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Villaraigosa gives Limbaugh the brush-off on "shoeshine guy" insult

May 7, 2008 | 10:06 am

Antonio_villaraigos_gives_limbaugh_ So Rush Limbaugh calls L.A.'s mayor "a shoeshine guy" and at first, it looks like Antonio Villaraigosa's going to respond. Now, it turns out he's keeping mum, according to Portfolio:

Hey, you know what's a riot? Comparing one of the country's foremost Latino politicians to "a shoeshine guy" because of his race.

A spokesman for Antonio Villaraigosa says the Los Angeles mayor is planning a statement in response to an ethnically-flavored drive-by served up by Rush Limbaugh yesterday. [Update: Villaraigosa's press secretary says there won't be a statement after all; meanwhile, the head of the National Hispanic Media Coalition calls Limbaugh's remark "nasty, bigoted ...  racist." See below.]

The transcript of the edifying chat is here. It's Limbaugh, describing a dinner during which Bill Clinton introduces him to Antonio Villaraigosa. But no need to click -- here's the money quote:

[Bill Clinton] came over to the table three times. (doing Clinton impression) "Hey, Limbaugh, you're looking really good." I shook his hand, he left, comes back, the mayor of Los Angeles, I thought it was a Secret Service agent, maybe a shoeshine guy. Turns out he gives me his card, I said, "Oh, my gosh, it's the mayor of Los Angeles."

You can read the whole item about Rush Limbaugh's dis of Antonio Villaraigosa in Portfolio.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times