Julian Castro, former President Barack Obama’s Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary, will reportedly formally enter the presidential race on Saturday and frame himself as the “antidote to Donald Trump.”
According to a Friday NBC News report, Castro is expected to announce his candidacy on Saturday in San Antonio, Texas. Before the event, he blasted Trump’s border wall as a “dumb way to use our resources” and claimed many Latinos feel “targeted” by Trump.
“What we don’t need is a wall that stretches the length of the border, some concrete wall that people are just going to be able to go over or go under,” Castro reportedly said.
Though Castro has slammed Trump’s rhetoric and inflammatory language, the self-proclaimed “antidote” to Trump last year smeared Trump by calling him a “pendejo,” a “nasty Spanish-language slur understood to “mean ‘dumbass’ or ‘asshole’ in areas like Southern California and Texas.”
Castro gave an electric keynote speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in which eviscerated Mitt Romney, but some activists believe Castro, like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), did not strike while the iron was hot in 2016. Now, as NBC News notes, Castro has “since been eclipsed by other Democratic stars” like Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke.
Addressing these concerns, Castro said he does not think 2020 will be “necessarily about always having the shiniest words or approach.”
“People want to know that somebody has the right experience and that they have the right vision to make sure that their family can succeed in this country,” the former San Antonio mayor said. “And I have that.”
Castro has said he will not accept PAC money during his campaign and embraced Medicare for All this week ahead of his expected presidential announcement.
“There is no reason, as many folks have pointed out, that in the richest nation on earth, anybody should go without health care,” Castro said earlier this week “I believe that we need universal health care, that we should do… Medicare for all in this country.”
Keep an eye out for this image Saturday: it’s just outside the plaza In San Antonio where Julián Castro will announce his 2020 plans, which everyone expects will be that he is running for president. Workers were setting up the plaza Friday morning in a slight drizzle. pic.twitter.com/Cse83lKZJ4
— Suzanne Gamboa (@SuzGamboa) January 11, 2019