Julian Castro, the former secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Obama administration, said in a recent interview that he will “likely” run for president in 2020.
Castro, who is also the former mayor of San Antonio, has spent the past four months traveling in battleground states — such as Nevada, Florida, Arizona, and others — campaigning for Democrats who hope to beat Republicans in the 2018 midterm elections, Rolling Stone reported.
“I’ll make a final decision after November, but I’m inclined to do it,” Castro said of running for president.
“I have a strong vision for the country. I believe that our country’s going in the wrong direction and that it needs new leadership.”
Castro’s rise to the national Democratic spotlight came after he had the distinction of being the first Latino to give a keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in 2012.
Later, he was considered as a possible running mate for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during her 2016 bid for the presidency.
When asked about Clinton’s loss to President Donald Trump and how he thinks that might affect his prospects, Castro said it was “always going to be hard to keep the presidency for a third term in the same party.”
“I think a number of people who were a part of the campaign are very proud that she won the popular vote by nearly three million votes and, at the same time, if it could be done over, would acknowledge more focus in certain states,” he told Rolling Stone.
Castro has leaned heavily on his ethnic background to rally support behind his political endeavors. In his recently published book, “An Unlikely Journey,” Castro described his visit to the U.S.-Mexico border to join the protest against separating illegal immigrant families.
During his interview with Rolling Stone, Castro referenced that trip and his own family’s immigration to the United States.
The potential presidential candidate said that “it’s worth stopping and thinking for a moment about where you and I would be” if the United States had always had the same immigration policies they have now, calling the president’s zero-tolerance policy “cruel.”
However, despite his efforts to relate to the recently immigrated Latinos, Castro later admitted that he is not an immigrant and neither were his parents.
Castro explained that his grandmother and her sister immigrated to the United States, and did so legally. However, he was quick to qualify that he believed, “if we had the same mentality back then, I would imagine they would’ve clamped down on a lot of the legal immigration, too.”
During his rounds campaigning for various Democratic candidates, Castro has aligned himself with Democratic gubernatorial candidates in multiple states, including Andrew Gillum of Florida and Stacey Abrams of Georgia, The Hill reported.
Castro has also put his political weight behind Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who is running to be a representative in New York and is a rising star in the DNC due to her socialist viewpoint.
He mentioned those candidates by name during his interview with Rolling Stone, also taking a swipe at law enforcement while endorsing them.
“We have candidates who recognize that often times folks who are grappling with lack of job opportunity in their community are also grappling with fear of being brutalized by law enforcement.”
The former mayor noted racial issues when endorsing the senatorial hopeful, saying that he thinks O’Rourke’s campaign learned something from the primaries.
“After the primary, his campaign got more savvy about appealing to non-white voters and has continued to get better along the way.”
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