Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) targeted one of his own supporters in a public list of San Antonio, Texas, natives who have donated to President Donald Trump’s campaign, according to one of the men named in the political stunt.
Real estate developer Wayne Harwell, one of the 44 Trump donors listed in a social media post from Castro’s campaign account, confirmed he has donated to the Texas Democrat’s campaign for the House of Representatives but signaled he will no longer support the congressman.
“I was also on a list of people that gave to Castro and if he dislikes me enough that he wants to put my name out there against Trump, I’m not going to give money to him,” Harwell said in an interview with Fox News. “Obviously Castro feels pretty strongly against me.”
Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show Harwell gave $1,000 to Castro’s campaign in 2011, Fox News found.
In the past year, the businessman donated $2,800 to the Trump campaign and $5,600 to the Trump Victory Committee, a joint fundraising effort by the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee (RNC), and various other state Republican committees. He also gave money to President Trump’s 2016 campaign.
“I’m pretty independent, but I support Trump,” he told Fox News.
Castro, who currently serves as the campaign chair for his twin brother Julian’s 2020 presidential campaign, appears to have shared the donors’ names in an attempt to shame them amid dozens of Democrats blaming the president’s rhetoric for this weekend’s mass shooting in El Paso.
“Sad to see so many San Antonians as 2019 maximum donors to Donald Trump,” he tweeted, before accusing them of “fueling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as ‘invaders.’”
Harwell dismissed Castro’s suggested that he and others were supporting a “campaign of hate” by supporting the president.
“I think some of the Democratic rhetoric is more hateful than some of Trump’s rhetoric,” he told Fox News. “I think the San Antonio community needs to take a real deep look at what Castro is doing. Why is he doing this?”
“If he wants to play in Washington, he needs to move to Washington. If he wants to play in San Antonio, he needs to at least be sensitive. The rest of the community is sensitive,” he added. “We’re sensitive to both Republican and Democrat views. A lot of us here in San Antonio are independents.”
Leading Republicans slammed the move by Castro, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) calling it “shameful and dangerous.”
“Targeting and harassing Americans because of their political beliefs is shameful and dangerous. What happened to ‘when they go low, we go high?’ Or does that no longer matter when your brother is polling at 1%? Americans deserve better,” McCarthy tweeted.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) tweeted: “People should not be personally targeted for their political views. Period. This isn’t a game. It’s dangerous, and lives are at stake. I know this firsthand.” Scalise was shot and hospitalized in 2017 when James Hodgkinson, a former Bernie Sanders campaign volunteer, attacked Republican lawmakers while reportedly shouting about healthcare policy.
Appearing Wednesday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Castro attempted to defend his actions, claiming he was merely lamenting that Hispanics were supporting President Trump by giving their business to his supporters.
“If you look at my language, I said that it is sad many of those folks are Hispanic and they’re giving their money to a guy who’s running ads talking about Hispanics invading this country,” explained Castro.
“It was a lament about all of us go to the restaurants these people own, the businesses that they own, we patronize these places, and they’re giving this money to this guy who’s taking their money and using to buy Facebook ads talking about how Hispanics are invading this country,” he added.