Garcetti takes aim at Washington, Trump after visit to early presidential primary state

Garcetti takes aim at Washington, Trump after visit to early presidential primary state
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SAN DIEGO — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D), who’s considered a potential presidential candidate in 2020, took aim at Washington, D.C., and the White House in a Saturday speech to thousands of Democratic activists and officials.

At the California Democratic Party’s convention in San Diego, Garcetti recounted his trip to South Carolina — an early presidential primary state — where he said Americans are more focused on better jobs and health care than on divides between the Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSchiff blasts Trump for making 'false claims' about Russia intel: 'You've betrayed America. Again.' The problem with Trump's Middle East peace plan Trump's Intel moves spark Democratic fury MORE and Bernie SandersBernie SandersSchiff blasts Trump for making 'false claims' about Russia intel: 'You've betrayed America. Again.' Buttigieg campaign claims 'irregularities' in Nevada caucuses Poll: Sanders leads 2020 Democratic field with 28 percent, followed by Warren and Biden MORE wings of the Democratic Party.

Garcetti, 47, traveled to the Palmetto State last week for an advisory council meeting for the organization he chairs, Accelerator for America. But his trip to the “First in the South” primary state raised eyebrows as speculation swirls about potential presidential aspirations.

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“Let me tell you what they were talking about in South Carolina — the need for more teachers, better housing and transportation,” Garcetti said. “Americans are anxious about their jobs, retirement, health care and housing.” 

“There are two Americas: Washington and the rest of us,” he continued, to loud applause. “Washington: where you don’t have to keep your word. America: where you work hard to pay the rent and feed the family.”

Garcetti’s speech was interrupted several times by a small group of protesters, but he overall got a warm reception among the thousands of delegates and officials who have gathered for the state party’s annual convention.

The Los Angeles mayor, who has been a vocal critic of President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff blasts Trump for making 'false claims' about Russia intel: 'You've betrayed America. Again.' Poll: Sanders leads 2020 Democratic field with 28 percent, followed by Warren and Biden More than 6 in 10 expect Trump to be reelected: poll MORE, also slammed the president and his administration’s budget proposal.

Garcetti argued that while Democrats stand by workers and teachers, the White House “walks with” former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign advisers George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosFree Roger Stone A tale of two lies: Stone, McCabe and the danger of a double standard for justice California Democrat Christy Smith launches first TV ad in bid for Katie Hill's former House seat MORE and Richard Gates, who have all pleaded guilty to charges from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE in his investigation into Russian election interference in 2016.

“I know I’ve been wanting to say this for a long time. I think we should lock them up,” Garcetti said to huge applause, referencing the “lock her up” chants about Clinton from the 2016 election.

But after his convention, Garcetti downplayed rumors that he's thinking about a 2020 presidential run.