Antonio Villaraigosa argued Friday that he is best suited to be California’s next governor because he had been tested when he was Los Angeles’ mayor during the recession, and had proven that he could make politically unpopular decisions in the best interests of the people.
“Look at the track record. I’ve not been afraid to take on my friends. I’ve not been afraid to say no,” Villaraigosa told a couple hundred people at a luncheon at an automotive school in Rancho Cucamonga. He noted that he furloughed 37,000 city employees and laid off 1,000 workers during the recession to stave off bankruptcy, and challenged the city’s school district and teachers union because he believed they were failing students.
“I took on those interests even though they were probably the most important group that got me elected. I made tough calls,” he said. “I think the next governor is going to have to make tough calls.”