Democrats Julian Castro and Tulsi Gabbard Declare for 2020

The Democratic primary pool expanded again this weekend, as two more potential 2020 presidential candidates announced their campaigns for the party nomination.

Julian Castro, the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama, hosted an official campaign launch on Saturday in his home state of Texas. The event emphasized much of what Castro believes positions him as different from so many of the likely 2020 contenders: He’s young, Latino and eager to build on the enthusiasm of the same groups that were engaged by and enthusiastic about Obama’s time in the White House.

It’s an attempt to draw a very strong distinction between Castro and the current president, his supporters say — one that will bring voters — especially Latinos — to the polls.

Politico reports:

“Secretary Castro is very committed to mobilizing the Latino community in every election, and he’ll continue working with activists in the community and the related issues and listening to them and talking with them as much as possible,” campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Fiore said.

Castro’s speech nodded to the immigrant experience, an issue that is likely be central to the 2020 presidential debate. The hope and optimism he spoke of stands in direct contrast to President Donald Trump’s rhetoric and policies on immigration, which have angered and mobilized many Latino voters against the administration.

If Castro has a background unlike any of the other potential 2020 candidates, so too does Tulsi Gabbard, who also announced that she would be running for the party nomination.

Gabbard, a congresswoman from Hawaii, is a former Iraq War veteran, as well as the first Hindu and first American Samoan member of Congress. In addition to her unique background, Gabbard points to her foreign policy experience.

CNN reports:

There are a lot of reasons for me to make this decision. There are a lot of challenges that are facing the American people that I’m concerned about and that I want to help solve,” she said, listing health care access, criminal justice reform and climate change as key platform issues. “There is one main issue that is central to the rest, and that is the issue of war and peace,” Gabbard added. “I look forward to being able to get into this and to talk about it in depth when we make our announcement.”

While many pundits called it a long shot, Castro’s campaign launch was still met primarily with glowing reviews and even some thought experimenting on how he could conceivably nab the nomination.

Gabbard’s notice that she intended to run, on the other hand, was primarily met with criticism of many of her past actions — such as meeting with the President of Syria, working with far-right evangelical leaders and even once referring to marriage equality supporters as “homosexual extremists.”

Ryan Bort at Rolling Stone writes:

[H]er anti-gay past is only the first item on a laundry list of reasons her campaign may be doomed. Although ardently anti-interventionist, she has described herself as a hawk when it comes to terrorism. She’s also been praised by former KKK grand wizard David Duke, white supremacist Richard Spencer and former Trump adviser Steve Bannon. She’s rejected these endorsements, but as Mehdi Hasan of the Intercept points out, it’s more than a little troubling that some of the vilest people in America are supporting her.

Both Castro and Gabbard can easily be painted as long-shot candidates simply basking in the media spotlight available before other better funded and well-known candidates make things official. But whether they make it to — or through — the primaries at all, they’re both identifying exactly how eager the Democratic Party is to run against the current regime.

Viable or not — and, in Gabbard’s case, pretty problematic as well — these new contenders show a younger, diverse, energetic contrast to the man who wallows, stumbles, roars, divides and sows racism and xenophobia wherever he goes.

And right now, that’s what we need the most: a reminder that the Trump administration is an anomaly — and that we can get our country back.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

31 comments

Brian F
Brian F2 months ago

Roberta E Most people support raising the tax rate to 70%. The tax rate only affects those who make over 10 million dollars. Most people hate the Democrats, who have failed miserably. They want Ocasio Cortez who is young, honest and intelligent. I'm not defending Ms Gabbard's anti-gay rhetoric. At least Tulsi hasn't taken millions from Wall Street and corporations like most of the Democrats you defend has.
https://news.gallup.com/poll/245990/trump-congress-job-approval-mostly-steady-amid-shutdown.aspx

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E2 months ago

brian f
Show your facts for your constant (at least for this week) regurgitation of "The Democrats only have an 18% approval rating" It's on almost everything you post this week.
You must have just received this weeks instructions and talking points from Vlad !!!
BTW, you whine about most Democrats but seem to accept Ms, Gabbards anti LGBTQ rhetoric? You give that a pass? Also please check your facts on who the 70% tax increase is targeted for. Do YOU make over $10, 000,000 ?

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Brian F
Brian F2 months ago

The Democrats only have an 18% approval rating. No wonder Ocasio Cortez is criticizing them. They have done a horrible job, and most of them are extremely wealthy like Nancy Pelosi, and refuse to support Medicare for all, free colleges, worker coops, marijuana legalization, an end to wars in the Middle East, and a 70% tax rate, because they are crooks like the Republicans.

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Lesa D
Lesa D2 months ago

thank you Robin...

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Maria P
Martha P2 months ago

TYFS

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Karin Hanson
Karin Hanson2 months ago

After this "Moron in Chief's" total fiasco as POTUS, it is entirely clear that any nominee must be aware of all government policies and proceedures as well as having experience in the Senate or Congress!! This is a no brainer.

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Janet B
Janet B2 months ago

Thanks

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Brian F
Brian F2 months ago

I agree that Tulsi Gabbard's anti-gay past is disturbing, but at least she didn't take 19 million dollars from Wall Street, big pharmaceutical companies, lawyers, and corporations like Cory Booker did. Tulsi also left the corrupt Democratic party in 2016, after they refused to end their corruption and fire Debbie Wasserman Shultz for scheduling the debates to favor Hillary. Bernie Sanders is my number one choice, but the Democrats and our corrupt corporate media are already doing everything they can to smear him.

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Danuta W
Danuta W2 months ago

Thank you for sharing

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Fred L
Fred L2 months ago

As a lifelong Hawai'i resident, I'm skeptical about Gabbard. Her virulent anti-LGBTQ stance, her support of Bashar al Assad, her refusing to join Democrats in censuring Steve Bannon, white nationalists praise for her, etc. are problematic, to say the least. And although she recently apologized for her anti-gay rhetoric and for her work for an anti-gay advocacy group, the skeptic in me says she is being contrite in order to further her political career.

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