The former head of Obama's housing, Julian Castro, announces the 2020 campaign

Paul J. Weber

Published 1:33 p.m. CT 12 January 2019 | Updated at 13:41 CT 12 January 2019


Listen to the remarks that former US Foreign and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro had at a party in Iowa on January 7, 2018.
Joseph Cress, Iowa City Press-Citizen

SAN ANTONIO – Assaulting President Donald Trump for "a crisis of leadership", former member of the Obama Cabinet Julian Castro joined the presidential race of 2020 on Saturday while the race of the Democrats who make the first steps to challenge the # 39; incumbent accelerates, while anticipation grows around bigger names still considering a White House Race.

Castro, who may be the only Latin in what promises to be a crowded democratic camp, has made immigration a hub of his announcement in his hometown of San Antonio, less than 200 miles from the border between United States and Mexico.

Julián Castro speaks with Johnson County journalists "Potluck Insurgency" on Monday, January 7, 2019, in a house in North Liberty, Iowa. (Photo: Joseph Cress / Iowa City Press-Citizen)

CASTRO & # 39; S PUNTO IOWA: Choose a candidate who has shown their values ​​through work

Two days after the president visited the border to promote his promised wall, Castro mocked Trump for claiming that the United States faces an "invasion" by its ally in the south.

"He defined a national security crisis," said Castro. "Well, today there is a crisis, it is a crisis of leadership, Donald Trump has failed to defend the values ​​of our great nation".

Castro, 44, a nephew of a Mexican immigrant, said he was a presidential candidate "because it's time for a new leadership because it's time for new energy and it's time for a new commitment to make sure that the opportunities I had were available. for every American. "

He announced that the government's arrest is dragging on in the longer history of the United States and that the field of contenders for 2020 is expanding.

Castro was the mayor of San Antonio for five years and the US housing secretary in the second term of President Barack Obama. He became the second Democrat to formally enter the race, after former Maryland representative John Delaney.

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Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has also launched an exploratory committee for the president, and four other Democratic senators are making steady steps towards the race. Hawaii representative Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu-elect in Congress, said that this week is also planning an offer.

Castro is starting early to try to emerge. His first trip as a candidate arrives on Monday in Puerto Rico, devastated by the hurricane, where a protest began when the White House decided to divert funding for the disaster to pay for the wall.

Julián Castro greets Melissa Eadon with her children, Maddox, 3 and Aubrey, 6, in Johnson County "Potluck Insurgency", Monday, January 7, 2019, in a house in North Liberty, Iowa. (Photo: Joseph Cress / Iowa City Press-Citizen)

The impasse in paying for a boundary wall that Trump has been part of his 2016 campaign led to partial federal closure. That stalemate, along with Trump's immigration troops, made strong reproaches to Castro.

"There are serious issues that need to be addressed in our broken immigration system, but seeking asylum is a legal right and the cruel policies of this administration are doing real and lasting damage," he said.

He claimed to secure the border in an "intelligent and humane" way.

"There is no way that children in cages are smart or just or good to do it, say no to building a wall and say yes to community building. , and yes to "Dreamers," yes to keep families together. "There are about 700,000 young" Dreamers "who have been brought illegally into the United States as children, and supporters want to provide them with protection against deportation and the possibility of applying for citizenship.

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Joining Castro in the kick-start of the campaign was his twin brother, Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro, president of the Hispanic Congress caucus and a frequent critic of Trump. The Spanish-style square in Castro's twins was full of supporters who crossed the gates between a mariachi band. Castro said he led to his announcement that a Latin candidate was a must in the field of 2020.

That group of hopes is beginning to take shape even if the first primary elections last more than a year.

Last week Senator Kamala Harris of California published a memoir, a staple of presidential candidates. The former Texas Republican, Beto O & # 39; Rourke, is doing little to not speculate on the fact that he could jump into a field that has no clear favorite.

Castro is aware of the lack of recognition of the name of potential rivals of 2020 or the buzz surrounding O & # 39; Rourke, whose flirtations with 2020 have attracted donors and activists after a tight race last year against the Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

Even some supporters of Castro's announcement could be torn if O & Rourke entered the race. Diana Delrosario, a social worker in San Antonio, warned that she might cry while telling how Castro once worked as mayor to help get his mother out of a restaurant.

A person takes a picture while Julián Castro speaks to Johnson "Potluck Insurgency" local advocates and activists on Monday, January 7, 2019, in a house in North Liberty, Iowa. (Photo: Joseph Cress / Iowa City Press-Citizen)

"I have this heart for Julian, but it will be a big argument if Beto decides to run," said Delrosario, 45.

Castro, who has repeatedly stated that a nomination for O & # 39; Rourke would complicate his possibilities, has framed the neighborhood and its education as the story of a loser.

He was raised by a local Latina activist, and after a brief career in law, he was elected mayor of the country's seventh largest city to 34. It was not long before the Democrats embraced him nationwide as a star in the making , especially one from Texas, where a booming Hispanic population is rapidly changing state demographics and improving the party's fate.

Castro delivered the keynote speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Two years later, President Barack Obama chose him to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

He was on the short list of potential fellow travelers of Hillary Clinton in 2016. During Castro's trip last week in Nevada, One of the leaders of the Latin American state told Castro that he should again be the best candidate for the vice president if his campaign fails.

Like other Democrats who run, Castro said he will not accept money from political action committees linked to corporations and unions, and tried to present himself to voters as a champion for universal health care and affordable housing.

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