US Democrats Castro and Gabbard make bids for presidency

Remigio Civitarese
Gennaio 12, 2019

Assailing President Donald Trump for "a crisis of leadership", former Obama Cabinet member Julian Castro joined the 2020 presidential race Saturday as the rush of Democrats making early moves to challenge the incumbent accelerates, while anticipation grows around bigger names still considering a White House run. He has always been viewed as a rising star in the Democratic Party since he first landed on the national scene by delivering the keynote speech for President Barack Obama at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. He will seek to position himself as a political outsider with liberal credentials. "Because it's time for new energy", Castro said, launching his campaign. "Because we're going to make sure that the promise of America is there for everyone".

One of Mr Castro's first stops as a candidate will take place on Monday in Puerto Rico, where he will attend an event hosted by the liberal Latino Victory Fund.

"And the opportunities that made America, America are reaching fewer and fewer people", he said, flanked by his wife Erica and children Carina and Cristian in San Antonio's Plaza Guadalupe, among a crowd of a couple hundred people.

He used his launch to repeat support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

"There are serious issues that need to be addressed in our broken immigration system, but seeking asylum is a legal right".

A lawyer by training, Castro was born into a noted family of political activists.

"Yes, we must have border security, but there is a smart and humane way to do it. We say no to scapegoating immigrants, and yes to 'Dreamers, ' yes to keeping families together". Castro is among the first in a long list of expected Democratic candidates to officially announce their bids. Former U.S. Representative John Delaney has been running for more than a year.

Castro's entry into the race was widely expected after he formed an exploratory committee last month. Harris and O'Rourke are also seriously considering presidential runs. Moderates and progressives in the party have been debating about how to best challenge Trump, the likely Republican nominee.

Some Democrats believe an establishment figure who can appeal to centrist voters is the way to win back the White House. Others contend a fresh face is needed to energize the party's increasingly left-leaning base. In 2016, Hillary Clinton also considered him as a possible vice presidential running mate.

Castro, whose grandmother came to the United States from Mexico in the 1920s, would be vying to become the party's first Hispanic-American nominee amid a field of that could swell to more than 20 candidates.

"He (Julian) should never be underestimated", Rosie Castro told the crowd. "That said, his star is definitely not rising anymore, and the sun may be setting on the presidential ambitions of Julian Castro". He said that if he is elected, his first executive action would be to recommit the the Paris Climate Accord that President Trump abandoned previous year.

Joining Castro at the campaign kickoff was his twin brother, Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro, chairman of the Hispanic congressional caucus and a frequent Trump critic.

"Julián Castro has made history by becoming one of the biggest lightweights to ever run for president".

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