Villaraigosa: Coarsening on 'Both Sides of the Aisle' Contributing to Ugliness in Politics

August 20, 2017

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D.) said a coarseness has infected both sides of the aisle during a discussion Saturday about the ugliness of fringe politics.

Conservative MSNBC host Hugh Hewitt read out an excerpt of Villaraigosa's statement condemning the nastiness of the debate over single-payer health care in California, which included multiple death threats toward State Speaker Anthony Rendon.

Tying the conversation to the violence in Charlottesville, Va., last week, Hewitt asked him why politics had become so poisonous.

"After Charlottesville, it's even more important that leaders say this," Hewitt said. "What has happened out there, Antonio Villaraigosa, to politics?"

"The coarse nature of our politics, on both sides of the aisle, by the way, as you could see, because that was on the Democratic side [in California]," Villaraigosa said. "People screaming at each other. Well, violence in the case of Charlottesville and other places. You know, I don't think there's any room for that."

After a man with alt-right ties was arrested for ramming his car into a crowd of counter-protesters in Charlottesville last week, President Donald Trump took heavy criticism for saying blame lay with "both sides" for the violence there.

Both Republicans and Democrats said Trump had insufficiently condemned white supremacists and neo-Nazis, who were there to protest the taking down of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. VICE News captured footage of them calling for violence and chanting out racist and anti-Semitic slogans as well.

Villraigosa is running for Governor of California to replace term-limited Jerry Brown (D.).