Julián Castro on His Plans to Run for President in 2020 and the Use of the Word ‘Radical’

Oct 18, 2018
11:48 AM

Maria Hinojosa (L) and Julián Castro (R) (Photo courtesy of Brennan Center)

At a Tuesday evening event at NYU’s Brennan Center for Justice, former United States Housing and Urban Development secretary Julián Castro told journalist Maria Hinojosa that he is seriously considering a 2020 run for President.

When asked about how Castro is still “jumping in” the political process, the former San Antonio mayor said: “So I’m thinking about jumping in to run for President.”

“I think that whether I get in or not, folks who have the opportunity to do that, and even at the daily level, let’s just talk about a lot of what’s happening in our own lives, right? I can’t remember talking to more people within a year’s period who said, you know what, I don’t even watch TV any more,” Castro added. “I don’t even watch TV news anymore. I can’t take it anymore. But we have a choice to make. To speak about our democracy, whether we’re going to go forward and push back, and at this very critical time, engage and show the best of what our country can be, by engaging. Or we’re going to retract, and basically over time give up. And there’s no way that I’m going to give up. Both [my brother] Joaquín and I are committed to pushing back and to making sure that our country goes in the right direction, whether that’s as private citizens or him in Congress as he’s doing now or me running for something in the future. We’re going to make sure that we’re doing our part to push back because there’s no way in hell that we’re going to have this country go down the path that this President is taking us down.”

Before sharing his thoughts about a Presidential run, Hinojosa asked Castro about his mother Rosie’s Chicana activist background and how new Latina voices like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Emma Gonzalez are getting politically engaged and almost taking radical political positions in 2018. In Castro’s eyes, he has mixed feelings about the word “radical,” especially when it came to La Raza Unida Party of the 1970s.

“I have mixed feelings about that word,” Castro explained. “Because not only my mother, but a lot of folks when they were coming up, and you still see this today, people would be called communists or other words, when basically… so my mom, she wasn’t a founder of La Raza Unida Party, but she was involved, heavily involved in it… it was a Mexican American third party that said at the time that neither the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party were effectively serving the needs of Latinos. And you had a dropout rate of 75 percent in neighborhoods that were predominantly Latino. There was bad drainage. No infrastructure investment. There was tremendous amount of inequality, and they said, ‘To hell with this.’ We’re going to go and we’re going to form a party to elect candidates whose primary concern was making sure that this changes. But I’m picking up on where you left off. I’ve never seen that as radical. They were still trying to work within the democratic process to get people to go and vote and participate in a democracy, but they were called all of these names, and in some ways, blacklisted in the community.”

The full clip is here:

Editor’s Note: Hinojosa is founder of Futuro Media, which owns Latino Rebels.