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Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti: California Is ‘The Same as Iowa’

Eric Garcetti / Getty Images
• April 12, 2018 10:50 am

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Rumored 2020 White House candidate Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D.) attempted to play down the differences between California and Iowa ahead of a scheduled trip to the Hawkeye State.

Speaking to reporters at a news conference in Sacramento, Calif., on Wednesday, he lambasted the common perception that those living in metropolitan regions on the nation's coasts are out of touch with citizens in Midwest and in rural America, according to The Los Angeles Times.

"We’re the same as Iowa," Garcetti said. "These divisions that there’s the heartland and the coast to me are B.S."

The mayor of America's second-largest city further attempted, while heaping significant praise on Iowa, to minimize the differences between the two states.

The mayor pointed to Iowa and California's shared interest in renewable energy and prevalence of strong agriculture and manufacturing sectors as proof of commonality.

"Los Angeles is the heartland, and Iowa is the cutting edge," Garcetti said. "They have 31.3 percent of their power generated by wind, by renewable, the highest in the country. They are a manufacturing capital like we are. They’re a farm state. We’re a farm state."

In March, Garcetti announced he would address a local Democratic Party function in Iowa, and the address would be followed by a two-day swing through the state's major media markets. When news of the trip first broke, it fueled speculation that Garcetti is increasingly likely to mount a campaign for the White House in 2020.

The Iowa trip will make Garcetti the first prospective presidential candidate to visit all four of the first nominating states this cycle, as he's previously made high-profile trips to New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina.

During Wednesday's press conference, Garcetti took a ding at President Donald Trump by saying Americans cared more about having elected officials committed to unity than they cared about geographic location.

"I think we struggle with the same things," he said. "Will politicians listen to us? Will we have a country that brings us together rather than rips us apart?"

The mayor also said there was a common misconception Los Angeles was a ritzy urban environment full of celebrities, when "actually" the city was made up of "everyday folks" who care about getting America "back to work."

"I think people probably imagine, as I’ve said before, that we’re mostly a city full of Kardashians and reality stars," he said. "Well, we have a reality star leading this country. We’re actually everyday folks who are nurses and bus drivers and factory workers and firefighters, and we need to get back to work."

"We need a country that is not about driving people apart, but about multiplying our success," Garcetti added.