Julián Castro drops out of the 2020 Democratic primary race
January 2, 2020
Former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro announced the suspension of his presidential campaign on Thursday coming just ten days before the anniversary of his campaign announcement.
To many progressive and Latino voters, Julián Castro fit the bill of what the ideal Democratic candidate should be: against President Trump on all issues and a minority Mexican American who achieved success within our government. However, Castro was unable to attend the latest Democratic debates due to low poll numbers and his message never really caught on with the media and members of his own party. So what caused his campaign to fail?
Along with a majority of the other Democratic candidates in the 2020 primary race, Julián Castro was persistent about the decriminalization of illegal immigration into the United States, particularity from Mexico. Castro said, “The truth is, immigrants seeking refuge in our country aren’t a threat to national security. Migration shouldn’t be a criminal justice issue. It’s time to end this draconian policy and return to treating immigration as a civil — not a criminal — issue.”
Similarly, Castro has been critical of President Trump’s continuation of the U.S. Mexico border wall, which has sharply decreased the flow of illegal crossings in the past year. This outlook and approach towards illegal immigration might be popular among a vocal minority within the Democratic party, but it was a tough sell for moderates who make up a bulk of the party to get behind. After all, how can a country exist with open borders?
If his immigration policy wasn’t horrid enough, Castro’s policy proposals outside of the United States were just as terrifying, especially concerning the Middle East. In 2015, President Barack Obama entered the United States into the Iran nuclear deal, which was only successful in aiding the Iranian regime with billions of dollars and undermining the national security of the United States and allies. Julián Castro said that it was a mistake for President Trump to withdraw and that he would rejoin the terrible deal if elected President.
When it came to Israel, our greatest ally in the region, Castro has made comments that bring to question his commitment to our relationship. In November, Castro said “more and more, Israel is going to have a hard time being both a democratic state and a Jewish state” and has defended the anti-Semitic anti-Israel remarks from Rep. Ilhan Omar.
The reckless attitude and lack of understanding with our allies and foes brought to question Castro’s validity as a candidate.
Targeting Joe Biden
Despite his hiccups with domestic and foreign policy, Julián Castro’s biggest mistake was going after the party’s “golden boy” candidate, Joe Biden. During the third Democratic debate, Castro targeted Biden about forgetting aspects of his healthcare proposal, and the response from the media was far from uplifting. This negative press and dismissal of the candidate hurt Julián at the polls and as a result, he was unable to attend the last few debates.
Without the appearance in any recent Democratic debates, exposure from the media and the inability to fundraise effectively, Julián Castro is now just the latest in a slew candidates to drop out of the over-saturated field. His extreme proposals to decriminalize illegal immigration, oppose new border wall construction, willingness to re-enter the Iran nuclear deal, stance against our ally Israel and his decision to go against the establishment’s candidate all hurt him in his bid to become the Democratic nominee.