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Julián Castro On Impeachment And The Campaign


At the restaurant Mi Tierra in San Antonio, there is a huge mural on the wall where many of the good and great of the Latino community are depicted, from Carlos Santana to Archbishop Patrick Flores to the former mayor of San Antonio who became HUD secretary under President Obama and is now running for president himself, Julian Castro.

There is a saying I understand here that you will have made it in San Antonio politics once you make it on that mural.


JULIAN CASTRO: That's right. It reflects generations of San Antonians, primarily Latinos, who have helped build up the community.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I spoke with Castro as part of a new NPR series with voters and candidates called Off Script. Castro's roots in the city are deep. His mother Rosie was a Chicana activist. And Julian and his twin brother Joaquin, who is now a congressman, grew up poor. They graduated early from high school, then headed off to Stanford and Harvard Law and careers in politics. He's now the only Latino in the Democratic field. I asked for his opinion on the impeachment inquiry.

CASTRO: I believe that Trump is trying to do to Joe Biden what he did to Hillary Clinton, that he's trying to take a public servant that has served honorably over the years and muddy their reputation with false accusations that, in this case, have been investigated.

To me, there are plenty of reasons for people to make a decision in this primary. I hope that in this Democratic primary, they're going to do that about the issues. I disagree with Vice President Biden on immigration, on health care, as people saw at the last debate, and a number of other issues. But I believe that he's fundamentally an honest and honorable man.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Do you think it's the best thing for the country if, indeed, the House votes to impeach? And if, indeed, there is a trial in the Senate, do you think that that is really the best thing for the country in a year which will see an election?

CASTRO: Well, I believe the best thing for the country would be not only impeachment, but removal. This president has violated his oath of office. He has abused his power. People can read that in that transcript. In unprecedented ways, he has used the office of the presidency to boost himself and put his own self-interest above the national interest. How much more evidence do people need that this man should not be anywhere near the Oval Office?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: The most recent poll in Nevada showed not good news for you. You did not have great numbers - in fact, close to 0%. It's a state with a lot of Latinos. That's got to have hurt to see that you didn't do as well as you may have hoped.

CASTRO: Well, I mean, I think there haven't been that many polls of Nevada. That's been the problem - one of the problems. As opposed to the other three early states, Nevada has gotten very little attention. And...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: But is it sending a signal to you that perhaps it might be time to move on to something else?

CASTRO: Not at all. Not at all. We have four months until Iowa votes and 4 1/2 months until Nevada caucuses. And so we're going to keep working hard in this campaign.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I also asked Castro if he would consider running for the Senate against Republican John Cornyn. He ruled that out. Some also see him as a potential running mate.

You are also voted the man most likely to be vice president by some. If, indeed, you don't get the nomination, is that something that you would consider?


GARCIA-NAVARRO: I'm not interviewing...

CASTRO: (Laughter).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: ...For other jobs. But it is important for...

CASTRO: That's right.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: ...People to know.

CASTRO: So I'm running for president. And I already went once through the vice-presidential process, and it wasn't my favorite process.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: A few other things I found out about Julian Castro - he's allergic to cats. His favorite taco is cheese and beans. And he thinks his generation, Gen X, gets overlooked.

CASTRO: Yeah. We get lost in the shuffle. You know, I guess I'm proud to carry the banner. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.