GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, on Jan. 26, 2016. Photo by Scott Morgan via Reuters
GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, on Jan. 26, 2016. Photo by Scott Morgan via Reuters

Speaking to reporters in advance of Donald Trump’s visit to Southern California, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Tuesday denounced the presumptive Republican presidential candidate as a “bigot” and a “racist” whose values run counter to those of Southland and state residents.

“I think that all of us that have spoken out against the things he has said and what he represents,” Garcetti said in a media conference call on behalf of the Democratic National Committee. “We simply can’t afford to give him a free pass. Donald Trump does not represent the values of Los Angeles, of Southern California and of this state of opportunity, of inclusivity and making sure that we build a strong America that leaves nobody behind.”

There was no immediate response from the Trump campaign.

Garcetti blasted Trump’s comments about Muslims and Mexican immigrants, saying, “Instead of focusing on fixing our broken immigration system, Donald Trump has been doing the exact opposite, trying to exploit unfounded fears for political gain — calling Mexicans rapists and drug dealers, saying that he could somehow deport 11 million undocumented immigrants and build a wall that would be easy to build, and he cited, I think, the Great Wall of China as evidence that it wouldn’t be so tough … something built over centuries and with a loss of many lives.”

The mayor said the nation needs bridges, not walls, stressing that Los Angeles embraces diversity.

“We make sure that everyone is treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve,” he said. “We don’t take LGBT or Muslim or Mexican Americans and try to scare people about them. We actually invite them to be part of the core prosperity of this city. And I think we have to keep speaking up, but what we cannot do with Donald Trump is normalize him as a candidate. This is something that Hillary Clinton talked about last night — that Bernie Sanders has mentioned as well. He’s a racist, he’s a bigot, he’s sexist, and he’s the walking embodiment of the worst of our values.”

Trump is expected to be in the Los Angeles area on Wednesday, attending a rally at the Anaheim Convention Center, then taking part in a fundraiser at the Los Angeles-area home of investor Thomas Barrack Jr., a longtime Trump business associate and supporter.

— Wire reports 

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