Former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro announced his 2020 presidential run on a stage in San Antonio, Texas Saturday afternoon. You may remember that the 44-year-old, who served under President Obama as HUD secretary, was on the short list of potential running mates for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016.
In his announcement, Castro got a bit personal to explain how, "With big dreams and hard work, anything is possible in this country."
“When my grandmother got here almost 100 years ago, I am sure she never could have imagined that two generations later, one of her grandsons would be serving as a member of the United States Congress and the other would be standing here with you here today to say these words: I am a candidate for president of the United States of America,” Castro said.
Strategically, he reminded the crowd about his powerful speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2012. That platform has been a launching pad for the likes of Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, so it's no wonder he was eager for people to make the comparison.
He wanted a contrast, however, from the current president. Distancing himself from President Trump's nasty feuds with the "fake news," Castro told his audience that he and his brother Joaquin were considering a career in journalism before they got into politics, so they respect the work members of the press do.
"I know that the press work hard and that they are the friend of the truth in this country," Castro told the media at his event.
In his remarks Castro acknowledged that he will not enjoy "frontrunner" status. He just doesn't have the name recognition many of his potential competitors enjoy, like former Vice President Joe Biden, who is polling at the top of most candidate surveys.
But, what Castro lacks in terms of familiarity with voters, he may gain with demographics. Castro is poised to be one of the youngest candidates and the lone Latino competitor in the race. His 2020 announcement comes on the heels of two Democratic women, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI).
Castro reportedly already has his first campaign stop in mind.
Mr. Castro, one of the most high-profile Latino Democrats ever to seek the party's nomination, will make his first campaign stop in Puerto Rico, where he will meet with residents struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria https://t.co/MKsW1Le3Cc— NYT Politics (@nytpolitics) January 12, 2019
The Republican National Committee doesn't seem too concerned by Saturday's development, judging by this reaction.
"Julián Castro has made history by becoming one of the biggest lightweights to ever run for president. He was a weak mayor who couldn’t even handle being HUD secretary. This is obviously just another desperate attempt to become someone else’s running mate,” RNC Spokesman Michael Ahrens said in a press release.