Carl DeMaio says he tried to bring up Bob Filner's behavior toward women during campaign

Debate footage shows candidates discuss harassment

SAN DIEGO - Carl DeMaio, Bob Filner's opponent last year in the San Diego mayoral race, spoke exclusively to Team 10 Tuesday and said he tried to bring up the mayor's treatment of women during the campaign.

In video from a mayoral debate last year, DeMaio alludes to Filner's behavior.

"My record is clear, I encourage you to examine the record of every single candidate by that measure of whether they treat women with respect," DeMaio said during the debate.

DeMaio, who is now running for Congress, did not elaborate on the comments, but specifically brought up the issue of sex harassment.

"You need a mayor who respects women, you need a mayor who sets that tone and you need a mayor who is willing to insist on zero tolerance when it comes to the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace and in any other environment," DeMaio also said.

On Tuesday, DeMaio spoke for the first time about the scandal surrounding Filner's office.

"We certainly knew he didn't have the temperament to be mayor," DeMaio told Team 10.

Filner defeated DeMaio in the November mayoral election 51 percent to 49 percent.

DeMaio's campaign ads claimed Filner was unfit to be mayor, citing several incidents with women.

One ad featured a baggage clerk who said Filner assaulted her during a 2007 encounter at Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C.

"His actions toward me were angry and hostile," the woman in the ad, identified as Joanne, said. "I'll never forget he told me, 'You can't stop me.'"

"I probably raised my voice a little too much, but passion is the hallmark of leadership and leadership gets things done," Filner previously said of the incident with the baggage clerk.

Now, Filner faces accusations of sexual harassment from 14 women, including two city employees.

"Whatever we could document we got out there." DeMaio said. "The problem was you had a whole group of special interests that were trying to cover up for Bob Filner. We had received only anonymous tips and it was frustrating because it clearly showed these women were afraid to step forward for fear of consequence.

DeMaio blamed labor leaders who heavily supported Filner for mayor.

"We spent millions of dollars on ads and mailers to present the facts that we knew at the time and, unfortunately, there a lot of groups in town, powerful groups in town, that covered up for Bob Filner," he said. "I think that they are responsible for putting a sexual predator into office."

"It's incredibly frustrating knowing we could have done a lot of good for San Diego and at this point my administration would not be mired in controversy," DeMaio added. "We'd be actually getting things done."

DeMaio said his focus has shifted from his congressional campaign to ousting Filner from office.

"Anyone would be better than Bob Filner, so our first step has to be driving Bob Filner from office," he said.

DeMaio did not directly answer questions about whether he would run for mayor if Filner leaves office. He said he doesn't think Filner will leave willingly.

"There is a 50-50 chance he will finish his term," DeMaio said.

Print this article Back to Top