Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is defending Los Angeles International Airport, or LAX, from criticisms by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during Monday night’s first presidential debate.
Trump mentioned LAX in the context of a statement about the national debt, saying that it might be understandable to have $20 trillion in debt and outstanding public infrastructure, but that the poor state of America’s transportation network underscored the government’s waste of money.
“You land at LaGuardia, you land at Kennedy, you land at LAX, you land at Newark, and you come in from Dubai and Qatar and you see these incredible — you come in from China, you see these incredible airports, and you land — we’ve become a third world country,” Trump said.
Garcetti is not taking that lightly. In an interview with Southern California Public Radio’s KPCC, he cited improvements at several of LAX’s terminals, and mocked Trump for flying into LAX in a private aircraft.
“Maybe Donald Trump has been too busy flying around on a private jet to see the improvements that have come to Los Angeles International Airport … I think we don’t need rhetoric and insults when it comes to airports or people. We need action and plans, and Donald Trump displayed his out-of-touch ignorance yet again last night when it came to our city and our airport that’s on the move,” Garcetti said. The mayor is a strong supporter of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Public opinion of LAX, however, aligns with Trump’s views on the city’s major airport.
A survey by Skytrax in March showed that travelers considered LAX one of the ten worst airports in the world; PJ Media named LAX one of “5 worst airports for a layover” in April; NerdWallet named LAX one of the top ten “Worst airports in the U.S. for summer travel” in June; and Fortune magazine named LAX the worst airport in the U.S. for mobile phone connectivity just last week.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.