Villaraigosa predicts Obama to get Latino vote (Video)
One day last month, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was walking out of the state capitol in Sacramento when a man yelled “Go back to Mexico.” For one of the most prominent Latino politicians in the country, the incident was an unwelcome encounter with bigotry but not one that bothered him.
“I laughed it off – and I did because it’s not the first time I’ve heard something like that,” Villaraigosa said in an interview one recent afternoon at his City Hall offices. “But I also laughed it off because, maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I believe in this great generous opportunity [that is] America. It’s given me a shot.”
Despite the barb directed at Villaraigosa in Sacramento, the mayor is not from Mexico – his grandfather came to this country in 1903. Villaraigosa is, however, the first Latino mayor of Los Angeles in more than a century, overseeing the nation’s second-largest city, one with a large, growing population of Mexican-Americans. Now, as he enters his final year in office, the national spotlight awaits.
Earlier this year Villaraigosa was tapped to be chairman of the Democratic National Convention in August, which he called “an honor.” A key part of that role will be to help make President Obama make his case to Latinos, the nation’s fastest-growing voting bloc, one that backed Obama by a two-thirds margin in 2008.
“I expect that the president is going to get an even higher percentage in 2012,” Villaraigosa predicted. “We’re not taking anybody for granted, but I think there are prospects of getting an overwhelming vote among Latinos for the president.”
Read the full story at ABC News