of San Francisco, in all the polls it showed that you would have been very, very competitive with them.

When did you make up your mind that this is something you didn't want to do, run for governor?

VILLARAIGOSA: I've been making up my mind for a long time, frankly. The reason why I didn't early on make a decision one way or the other was because, as I said, this city's given me so much. I didn't want to walk away. But as you said, the challenges of the state are so great, as well.

I was speaker of the assembly. I have a great deal of support in the legislature and throughout the state. But this is about the city I love.

And I also have a young girl, 16 years old. She's the apple of my eye, and she's got two more years of high school and then she's gone. And I don't want to be campaigning for a year and then leading the state in Sacramento and my little precious is, you know, finishing up her high school education.

BLITZER: It's always personal decisions as well as political decisions.

The "L.A. Times" poll had your approval number at 55 percent approve of the way you're doing your job, 37 disapprove. There was a cover of "Los Angeles" magazine that branded you as a failure. I'm sure you've seen that cover, as well.

Are you ready to endorse someone now for the Democratic nomination?

VILLARAIGOSA: Well, let me just say when I was asked in a press conference what I thought about it, I said great picture -- three years younger, 10 pounds lighter. You know, that's what happens when you're mayor. You're the focus of the good times and the bad.

The fact of the matter is we've got many challenges in this city. In a time when the unemployment rate is at 12.5 percent, a 55 percent approval isn't so bad. But I recognize that I've got a lot of work to do. I've got to do a better job...

BLITZER: Who do you like for the nomination?

VILLARAIGOSA: And I've got to do a better job even than the job that we've done over the last four years.

In terms of who I like, I'm not focused on that. I'm focused on my job and the challenges that we're facing. There's plenty of time to weigh in on that race.

I can tell you this -- whoever is going to be the next governor in the state of California better talk turkey with the people of California. I said the system is broken, and it is. A two-thirds vote to pass a budget, one of only three states in the country that require that. Two-thirds vote to pass taxes, one of 16 or 17 that require super majority.

Term limits is broken. The fact of the matter is we need to support open primaries.

The initiative process is broken when it takes a majority vote to deny a whole group of people the fundamental right to marry but you can pass a -- you need a two-thirds vote to pass a budget.

So there's a lot of things broken. I hope to participate in that conversation, but my focus will be on the city of Los Angeles. My focus will be on -- and the national stage, really making the case for cities in metropolitan areas.

Just elected the second vice president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. We're going to be in Washington, D.C., making the case that if we're going to turn America around, we've got to turn our cities around.

BLITZER: Mayor Villaraigosa, we'll see you here in Washington, D.C.

Thanks very much. Thanks for living up to your commitment to tell us first your decision, and the decision is you are not running for the governor's race in the state of California.

Thanks very much for coming in.

VILLARAIGOSA: Thank you, Wolf.

Labels: ,


Anonymous Anonymous said:

Judge not and you will not be judged.

June 22, 2009 1:55 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

he didn't say he wasn't running. Only that he's interested in running for Mayor of LA. Which means that he still may announce after the run off. Look everyone knows that Tony V is an incompetent buffoon with more ambition than will to actually lead. But he's a racehorse and racehorses run. So I'm not sure he's out yet. If he does decide to run then I think LA voters launch a Re-Call against him immediately!

June 22, 2009 1:56 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Everyone now knows that Villaraigosa withdrfew out of fear that David Schmaltzenburger, aka Z.D. was going to come out against him, and the mayor just didn't want to have to face ZD while running for public office.

Once again, ZD proves just why he is respected and feared in the political arena.

With Mayor Sam's unqualified backing, ZD has become the most powerful political force in the City of LA, County of LA, State of California and the entire country.

June 22, 2009 1:59 PM  

Blogger Foxy LA Lady said:

How ridiculous! He needs to make his announcement on CNN? Why not have a regular news conference? The whole country needs to know that he is giving up on his political ambitions OR the whole country needs to know he might run for Dianne Feinstein's seat...with Bill Rosendahl as his opponent?
He has really set the stage to be laughed out of the city. But at the same time I also want to say, thank god he’s not running. Now I don’t have to stock up on anti-acid remedy as much.

June 22, 2009 2:01 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

what are you talking about 156?

he is termed out and can't run for another term. what do you mean that he's "interested in running for Mayor of LA"?

June 22, 2009 2:08 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What next? An appearance of AV on Zuma Schmaltzenburglar's blog?

June 22, 2009 2:09 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Well, if it's between Villaraigosa and Rosendahl for Senate in Feinstein's place I have to go with V, Rosendahl is the biggest idiot imaginable. He admitted himself he doesn't care about world affairs (unless it's gays in Iraq) and can't hold a steady course on any topic if it means someone might not like him.

He's flip-flopped to side with Parks and Smith on swiping the trash fee hikes that had been promised for cops into their mismanaged General Fund, after demanding more cops for CD11 and the westside in general. Shows he can't add 2 + 2 = 4, for him 2 + 2 = 5 or whatever he wants.

But he did it to "look tough" going up against Bratton and Antonio, hoping others as stupid would agree with him as long as he's disagreeing with Antonio.

(People like that other idiot Jane Usher praised Rosendahl for this right after the election in her address to SOHA May 20th.)

June 22, 2009 2:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

He can jump in later as the Socialist Candidate but Gavin still kicks his ass.

June 22, 2009 2:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

He wants to finish what he started? That would be a first, unless he meant that he wants to finish syphoning the last drop of money from the LA taxpayers.

June 22, 2009 2:18 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

1:56 said:
"Look everyone knows that Tony V is an incompetent buffoon. . . But he's a racehorse and racehorses run."

He WAS a racehorse, once. Even some of his more ardent fans are slipping away.

Maybe it's time to put this old swayback out to stud (officially, this time).

June 22, 2009 2:27 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

He looks conceited.

June 22, 2009 2:41 PM  

Blogger Parque Esqueleto said:

DAMMIT, there goes winter in Tahiti! I thought for sure the brightly colored index cards I snuck into his pocket would fool him into announcing after all

Oh well, if it ain't him jumping ship right after the Gov's race then I can count on Jose to get happy feet the next time there's a game of musical chairs.


June 22, 2009 2:43 PM  

Blogger Petra Fried in the City said:

wow im shocked see how shocked i am oh this is just so surprising

June 22, 2009 2:46 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Now let's complete the fall: Begin the recall.

June 22, 2009 2:52 PM  

Blogger Foxy LA Lady said:

2:27PM Right on!

This is a real good lesson for the voters. When you hear a mayoral candidate was a gang banger, a drug dealer, a four time bar exam failure, wrote letters to free a major drug dealer to get him out of prison while in the Assembly and so on...something should tell you not to vote for this guy. But Noooo! The spin-doctors brainwashed the majority and here's the result. A lame duck!

On the other hand, who knows? Maybe he's not running because his wife wants her name back. He would have to change all his literature and create a whole new image. I hope Corina is the woman I think she is and will prevent him from using her name after the divorce.

June 22, 2009 2:58 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Announcing it on CNN while they're covering the crisis in Iran means he is barely a blip. Even Obama's campaign against smoking and trying to quit is getting more coverage.

But this may be good for Villaraigosa since the local spin that he's calling off the Governonr's race because of a poor poll showing isn't getting much attention. He can quietly back out and be eligible for the Senator job without any backlash.

June 22, 2009 3:04 PM  

Blogger Petra Fried in the City said:

Parque, you need to write *phoenetically* on those cards. That's the problem. Tony couldn't read what you wrote.

June 22, 2009 3:06 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Announcing on CNN means he doesn't have to take any hardball questions on the fiscal crisis because all CNN will care about is the Governor's race not the nitty gritty of why City government under Antonio is in crisis...

June 22, 2009 3:14 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

In addition to Iran there's a train crash in DC, definitely a good time for Antonio to announce he's staying put without it getting any negative attention.

The CNN report did mention that L A Magazine Failure issue but noted it was unfair to use that to categorize the article since the gist was he just had unfinished business, it should have said more "Incomplete" than "F."

But reporters are doing anything to sell their papers and magazines these days with no one buying them so cheap shots are par.

Kit Rachlis "coincidentally" left the magazine after that though -- either pushed out or just made a parting shot figuring he couldn't get fired anymore anyway.

June 22, 2009 3:15 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The real reason Villaraigosa bowed out cause the FEDS are closing in on all the corrupt bullshit deals he's given friends for political payback. The story in LA Times on Sunday hurt him big.
L.A. voters don't want Villaraigosa to run for governor, Times Poll finds


Waiting to see how Matt Szabo "girlie man" spins this. Villaraigosa is the joke of the nation. He should pack it up now before it gets worst and Zuma is right it will get much worst.

June 22, 2009 3:25 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Parque is still using pictograms for ADV's cue cards -- mostly nekkid ladies.

He had a 1.4 grade point average, remember?

June 22, 2009 3:51 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Antonio may not be ready for Gov right now and may be a PR hound but I still think the way the local press is jumping on him like jackals after treating him like a rock star is disgusting. Steve Lopez weighed in right away with another slam that adds nothing to the discourse but "serves you right, you egotistical little jerk who I never liked!"

Maybe the media could do something useful once in a while and discuss issues intelligently, you know, inform the public with analysis that's allegedly more in-depth and informed than we can get from blogs and tv? Like the goals of the MSM USED to be?

June 22, 2009 4:23 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

No, no, no.

The real reason he is not running is his fear of Zooma Schmaltzenburglar.

He heard Zooma is on his case, so he is getting out of Dodge.

June 22, 2009 4:39 PM  

Blogger Phil Jennerjahn said:

Antonio let CNN know that he is too busy to run for Governor.

He already has a full time job screwing the taxpayers of Los Angeles.

I mean this financially, of course, with a few minor exceptions.

June 22, 2009 4:47 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

ok now lets do the recall he needs to stay put to cover all the dirty deals he has running in city hall. if he leaves they wiil find all the bones in his closet.

June 22, 2009 5:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

5:11PM ...and perhaps a few more boners in his pants! HA!

June 22, 2009 5:49 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Altogether now, "RECALL !!!"

Isn't it time for a RECALL Villar Campaign?

June 22, 2009 6:31 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

You guys can't even take the news that you've all been waiting to hear well.

You didn't want him to run. He's not running. He has work to finish up and who would want to take over the state in this mess?

Forget about your recall. It's the silliest thing I've ever heard of. You would be much better off to get your issues and hold the mayor's feet to the fire now. You'll never get a recall so don't waste precious time and energy on it. Remember how much AV loves the city and there will be other jobs in 4 years. If he does well in the next 4 years, the political world will be his for the taking.

I think it's great that he wants to give his daughter two years of no campaigning. That's a hell of a gift to a kid and I know that for a fact. And no Monica, Corina will not make him take his name back. She doesn't hold half the contempt for him that you bloggers do.

Also, if you can read the transcript, you hear Wolf Blitzer say that AV promised he would come back and announce it there when he was ready to make his announcement. "That" is why he did it on CNN. Don't even try to make something where it doesn't exist.

You should all go suck up to him and try to get what you want/need accomplished. If you were smart anyway..

June 22, 2009 6:44 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I thought I would repost it again for those of you LAUSD-unable-to-read graduates.

See, Blitzer goes first, then the mayor answers. Now, no need to wonder why he did it on CNN.


You told me a few weeks ago that you would tell us right here in THE SITUATION ROOM your decision. I know you've been agonizing over this decision for weeks if not months.

Are you going to run to become the next governor of California?

VILLARAIGOSA: The answer is no.

June 22, 2009 6:48 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

6:44 PM

You can spin all you want with your stupid self! You can suck up all YOU want, but we need to suck him out of office once and for all!

6:31 PM

RECALL HIM!!! What do we have to lose? He was boooooed at the Laker's parade...even the illegals are threw with him.


June 22, 2009 7:20 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What do you have to lose? The recall stupid. And stop calling me stupid. At least I know the difference between someone being through and threw, asshole.

June 22, 2009 7:41 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

and what's all this talk about his daughter and wanting to spend time with her during the last two years of high school, and then "SHE'S GONE"?

Is she making tracks once she's reached 18 and never to be heard from again? Or does he mean she's off to college and the idea that it a one way deal, not to come home again if she feels like living at home? That's not much to convince anyone.

Tony can raise more kids if he wants to. He's had enough practice making them.

He's likely to get a whole batch of kids from Lu Parker if her clock hasn't run out yet and if he turns out to be the "real deal" for her. Maybe it's just a middle aged fling-thing for her.

Tony is so full of it. They should have had a two-minute timer on him like for public comment at City Council; he'd have come off sounding better. The more Tony rambles, the more ridiculous he sounds.

Where was the hook? Doesn't he have a handler anymore or have they abandoned him, too?

No wonder Matt Szabo speaks for him on important announcements.

June 22, 2009 7:45 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Let's recall this piece of crap before he ruins the City anymore.

June 22, 2009 8:34 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The real reason Antonio announced on CNN -- he hadn't cracked on any of their newscasters in a few months.

June 22, 2009 9:40 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

No its because someone like Wolf Blitzer has absolutely zero clue about LA politics and wouldn't challenge the Mayor.

June 22, 2009 10:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The Mayor Villaraigosa deserves credit only if he is sincere regarding one of the reasons he decided not run for Gov. because he wants to spent time with his daughter before she graduates from high school, but I think Mayor Villaraigosa finally realized he would be defeated at the polls in 2010.

Just like the L.A. Times poll has Villaraigosa at 55 percent approve of the way he’s doing his job. This reflects Los Angeles registered voters (1,596,165) in which only 9% (152,613) of eligible voters actually voted for him in March 2009.

Former Chief Gates eloquently placed the decrease of crime in proper perspective in the L.A. Weekly. “Your recent article regarding the use of crime statistics was most interesting. Los Angeles today clearly cannot be compared to Los Angeles in the early '50s or '60s. To use crime statistics is, of course, meaningless.

"There are so many other factors that need to be taken into consideration as you point out in your article. Crime statistics are difficult to compare because there have been changes in the way in which data are reported.

"For example, multiple crimes committed at the same time are no longer reported today as they were years ago. A carjacking occurs, the woman victim is robbed at gun point and physically assaulted -- all of those crimes would be reported and counted (as) carjacking, auto theft robbery, and (assault with a deadly weapon) in times past.

"Today, only the most serious of the crimes would be counted in the crime statistics. Not necessarily bad, but a change in reporting. There are others as well” (Again, a special thanks to L.A. Weekly for extraordinary journalism).

It’s time for Mayor Villarigosa to roll up his sleeves, stop filling pot holes and having worthless press conferences and get to work on the issues that are important to Angelenos. No more increases in fees or taxes, enough!

June 22, 2009 10:33 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Villarraigosa is a FAILURE and he knows the public does not like him. People everywhere are talking about RECALL. Now he talks about caring for the city. If he cared so much about L. A. what was he wasting his time last year and part of this year campaigning for Hillary and kissing up to Obama? Instead using this time to take care of the city and doing the job we are paying him to do. He has been an absent mayor and a FAILURE.

RECALL Villarraigosa we do not deserve a FAILURE like him.

June 22, 2009 11:27 PM  

Blogger Foxy LA Lady said:

The transcript is wonderful. Thank you for posting it. My comments: What a bunch of hogwash!

My favorite part is how he "loves" L.A. How he is asking us to dream....yeah dream and keep dreaming so we don't wake up and realize what a mess of a mayor he is!!! I saw some footage on KCAL 9. He’s got half the speed in his speech of what he had four years ago and seemingly, the energy of someone who is burned out.

The mayor of Los Angeles has been dreaming all right! He's been dreaming in a bar somewhere with some "telebimbo" (thank you RedSpot), dreaming his marriage away, dreaming our city away, our jobs away, our paychecks away, our unions, his hardworking Latino brothers and sisters, education, transit, airports, L.A.P.D., he's been dreaming it away. We are lucky we have such dedicated police officers who can do their job and don't need a politician to make them feel worthy.

Here's to L.A.P.D. cops! Thank you for not following the status quo.

In short, with Tony Villarlalayoff in charge asking us to dream, he’s just asking us to drink some more of the Kool-Aid. Wake up Los Angeles!!! We need to take back our city!

June 22, 2009 11:44 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Sincere congrats to:

*Mayor Sam, aka Michael Higby
*Ron Kaye
*Antonio's mayoral opponents
*Jacko Weiss' city attorney opponents
*neighborhood councils
*bloggers and activists
*everyone fed up with LA City Hall

All of you have built up a movement that has now taken down the biggest rising star in CA politics.

Antonio deciding not to run for Governor in 2010 is eerily similar to LBJ deciding not to run for a second full term in 1968.

Conventional wisdom had both MAV and LBJ being unbeatable, despite huge public discontent against them.

Yet it only took a few brave souls to vote against the status quo, for David to take down Goliath.

Somewhere up in heaven, Clean Gene McCarthy is smiling.

Well done, compadres, well done!!!!

June 23, 2009 11:33 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Antonio Villaraigosa will NEVER make it be GOVERNOR of CALIFORNIA!

Not in this lifetime!

July 02, 2009 12:20 AM  

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