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Entries in Julian Castro (3)

Thursday
Sep062012

Julian Castro Says Country ‘Better Off Now’ After Four Years of Obama

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- DNC keynote speaker and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro says the country is “better off now” than when President Obama took the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2009.

“Folks ought to remember that when he took office -- and we’re talking about being on the brink of a great depression, losing between 750,000 and 800,000 jobs that month of January 2009 -- the economy was in a freefall,” Castro said. “Nobody is saying that we’re where we need to be, but it is a world away -- a lot of progress from where we were.”

ABC News’ senior political correspondent Jonathan Karl interviewed Castro and his twin brother, Joaquin, a candidate for the House of Representatives, on ABC News/Yahoo News’ Democratic National Convention show in Charlotte on Thursday evening.

Castro urged Obama to “not back away from the idea that the nation is in a better place.”

“Folks should remember that there were very strong headwinds because he inherited an economy that was in a freefall,” he said. “The nation is lifting up. It’s rising, it’s progressing, but that’s slow progress, but it is progress.”

“Folks traditionally start paying attention more to the election after Labor Day,” Castro continued. “I’m confident that you’re going to have folks out there who are enthusiastic, who have seen the progress that we have made, believe in the president and that he’s going to win on November 6th.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep042012

Keynote Speaker San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro Will 'Speak from the Heart'

ABC/Rick Rowell(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- When San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro speaks tonight -- at times in Spanish -- during primetime at the Democratic National Convention, many people will think of another young, energetic graduate of Harvard Law school who was propelled to prominence by his keynote speech eight years ago.

"A lot of folks have asked about President Obama's 2004 speech. He's a person of unique ability and talent," Castro, 37, told ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer. "I'm going to be myself and I think if I do a good job, and I'm myself and I speak from the heart, it'll resonate with folks."

As the youngest mayor of any top-50 U.S. city and the first Hispanic to deliver a keynote address at a Democratic convention, both Democrats and Republicans are already eyeing Castro as a potential presidential candidate down the road. Former George W. Bush adviser Mark McKinnon has been quoted as saying that Castro "has a very good chance of becoming the first Hispanic president of the United States."

Castro insists that he has no presidential aspirations.

"I don't have a passion for that ... to try and become president. That's not what I've woken up and said every morning, 'Hey, I think I can do this or I want to do that,'" Castro said. "The reason I got into politics in the first place was that I had a very competitive streak for my city and that I wanted to make it the greatest city in the U.S., and we've made great strides."

Castro said he is a political realist.

"I'm also in Texas. Texas has 29 statewide offices, and the count between Republicans to Democrats is 29 to zero, so I'm not a fool," he said.

On Tuesday night, Castro says he wants people to come away from his speech focused on one word, "opportunity." He believes it is not only the key to helping Obama get reelected, but also the key to America's success in the future.

"It's not going to be the personalities that matter, it's going to be the policies," he told Sawyer. "In San Antonio, we're convinced that brain power is the new currency of success in the 21st century global economy. It's those young people who care most about that, they want to graduate from high school, graduate from college, or go into the military, prepare themselves with the skills it will take to compete in that global economy, and there's only one candidate who is making the investments they need to do that, and that's President Obama."

Castro said that part of the address will be in Spanish, and the Obama campaign is hoping Castro will help them in the battle for Hispanic votes. Despite his Mexican roots, Castro conceded that his "English is a lot better" than his Spanish, because his mother, Rosie, wanted him and his identical twin brother, Joaquin, to speak and think in English.

Joaquin Castro will introduce his brother Tuesday evening. The two have been virtually inseparable since entering the world together in 1974.

"I can't get rid of him ... [he] is also in politics, and we've grown up together, went to college together, law school together," Castro said. "My brother has been the dreamer between the two of us. So it's just very meaningful for me to get to share the moment with him, like we've shared everything in our lives together."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep042012

Meet San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, DNC Keynote Speaker

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- The Democrats will open their convention Tuesday night with a keynote speaker who is young, Hispanic and little known outside of his home city of San Antonio, Texas.

For Mayor Julian Castro, 37, Tuesday night could be a spring board to national prominence.  It was eight years ago when another little known speaker, then-state Sen. Barack Obama, gave the keynote at that year's Democratic National Convention.

And the Democrats hope that featuring Castro, the youngest mayor of any top 50 U.S. city, as their keynote speaker will help the Obama campaign in their battle for Hispanic votes.

Castro's biography is one of ambition, charisma and early success.

He was introduced to politics at an early age by his mother, Rosie, who was part of a movement in Texas that fought for Mexican American civil rights.

Castro, along with his identical twin brother Joaquin, received his undergraduate education at Stanford University and then went onto Harvard Law School.

He moved quickly from Harvard into politics.  At age 26 he was elected city councilman in San Antonio, the youngest city councilman in the city's history.  He was elected mayor in 2009 at the age of 34 and won reelection last year with more than 80 percent of San Antonio's vote.

He may be largely unknown outside of Texas politics, but within that world he has made a name for himself and garnered respect from both sides of the aisle.  Former George W. Bush adviser Mark McKinnon has been quoted as saying that Castro "has a very good chance of becoming the first Hispanic president of the United States."

In their effort to court Hispanic voters, the Democrats have also appointed Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to chair the convention.

Hispanics have become a coveted voting group in this year's election.  The Republicans also featured Hispanic speakers at their convention in Tampa, Fla., last week with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez given primetime slots at the podium.  And Mitt Romney's son, Craig, briefly addressed the convention in fluent Spanish.

In 2008, Hispanics made up 9 percent of the voting population.  President Obama carried that group with 67 percent of the vote, compared to John McCain's 31 percent.  The Obama campaign is hoping to at least match, if not exceed that figure this time around.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio