As we gear up for the 2020 presidential primaries, the democratic field remains overcrowded. There are currently 24 Democrats running, which means that not everyone has received adequate coverage. This is especially true for Julián Castro, the former San Antonio mayor and the secretary for housing and urban development under the Obama administration. Despite Castro releasing comprehensive and ambitious platforms (and being the first to reveal his immigration plan), speaking out against the cruelty at the border, and frankly, showing that he’s serious about change, he has struggled in the polls. During the first democratic debate – which was divided into two because of the sheer number of candidates – Castro made us take notice, and many quickly realized that he was being overlooked, making him one of the night’s biggest winners.
At the debate, Castro, who is Mexican-American, showed his knowledge of immigration law and the border (and challenged O’Rourke in the process) and spoke about abortion rights (which were inclusive of the trans community). He managed to stand out on a night where 10 candidates were vying for the general public’s attention. After a comment on immigration that was equal parts emotional and informative, Castro saw a search surge of more than 2,400 percent on Google, according to NBC News.
“Watching that image of Óscar and his daughter, Valeria is heartbreaking,” he said. “It should also piss us all off. If I were president today, I would sign an executive order that would get rid of Trump’s zero tolerance policy, the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy and the metering policy. This metering policy is basically what prompted Óscar and Valeria to make that risky swim across the river. they have been playing games with people who are coming and trying to seek asylum at our ports of entry. Óscar and Valeria went to a port of entry, and they were denied the ability to make an asylum claim, so they got frustrated and they tried to cross the river and they died because of that.”
In an interview after the debate, Castro acknowledged that people are now looking at him differently after receiving little coverage.
“Last night what people saw was that I have a strong vision for the country, that I have the right experience to be president, and they want to know, ‘Look, can you stand up to Donald Trump,’ and I showed that I can more than handle myself,” he said on MSNBC. “I think that people are looking at me in a new way today.”
Twitter became the most immediate proof of this. Castro ended up trending on the social media network, with many weighing in on his strengths. Check out a few tweets that explain why he was so impressive on Wednesday night.