Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro speaks at the National Forum on Wages and Working People on April 27, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images).
Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro speaks at the National Forum on Wages and Working People on April 27, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images).

Castro makes his case on FNC

Julian Castro said there was a “crisis of leadership” in a town hall sponsored by Fox News Channel.


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The only Hispanic running for President of the United States faced off with voters on the Fox News Channel.

Democrats boast a diverse group of presidential candidates, with females represented by the likes of Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Tulsi Gabbard, Kirsten Gillibrand, Marianne Williamson, and Kamala Harris, who is also African American.

Andrew Yang is Asian American, and Pete Buttigieg is openly gay, but Julian Castro is the only Hispanic in the race.

Julian Castro is the former mayor of San Antonio and was the youngest member of President Obama’s cabinet, as his Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 2014 to 2017.

On June 13, he appeared on the Fox News Channel (FNC) at the Tempe Center for the Arts in Tempe, Arizona.

While Arizona has gone Republican the last five presidential elections, this may change in 2020, and the Hispanic vote, which makes up approximately 30 percent of all Arizonans, may be a big reason why.

Democrat Kyrsten Sinema won the Arizona Senate seat in 2018 and while Trump won the state, it was by a smaller margin than in previous cycles.

Castro on Immigration
FNC’s Alicia Acuna noted in introducing the immigration question that Arizona’s proximity to Mexico is both a blessing and a burden. She said that the Arizona Chamber of Commerce estimates that imports from Mexico in the amount of $9 billion enter Arizona yearly.

She also noted that “Arizona is inundated with asylum seekers.”

Jeff Self, a Deputy Chief Patrol Agent of the Tucson, Arizona sector of the US Customs and Border Patrol, told Acuna that the state saw an increase of 258 percent in asylum seekers over the previous year.

The increase attention, Acuna said, drains border patrol resources from other missions including stopping illegal drugs.

“I believe that we have a crisis of leadership,” Castro said on the issue of immigration, taking a shot at President Trump.

“Last month there were 144,000 people that came to our southern border and in our name, little children have been separated from their mothers. People right now, about a hundred people, are in the hundred degree heat of El Paso, Texas underneath the bridge being fenced in like animals,” Castro noted further.

He called for treating people with compassion and common sense instead of cruelty.

He called for those in the country illegally, including the Dreamers, to have a legal pathway to citizenship.

He further called for a 21st century Marshall Plan for countries like Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, so that those countries can become livable.

By doing that, people from Central America won’t feel the need to journey one thousand miles and more to the United States but can find opportunities at home.

Castro on International Relations
Castro said the job of the next president as far as international diplomacy is to first repair alliances he said were broken by President Trump.

“I believe that we have a lot of cleaning up to do frankly when this president is gone. This president has torn apart some of the strongest alliances that we have as a country. My first order of business would be to repair those alliances with our European allies, whether it’s the UK, it’s France, it’s Germany. These alliances have been a big reason that this world has been safer,” Castro said.

“It’s more important than ever that we have allies around the world because we have countries like China that are growing very quickly that are projected to get stronger and stronger militarily and economically. It’s estimated that in 2030 if nothing changes that China will eclipse us as the largest economy in the world,” he added.

“I also believe that the United States does have a role to play in furthering the values that have made our nation special: freedom, democracy, opportunity, equality for people around the world. That doesn’t mean we should get entangled in unnecessary conflicts, we saw what a mistake Iraq was,” Castro said. “It doesn’t mean we should cozy up to dictators like the dictator in North Korea or other countries that this president can’t seem to get it right with. I would return to a time when the United States leads on human rights.”

Castro on China
Castro noted that Trump was even getting into unnecessary fights with US neighbors, Mexico and Canada, but FNC host Bret Baier said that the president was challenging these countries because he believes they are taking advantage of the US on trade.

The US, Mexico, and Canada recently agreed to the United States Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), an update to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), negotiated under then President Bill Clinton.

This led Baier to ask Castro about China, another country with which the US is negotiating a trade deal.

“What I think is that China is a competitor, that right now it’s forging alliances in places like Africa and Latin America, making investments in those countries and that means we have to be smart about forging our own alliances,” said Castro.

Castro said he would have “a unique opportunity to forge strong alliances with Mexico and Latin America.”

“I think that China is a competitor that we have to have smart policy around,” Castro concluded.

Castro on Iran
Castro was also asked about an unfolding event. Earlier in the day, two oil tankers were torpedoed. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the attacks.

Castro was asked by host Martha McCallum what he would do if he was president to de-escalate the situation.

Castro said he first wanted to make sure Americans were safe, secondly, “we need to work with our allies and put pressure on Iran through sanctions and other ways,” he continued.

“The issue that I have with this administration is that they seem to be hell bent on moving us toward war with Iran,” Castro said.

Castro said that withdrawing from the Iran nuclear agreement, negotiated by then President Obama, was the first move, in his view, of Trump’s policy of moving toward war.

“The Iran nuclear agreement was the best, strongest agreement that we had to make sure that a country [Iran] did not develop and launch nuclear weapons,” Castro said.


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