Julián Castro, former secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama, formally announced his bid to run for president.
Castro made the declaration last Saturday in San Antonio, TX where he was the democratic mayor from June 1, 2009 to July 22, 2014. He gained national prominence in 2012 when he was the first Hispanic to deliver the keynote address at a Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. Two years later, he joined the Obama administration and is now hoping to tap into the diverse coalition that elected the former president twice.
Castro believed his story as an immigrant would be one that resonated and turn into votes in November 2020 when the next presidential election is held.
“When my grandmother got here almost a hundred years ago, I’m sure she never could have imagined that just two generations later, one of her grandsons would be serving as a member of the United States Congress and the other would be standing with you here today to say these words: I am a candidate for President of the United States of America,” Castro said.
Castro added that his family’s history is a testament of what this country is capable of. He drew contrast to President Donald Trump throughout the speech. He faulted the administration for their lack of humanity and leadership.
“Yeah, we have to have border security,” Castro said. “But there’s a smart, and a humane way to do it. And there is no way in hell that caging children is keeping us safe.”
After his announcement, Castro described himself as the antidote to Trump.
On Monday, Castro visited San Juan, Puerto Rico and lambasted the Trump administration’s response to Hurricane Maria. He chose it as his first destination stop because he wanted the citizens to know that they mattered and had not been forgotten. Castro, whose twin brother is CHC Chairman Rep. Joaquín Castro (D-Texas), faulted Trump for not showing proper concern to the region.
“Just the other day the president and his administration talked about taking money earmarked for Puerto Rico recovery and instead investing in [a border wall],” Castro said.
“To do so is completely objectionable, immoral and should never happen,” he added.
Watch Castro’s full presidential announcement below.