According to the Los Angeles Times, 49-year-old Garcetti said he is an "older, straighter Pete" during a Thursday speech.
Garcetti toyed with a White House run earlier in the election cycle, but he decided to stay out of the crowded presidential field early last year, saying Los Angeles is, "where I want to be and this is a place where we have so much exciting work to finish."
Garcetti also made a similar joke last month in The Atlantic, the newspaper pointed out.
The mayor raised his national profile in 2018 by campaigning and raising money for Democratic candidates and state parties around the country. His $2.5 million-plus in party fundraising included $100,000 each for the state parties in each of the first four presidential nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. He made stops in several of those states and other longtime battlegrounds like Ohio, where he frequently talked about the city’s transit-building boom
Garcetti, according to The Times, is also a Rhodes Scholar and a piano player, like Buttigieg, and both have served in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
Garcetti has also defended the idea of a mayor as a presidential candidate, saying a mayor's experience as chief executive squared well with the job in the White House. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is beginning to turn some heads in the Democratic primary with his aggressive spending in Super Tuesday states, while former New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Miramar, Fla. Mayor Wayne Messam each ran unsuccessful campaigns and have dropped out of the Democratic primary.
When asked about his future plans early last year, Garcetti didn't rule out a different bid for higher office in the future.
“Who knows what the future is,” he said, adding later, “Life is long.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.