Julian Castro on Beto O’Rourke: There’s room for two Texas Democrats in 2020

The 2020 Democratic presidential primary field can accommodate two Texas Democrats, said White House hopeful Julian Castro.

“Oh, I have no doubt,” Castro told NBC News’ “Meet The Press” on Sunday, when asked whether there was enough room in the race for himself and party darling Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who lost his 2018 Texas Senate bid against incumbent Republican Ted Cruz. “There are going to be a whole bunch of folks that are running this time.”

Image result for Julian Castro, photos

Julian Castro

“He’s a very talented, very impressive guy,” Castro said of the 46-year-old O’Rourke. “My brother Joaquin and I were proud to support him when he ran against Ted Cruz, and I think that there are probably going to be 20 people up on that first debate stage.”

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Meet the Press


WATCH: Should Beto and Castro focus on winning Texas instead of the White House? @JulianCastro: “What I’m focused on is that I have a strong vision for our country’s future.”

The 44-year-old Castro, an Obama-era Housing and Urban Development Secretary and the former mayor of San Antonio, Texas, formed a presidential exploratory committee this month that will allow him, among other things, to start fundraising ahead of a formal announcement set for Jan. 12.

Castro on Sunday also hit back at criticism from the Texas Observer’s Christopher Hooks, who in November argued that Castro and O’Rourke should concentrate on turning Texas into a purple state rather than pursue their own presidential ambitions.

“Good Democratic candidates can win. There’s work to be done here and it’s important work. Run for president, and the message is that you’re not especially interested in that. And, just maybe, Texans shouldn’t be that interested in you,” Hooks wrote last month in a piece titled “Dear Beto and Julian, Please Don’t Run for President.”

But Castro on Sunday said his attention was fixed on his “strong vision for our country’s future,” not on defeating statewide Republicans like Sen. John Cornyn in 2020 and Gov. Greg Abbott in 2022.

“I’m sure there are going to be great candidates that will run not only against John Cornyn, but in 2022 for governor and other statewide offices, and so that’s not what I’m focused on,” Castro said.

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