Telemundo recently aired an exclusive interview with former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, which inadvertently exposed the failure of the six-years-and-running effort to make Castro into a thing. The interview also revealed the role of our domestic Spanish-language media in that failure.
Watch below as Telemundo weekend anchor Julián Vaqueiro asked Castro why he’s failed to gain traction within the Hispanic community, before taking his bid for the 2020 Democrat “immigration auction” anyway (Click "expand" to view transcript):
JULIO VAQUEIRO: Now y-- you're the only Latino in the race. Why do you think so many Latinos are supporting other candidates instead of you?
JULIAN CASTRO: Well, I think a couple reasons. My name ID is not as high as it is for some of the other candidates. Also-- in such a crowded field, it's very f-- the support of every community is very fractured. And I need to go, and I need to earn it. I need to go show it. You know? I'm not taking the Latino community for granted. Just because I'm Latino, I don't think that I'm gonna get, you know, all the -- all of the Latino votes. But I believe that as I get out there to the Latino community, that I'm gonna draw good support in the community.
JULIO VAQUEIRO: No, but this should be your moment, right? I mean, your story with immigration and race in th-- front and center of the debate. Shouldn't your story be more-- it should resonate more-- with-- with the voters, shouldn't it?
JULIAN CASTRO: Well, it's not over yet. We still have over three months until the Iowa caucus. And -- you know, of course, the majority of the voting is gonna happen in the spring of -- of 2020. And so we're working as hard as we can to make sure that I make inroads, not only in places like Iowa, that we're here in now, but-- all over the place. And in the Latino community.
JULIO VAQUEIRO: You've said that you wanna break ICE down. You wanna break the a-- agency in-- in two. Right? And you wanna strip some of its powers. How would that help the crisis that undocumented immigrants are going through?
JULIAN CASTRO: Because I believe that the-- the ICE as an organization is run amok. It has an attitude of cruelty. It has an attitude of excess in terms of how it treats many of the people that-- that ICE interacts with. I would like to break up ICE, and to return homeland security investigations to its own division, and then to put most of the enforcement into the Department of Justice. ICE is a relatively new agency. It only came about-- after 9/11. And we can do better. We're always gonna have enforcement. But that enforcement can be reasonable, and can follow common sense instead of cruelty.
Vaqueiro basically asked Castro six questions, to wit:
- Do you think Latinos can swing the Democrat primary?
- Why are Latinos supporting other candidates instead of you?
- Shouldn’t this be *your* moment, with race “front and center”?
- How are you going to raise the money you need to remain in the race and have you considered who to endorse if you drop out?
- Abolish ICE
- El Chapo
None of the questions directed at Castro had anything to do with the economy, employment, healthcare, or whether the Democratic Party’s leftward lurch is going to further alienate Hispanics. The narrow focus of the questions aimed by Vaqueiro here only served to illustrate one of the reasons why Castro’s campaign failed to gain traction among Hispanics (or anyone else, for that matter).
In effect, the media spent six years hyping Castro as some sort of Great Latino Hope, stuffing him into a “Brown Box” where he only gets asked about whatever media thinks are “Latino issues”. Castro ultimately gave in to that typecasting, as seen here with his “Abolish ICE” answer.
Now, with Castro unable to garner any traction, he is unceremoniously tossed aside.