LOS ANGELES - The march towards the 2022 midterm elections continues, now less than 50 days away.
This week on The Issue Is, Congressional candidate Christy Smith (D) makes her case to voters.
Smith is running against Republican Congressman Mike Garcia in the pair’s third head-to-head matchup. In 2020, Garcia beat Smith by just 333 votes, the closest race in the nation.
This time, in a redrawn district that leans more to the left, Smith is hoping third time's the charm.
She joins Elex Michaelson to discuss key issues of abortion and inflation, and to chastise her opponent for his refusal to debate.
Speaking of debates, this week, Michaelson moderated two high-profile debates on FOX 11 Los Angeles, the first televised face-offs between candidates for L.A. Mayor - businessman Rick Caruso and Congresswoman Karen Bass (D) - and L.A. County Sheriff - incumbent Sheriff Alex Villanueva and retired Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna.
Michaelson’s debate co-moderator, LA Times columnist Erika D. Smith, joins The Issue Is to break down the debate’s key moments and to provide her expertise on what the coming weeks of the campaign may bring.
THE ISSUE IS: A LOOK AT CALIFORNIA’S CLOSEST CONGRESSIONAL RACES
THE ISSUE IS: ABORTION RIGHTS
SMITH’S CENTRAL TAKE: "This is incredibly personal, I'm a woman who survived a miscarriage and two high-risk pregnancies. So, under the GOP plan, my miscarriage, my 'spontaneous abortion' is what they're called, could have been criminalized - that would have entirely changed the trajectory of my life. And with my first pregnancy, that was so high risk, my daughter had to be delivered to save my own life, if my physicians had had to think twice about when my daughter was delivered or whether or not they could even do it, I probably wouldn't be here talking to you today. So it's personal for me as a mother of two young adult women. It's personal to me as someone who has lived through and had to make that really important decision. And after over 50 years of that protection for women across the country to be afraid and rightfully they should, as you point out, because Lindsey Graham very clearly said this is their national plan - they make no bones about it - we're in a really dire circumstance and I think that's really compelling people to step up in a midterm where otherwise they might have stayed home…"
THE ISSUE IS: FIGHTING INFLATION
SMITH’S CENTRAL TAKE: "The unfortunate, sad downside of a supercharged economy, which ours is right now, unemployment at an all time low, sometimes that is inflation, and so where the inflationary pressures can be addressed, you know, by monetary policy, the Fed is pumping the brakes a little bit this week, the President has assured and has continued to move in the direction of making sure supply chains reopen and that we're getting supply lines moving to bring those costs down. So, you know, we get it, yes, inflation is hard on families, but the Democrats are delivering, we're doing everything that we can to bring an end to it as soon as we can. But again, another big difference between me and my opponent, Republicans in Congress had an opportunity to take a vote against gas price gouging and they voted no, so you can't, on the one hand, decry inflation and then on the other hand, you know, do nothing about it…"
THE ISSUE IS: REP. MIKE GARCIA’S REFUSAL TO DEBATE
SMITH’S CENTRAL TAKE: "I think when your positions are indefensible, you're reluctant to be out in public to try to defend them. You know, when you are so extreme on women's reproductive freedom, when you are extreme on voting rights and what the GOP is trying to do with, you know, giving greater power to states to overturn federal election results with fake electors, when you were someone who stood with insurrectionists on January 6th, I guess that's why you'd be inclined not to come out and try to defend those positions…"
The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson is California's only statewide political show. For showtimes and more information, go to TheIssueIsShow.com.