Former Obama Cabinet secretary is first Southerner in 2020 White House field
♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com editor
SAN ANTONIO (CFP) — Telling supporters that he wants to “make sure that the promise of America is available to everyone in this country,” former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro launched his campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
“It’s time for new leadership, it’s time for a new commitment to make sure that the opportunities I’ve had are available to every American,” he said in his January 22 kick-off with supporters in the mostly Latino West Side neighborhood of San Antonio, where he grew up.
“There are no front-runners that are born here, but I’ve always believed that with big dreams and hard work, anything is possible in this country,” he said.
Castro, the grandson of immigrants from Mexico, lit into President Donald Trump’s policy of trying to dissuade asylum seekers from Latin American countries from trying to cross into the United States, which Castro described as “cruel.”
“After (Trump) claimed that we are facing an invasion at the border, he called it a national security crisis,” Castro said. “Well, there is a crisis today. It’s a crisis of leadership.”
“Donald Trump has failed to uphold the values of our great nation.”
He also drew another contrast with Trump by thanking the news media assembled to cover the rally, saying, “I know that the press work hard and that they are the friend of the truth in this country.”
Castro, 44, served as mayor of Texas’s second-largest city from 2009 to 2014 before being picked as President Barack Obama’s housing secretary in 2014. He was reportedly on the short-list to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate in 2016.
His identical twin brother is U.S. Rep., Joaquin Castro, who represents the West Side in Congress.
Castro is the second Southerner to enter what is expected to be a crowded 2020 Democratic field, joining Richard Ojeda, a former state senator and unsuccessful congressional candidate from West Virginia.
Another Texan, former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who lost a Senate race in 2018, is considering the race. Other Southerns who have been mentioned include former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, U.S. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, and former Virginia Governor Terry McCauliffe.