Rick Caruso says he’ll protect Hollywood if elected L.A. Mayor

No wonder the stars love him! L.A. mayoral candidate Rick Caruso vows to protect Hollywood if he’s elected – and says his faith as a Catholic has been ‘weaponized’ against him but insists he is pro-choice

  • Rick Caruso, 63, is running against Democrat Karen Bass in the L.A. mayoral race
  • The billionaire real estate tycoon has won the support of stars including Gwyneth Paltrow and Kim Kardashian 
  • In an interview with The Ankler this week, he said he would create an office within city hall that is dedicated to protecting the entertainment industry 
  • ‘I’m going to have a separate office within the mayor’s office that’s just going to focus on the entertainment industry,’ he said 
  • He also used the interview to insist he is pro-choice despite his past comments to the contrary 
  • In 2007, L.A. Magazine said he ‘opposed’ abortion in ‘most cases’ 
  • Caruso has also donated to anti-abortion Republicans in the past 
  • He said this week that his faith had been ‘weaponized’ against him  

L.A. mayoral candidate Rick Caruso has vowed to create a designated office within city hall with the sole purpose of protecting Hollywood if he is elected, bringing music to the ears of the stars who have endorsed him. 

Caruso, a billionaire former Republican real estate tycoon, made the promise in an interview with The Ankler this week.

He is running against Democrat Karen Bass in the November election on a platform of tackling crime, homelessness and bringing an end to a steady stream of ‘career politicians’ who he says have ruined the city. 

Part of his plan if elected is to create an office within his office that is dedicated to protecting Hollywood. 

‘I’m going to have a separate office within the mayor’s office that’s just going to focus on the entertainment industry. 

‘We have to have the cost of doing business for the entertainment industry, frankly, all businesses, but the entertainment industry to be lower in the city of Los Angeles,’ he said. 

Rick Caruso with Gwyneth Paltrow, one of the many stars to have endorsed him in his campaign to become L.A.'s next mayor

Rick Caruso with Gwyneth Paltrow, one of the many stars to have endorsed him in his campaign to become L.A.’s next mayor 

‘I’m going to work very closely with Hollywood, because this town is Hollywood. 

‘And, instead of shipping the greatest industry we have in this city out of this city, I want to bring it back in this city.’ 

Caruso, 63, also insisted that he is pro-choice despite suggestions  to the contrary from Democrats including Hillary Clinton and Planned Parenthood. 

He said his faith as a Catholic had been ‘weaponized’ against him. 

 ‘I’m going to work very closely with Hollywood, because this town is Hollywood

The abortion controversy stems from a 2007, a Los Angeles Magazine profile of him in which the reporter said he ‘opposed abortion in most cases’. 

Speaking to The Ankler this week, Caruso said it represented his views at the time but doesn’t now, that he had ‘evolved’ and that he has ‘always been pro-choice’. 

‘My comments were about, maybe, how I felt at the time. Has my feeling evolved on abortions? Of course, it’s evolved on abortions. And we want to have leaders that do evolve. 

‘But I’ve never been against the woman’s right to choose. And that’s been used against me and it’s a falsehood, and I’m glad you’ve given me the opportunity to clean that up.

‘What’s been so disappointing to me is that, my religion, being a Catholic, just like our president, and just like Nancy Pelosi being a Catholic, has been weaponized against me because of pure politics. This is what you call insider Washington politics being used against me. I am a Catholic. I love my faith. But I also have free will. And, I make decisions based on what I think is best.

Caruso is running against career politician Karen Bass. She has the backing of the White House and Hillary Clinton

Caruso is running against career politician Karen Bass. She has the backing of the White House and Hillary Clinton 

Caruso is running on a platform of tackling crime and cleaning up the city, where homelessness is spiking

Caruso is running on a platform of tackling crime and cleaning up the city, where homelessness is spiking 

‘I have always been in pro-choice. I have never been against a woman’s right to choose. And I remain pro-choice. I also live with a very strong and smart wife of 37 years and a very strong and smart daughter who’s 22. 

‘I would no more ever try to tell them what to do with their body or how to make decisions on their life, because I respect a woman’s right to choose.’ 

Caruso said businesses should be rewarded for putting their money into the city, but instead are faced with homelessness – like Netflix, where dozens of homeless people sleep outside. 

 ‘I’ve only got one allegiance here because I’m not looking for a career in politics. I want to clean up the city that I love, and I want to come back to private life.’

‘Look at [Netflix CEO] Ted Sarandos. Here’s a guy who said, “I’m going to make a commitment and have my headquarters actually in Hollywood,” and made a big, incredibly wonderful commitment to the city. And what has the city done? 

‘The city has allowed encampments all around that headquarters.’ 

Caruso said the homeless encampment is deterring Netflix staff from returning to the office. 

‘People are coming to work, and I’ve talked to the executives in there, coming to work carrying human waste on their shoes because there’s so much human waste on the sidewalk, because we’ve allowed people to live in the most inhumane situation.

‘It’s incredible what all of our elected officials have allowed to happen. We’re allowing people to live and die in the streets in their own waste. And then we allow that to happen in front of one of the great companies of Hollywood.’

Caruso was a Republican for years before registering as a Democrat earlier this year, ahead of the mayor’s race. 

Caruso with his wife Tina and daughter Gigi in 2018. He said of his stance on abortion: 'I have always been in pro-choice. I have never been against a woman's right to choose. And I remain pro-choice. I also live with a very strong and smart wife of 37 years and a very strong and smart daughter who's 22.'

Caruso with his wife Tina and daughter Gigi in 2018. He said of his stance on abortion: ‘I have always been in pro-choice. I have never been against a woman’s right to choose. And I remain pro-choice. I also live with a very strong and smart wife of 37 years and a very strong and smart daughter who’s 22.’

He insisted in his interview – and has done throughout his campaign – that party affiliation is irrelevant. 

‘None of these issues are Republican or Democrat issues. None of them are. These are human issues. These are issues that are affecting all of our lives every single day.

‘When crime is spiking, when you’ve got homicides that are at a 15-year high and it’s only getting worse, when you have hate crimes that are up 160 percent, when you have homelessness now at 44,000 and people dying in the streets, these are life and death issues that transcend any kind of party. 

‘And, I don’t look at this as party politics from that standpoint. We’ve got just serious problems,’ he said. 

He added that Hollywood heavyweights including mega-agent Bryan Lourd, Disney’s Dana Walden and Netflix’s Sarandos are ‘upset’ with the state of the city. 

‘People are tired. They’re upset. They feel unheard. Many are scared and worried about the future of this city. And people are looking for somebody to come in and be able to fix the problems. And they believe, and I’m sure you’ve asked them, they believe very, very strongly that I can fix the problems. 

‘And I believe very, very strongly that I can fix the problems.’ 

Caruso claims that he’ll retreat from politics once the L.A. mayor’s race is over. 

‘I’ve only got one allegiance here because I’m not looking for a career in politics. I want to clean up the city that I love, and I want to come back to private life.’ 

While Caruso has the backing of the stars, his opponent – a longtime politician – has been endorsed by Democrats including Hillary Clinton.

Clinton this week threw her weight behind Bass because she said she would protect abortion rights in L.A. – despite them being enshrined into law by the state of California. 

Bass has also been endorsed by President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. 

Biden and Harris released a joint statement earlier this month endorsing Bass.

They said: ‘Karen Bass has our friendship, and she has earned our respect through her leadership in Congress on crime prevention strategies, effective and fair policing, and the welfare of children and families.’

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