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Democrats have a lot to be proud of, and so does California, in the eyes of Assembly Speaker JohnPérez.

The Los Angeles politician, in a News10 satellite interview Tuesday from the Democratic National Convention, says it's more important to focus on the nation's "trajectory" than on the fact that the economic recovery remains unfinished.

AndPérez had a quick retort to last week's criticisms of Gov. Jerry Brown and Brown's tax plan offered by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

"Chris Christie should pick on someone his own size, andI'm right here if he wantsto do that," saidPérez.

Weight jokes aside, the Assembly leader took issue with GOP criticisms of California's fiscal crisis.

"We're growing jobs faster than any other state in the country," he said. "We're on the mend."

But part of the mending being promoted by California Democrats and Brown is a tax increase that would impact just about everyone through its change in state sales tax. That's in contrast to President Obama's push for tax changes that focus only on the most wealthy.

Perez doesn't see those as conflicting viewpoints, even though some of the Golden State's most liberal factions wanted a tax increase that focused solely on millionaires -- a drive that was set aside in a deal earlier this year with the governor.

"What [President Obama's]doing at the national level makes perfect sense, and it pairs well with what we're doing at the state level," said Speaker Perez. "It's a balanced approach, but it's one that says we're all in it together."

Perez's chance for a bit of the convention spotlight adds some shine to his family, given his cousin is the convention's chairman -- Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. The two were briefly on stage together Tuesday evening, as Perez was chosen as one of the honorary parliamentarians for the Democratic gathering.

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