Posts Tagged ‘Julián Castro’

Anti-Trump Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says launching 2020 bid

January 16, 2019

New York Senator has been a relentless critic of the president and champion of women’s issues including the #MeToo movement; ‘We have to rise up and reclaim our values’

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand arrives at the Ed Sullivan Theater‎ to tape an appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand arrives at the Ed Sullivan Theater‎ to tape an appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Democratic US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, an outspoken Donald Trump critic and champion of women’s issues including the #MeToo movement, announced Tuesday she was jumping into the 2020 presidential race.

Nearly 22 months before the election, the battle for the White House is already firming up, as Americans begin to assess who might be the opposition party nominee to challenge Trump.

Four Democrats — three of them women — have made clear steps towards a formal campaign in recent weeks, and many more including several of Gillibrand’s Senate colleagues, an anti-Trump billionaire businessman and former vice president Joe Biden are waiting in the wings.

“I’m going to run for president of the United States, because as a young mom I’m going to fight for other people’s kids as hard as I would fight for my own — which is why I believe that health care should be a right and not a privilege,” the senator told Stephen Colbert on his CBS television talk show.

Her goals will include putting gender at the fore of her campaign, combating “institutional racism,” taking on special interests and entrenched systems of power in Washington, and fighting against political “corruption and greed.”

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., speaks at a rally against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at the Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

“I know that I have the compassion, the courage, and the fearless determination to get that done,” she added in the interview set to be aired in full later Tuesday.

The 52-year-old from upstate New York said she was forming an exploratory committee, a crucial legal step for a candidate to run for president, just days before she reportedly travels to the early voting state of Iowa.

Reclaim our values

She took to social media Tuesday to amplify her message.

“We have to rise up and reclaim our values,” she tweeted.

“We need to protect our basic rights and fight for better health care, education and jobs. And I believe I’m the woman for the job,” she said, adding that she is “not afraid to take on Trump.”

Kirsten Gillibrand

@SenGillibrand

Tonight I announced that I’m preparing to run for president, because I believe we’re all called to make a difference. I believe in right vs. wrong – that wrong wins when we do nothing. Now is our time to raise our voices and get off the sidelines. Join me: http://kirstengillibrand.com 

Kirsten’s Getting Ready to Run

We are compassionate. Courageous. Determined. Now is our time. Join us.

2020.kirstengillibrand.com

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Gillibrand was easily re-elected in November to her second full term. In 2009 she was appointed to fill Hillary Clinton’s US Senate seat, when the latter became secretary of state.

In the years since she has abandoned several of her centrist political positions, tilting to the left to eventually become one of the more liberal senators.

The next presidential election is still more than 650 days away, but Gillibrand is entering what will be a chockablock field vying for the right to challenge Trump.

Elizabeth Warren, a fellow female US senator and frequent target of the provocative billionaire president, has also launched an exploratory committee, as has congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who served military tours in Iraq and Kuwait.

Former San Antonio mayor and Obama-era cabinet member Julian Castro and recently retired congressman John Delaney have formally launched their presidential bids.

Some politicians with stronger name recognition are expected to enter the race soon, including former Biden, ex-congressman Beto O’Rourke and current senators Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar and Bernie Sanders, who ran against Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2016.

But Gillibrand has distinguished herself in key ways. She is one of the top Trump naysayers in the Senate, voting against the president’s nominees for major posts more than almost any other senator.

She also raised her national profile by sponsoring — and mounting a three-year campaign for — a bill that would revamp the prosecution system for military sexual assaults and remove such cases from the military chain of command.

The bill fell short in the Senate, but Gillibrand has been relentless about highlighting sexual assault in the military, on college campuses and in the workplace.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/anti-trump-senator-gillibrand-says-launching-2020-bid/

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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is entering the 2020 race for president

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Democrats are battling to see who is the most radically left — Class war to end capitalism — Old folks likely get pushed aside

January 13, 2019

Permanent push for more free stuff

Another week, another feverish contest among Democrats to see who can drag the party faster and farther to the left. The new year is beginning with a blistering pace, with wild and crazy ideas popping up across the country.

Start in Washington, where Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi made a lasting impression by saying no, no to President Trump’s sensible proposal for barriers and other security at the southern border. Their rejection, and implicit denial that there is even a problem, serves as an invitation to hundreds of thousands of more migrants to cross illegally. And each new wave guarantees that future Dems will be able to demand amnesty for successive generations of “Dreamers,” thus roiling America for years.

Heckuva job, Chuck and Nancy. You should start a podcast, where you each get your own podium.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, already the left’s congressional rookie of the year, added to her appeal by making a push to tax the richest Americans at 70 percent of their income. She also continues to campaign for a Green New Deal, a set of ideas so big — and vague — that a Vox writer said it aims to do nothing less than “decarbonize the economy and make it fairer and more just.”

Old folks: Nancy Pelosi speaks to members of the media following a meeting at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 9.

Wow — it’s hard to be more of a purist than that.

Commentary
By Michael Goodwin

Meanwhile, new California Gov. Gavin Newsom signaled his virtue by promising his state would be a “sanctuary to all who seek it.” He also expanded free health care for illegal immigrants, apparently hoping to attract more of them. Bravo!

Image result for Gavin Newsom, photos

California Gov. Gavin Newsom

The competition, then, was stiff — until New York City Mayor de Blasio blew them all away. He wins first prize by vowing womb-to-tomb handouts and a permanent push for more free stuff.

Appearing well-rested from months of doing nothing, de Blasio lapped the competition with three days of come-and-get-it giveaways. First he vowed free health care for 600,000 New Yorkers, half of them here illegally. Next came a plan to force private employers to give nearly all workers 10 paid vacation days a year.

Then, in his State of the City speech, de Blasio secured victory by making even more promises, such as seizing private apartment buildings from bad landlords, and laying out a vision for a city that would bury capitalism.

A red-diaper baby himself, the mayor declared a total class war: “Brothers and sisters, there’s plenty of money in the world. There’s plenty of money in this city. It’s just in the wrong hands.”

Heart be still!

There was also this grievance-stoking pander to the people: “You’re not living the life you ­deserve. And here is the cold, hard truth — it’s no accident. It’s an agenda. An agenda that’s dominated our politics from Reaganomics to the Trump tax giveaway to the wealthy and corporations.”

Finally, a tease about a glorious future in Havana-on-the-Hudson: “This country has spent decades taking from working people and giving to the 1 percent. This city has spent the last five years doing it the other way around. We give back to working people the prosperity they have earned. And we are just getting started.”

The only thing missing was a forced singalong to the socialist anthem, “The Internationale.”

In normal times, over-the-rainbow rhetoric could be dismissed as window dressing. But these days, Democrats, raging at Trump and emboldened by Bernie Sanders’ campaign in 2016, are deadly serious about a hard left turn.

Even with the total collapse of Venezuela before their eyes and the undeniable horrors of life ­under communism and socialism, American leftists are no longer embarrassed to espouse ideologies that have failed miserably every place they’ve been tried.

Julian Castro announces that he's running for president at an event in San Antonio on Saturday.

Julian Castro announces that he’s running for president at an event in San Antonio on Saturday. “My first Executive Order will recommit the United States to the Paris climate accord.”
JULIA REIHS / KUT

In many ways, then, de Blasio is made for the moment. He and his equally radical wife, Chirlane McCray, spent their 1994 honeymoon sneaking into Cuba, in defiance of a US travel ban. Earlier, he had supported the Sandinistas, the Nicaraguan communist group involved in a bitter civil war, with the American government on the other side.

Yet by the time he first ran for mayor in 2013, de Blasio had scrubbed all references to far-left activism from his Web site. He was just a progressive, eager to make deals with the real-estate industry, which in turn filled his slush funds with cash.

But now, as he starts Year 2 of his final term and his party resembles his past, he’s fully out of the closet. All that money “in the wrong hands” is a juicy target for an ­ambitious politician.

Unlike Schumer, Pelosi, Newsom and others who must prove their leftist street cred, de Blasio, like Ocasio-Cortez, can say “brothers and sisters” without sounding false. This is who he has always been, and now he doesn’t need to pretend he’s someone else.

To be clear, I don’t believe he has any chance of being president in 2020. He’s lazy, corrupt and incompetent, and New York is in obvious decline under his “leadership.” But that makes him all the more dangerous.

Having little power and no clear future, he has nothing to lose. He can be reckless with both his rhetoric and city finances because his main goal is influencing his national party’s tenor and direction.

And so, for one week at least, de Blasio takes the cake as the most radical Democrat in America. These days, that’s quite a feat.

https://nypost.com/2019/01/12/democrats-are-battling-to-see-who-is-the-most-radically-left/

Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro Expected To Launch Presidential Campaign

January 12, 2019

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro is set to formally launch his bid for president on Saturday, after weeks of hinting he was ready to join the growing 2020 Democratic primary field.

The 44-year-old will be the first Hispanic candidate to enter the race for the White House, joining Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard who recently said they are running. Several more well known candidates are expected to announce their plans soon.

Democrat Julián Castro talks about exploring the possibility of running for president in 2020, at his home in San Antonio in December 2018.  Eric Gay/AP

Castro launched an exploratory committee last month, Julián for the Future, and has already traveled to early primary states, with more visits to Iowa and New Hampshire slated for next week following his announcement Saturday in his hometown of San Antonio, Texas.

“Americans are ready to climb out of this darkness. We’re ready to keep our promises, and we’re not going to wait. We’re going to work,” Castro said in a video last month announcing he was testing the waters.

Castro has pointed to his experience on both the local and federal level. He was the youngest-ever city councilman in San Antonio’s history when he was elected in 2001 at age 26. Eight years later, he was elected mayor. In 2012, he gave the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention — which had catapulted Barack Obama to national fame eight years earlier — telling the crowd about his experience as part of an immigrant family.

“In the end, the American dream is not a sprint, or even a marathon, but a relay,” Castro said. “Our families don’t always cross the finish line in the span of one generation. But each generation passes on to the next the fruits of their labor.”

Two years later, President Obama chose him to run HUD. In 2016, Hillary Clinton also considered him as a possible vice presidential running mate.

His identical twin brother, Rep. Joaquin Castro, has represented their native San Antonio in Congress since 2013. The two were born into a politically active family. Their mother was an organizer with La Raza Unida in the 1970s, campaigning for the rights of and improved working conditions for Mexican-Americans.

Castro may not be the only Texan in the race, however. Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who narrowly lost a Senate bid last year, is also weighing a run and has been on the rise in very early polls.

The former HUD secretary, who campaigned for O’Rourke in 2018, told the Associated Press last month he wasn’t worried if he himself is not testing very high right now in surveys.

“If I decide to run, it would be because I believe I have a compelling message and I’m going to work hard and get to the voters and I believe I can be successful,” Castro told the AP.

https://www.npr.org/2019/01/12/678287583/former-hud-secretary-juli-n-castro-expected-to-launch-presidential-campaign

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Tulsi Gabbard says she will run for president in 2020

January 12, 2019

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said Friday she will run for president in 2020.

“I have decided to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week,” the Hawaii Democrat told CNN’s Van Jones during an interview slated to air at 7 p.m. Saturday on CNN’s “The Van Jones Show.”
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Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran, currently serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. She is the first American Samoan and the first Hindu member of Congress.
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“There are a lot of reasons for me to make this decision. There are a lot of challenges that are facing the American people that I’m concerned about and that I want to help solve,” she said, listing health care access, criminal justice reform and climate change as key platform issues.
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“There is one main issue that is central to the rest, and that is the issue of war and peace,” Gabbard added. “I look forward to being able to get into this and to talk about it in depth when we make our announcement.”
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Rania Batrice, who was a deputy campaign manager for Bernie Sanders in 2016 and is now a top aide to Gabbard, will be the campaign manager, Batrice says.
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In 2015, Gabbard, then a vice-chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, was sharply critical of its then-chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz for scheduling just six presidential debates during the 2016 primary election cycle. She later resigned her post as DNC vice chair to become one of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ highest-profile supporters, aligning herself with his populist economic message.
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Gabbard has staked out anti-interventionist foreign policy positions in Congress. Her 2017 meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad drew widespread criticism. “Initially, I hadn’t planned on meeting him,”
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Gabbard told CNN’s Jake Tapper in January of 2017. “When the opportunity arose to meet with him, I did so because I felt it’s important that if we profess to truly care about the Syrian people, about their suffering, then we’ve got to be able to meet with anyone that we need to if there is a possibility that we could achieve peace, and that’s exactly what we talked about.”
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Gabbard joins a quickly growing field of Democrats eager to take on President Donald Trump for the presidency.
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Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced on New Year’s Eve that she was forming an exploratory committee for a presidential run. Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro also formed an exploratory committee and is expected to announce his 2020 plans Saturday.
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A number of other potential Democratic candidates, including heavyweights like former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, are currently weighing whether to run for president and are expected to announce their decision soon.
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https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/11/politics/tulsi-gabbard-van-jones/index.html

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Bloomberg says he would use his own money to fund 2020 run — Democratic field filling up

January 12, 2019

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg is pushing back against liberal critics who say he shouldn’t be allowed to use his multibillion-dollar fortune to self-fund a possible White House campaign and “buy the presidency.”

“I ran three times. I used only my own money so I didn’t have to ask anybody what they wanted in return for a contribution,” Bloomberg said in Austin, Texas, on Friday. “And, if I ran again, I would do the same thing.”

His defense echoed arguments he made while self-funding three successful City Hall bids when critics claimed he was buying the office.

“I think not having to adjust what you say and what you work on based on who financed your campaign is one of the things that the public really likes,” Bloomberg added.

New York’s former mayor spent more than $260 million combined in his runs for City Hall in 2001, 2005 and 2009.

He has been publicly toying with the idea of running for president for months and has promised he will make a decision within a month or so.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren — who recently launched her own White House bid — has called for spending limits to keep billionaires, like Bloomberg, from crushing the competition with a mountain  of spending

 

“Is this going to be a Democratic primary that truly is a grassroots movement that is funded by the grassroots and it’s done with grassroots volunteers, or is this going to be something that’s one more plaything that billionaires can buy?” she asked.

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https://nypost.com/2019/01/11/bloomberg-says-he-would-use-his-own-money-to-fund-2020-run/
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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand Staffs Up for Likely 2020 Presidential Run

January 11, 2019

New York Democrat signs up key staff members, plans first trip to Iowa

FILE - In this Oct. 25, 2018 file photo, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., speaks during the New York Senate debate hosted by WABC-TV, in New York. Gillibrand's Republican challenger is Chele Farley. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, Pool, File) Photo: Mary Altaffer / Pool, AP

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) coasted to re-election in 2018 and has more than $10.6 million left over from her Senate campaign, seed money that can be used in her presidential bid. PHOTO: MARY ALTAFFER/ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON—New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is closing in on announcing a 2020 presidential campaign, signing up key staff members and planning her first trip to Iowa, according to people familiar with the plans.

Ms. Gillibrand’s staff will be run by Jess Fassler, her Senate chief of staff, and Dan McNally, a former campaign aide to Sen. Michael Bennet (D., Colo.) and the campaign arm of Senate Democrats, according to several people with knowledge of the matter.

Meredith Kelly, a top communications aide to the House Democrats’ campaign arm, will lead Ms. Gillibrand’s communications operation, the people said. Ms. Kelly’s hiring was first reported by the New York Times.

 How to Prepare for a Presidential Run: The 2020 To-Do List

How to Prepare for a Presidential Run: The 2020 To-Do List
Presidential hopefuls are stepping out of the shadows, but their 2020 announcements are far from spontaneous. WSJ’s Shelby Holliday explains.

She has also hired two top digital aides, Emmy Bengtson and Gavrie Kullman, both highly sought-after Democratic digital specialists, according to people familiar with the move.

As part of the preparations, Ms. Gillibrand has hired Joi Chaney to become her new Senate chief of staff. Ms. Chaney formerly served as a staff member in the Senate and the Obama administration at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Glen Caplin, a longtime Senate aide to Ms. Gillibrand who worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, is also expected to play a senior advisory role in her campaign. Mr. Caplin declined to comment.

Ms. Gillibrand plans to travel next weekend to Iowa—the location of the first 2020 presidential caucus and a sign that her campaign will be soon under way. Ms. Gillibrand’s Iowa plans were reported Thursday night by Politico.

Ms. Gillibrand, 52 years old, coasted to re-election in 2018 and has more than $10.6 million left over from her Senate campaign, seed money that can be used in her presidential bid.

The senator has positioned herself as a leading voice of the Democratic opposition to President Trump, with whom she tangled in December 2017 after the president called her a “flunky” for Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York and said she would do “anything” for a political donation.

Ms. Gillibrand responded that Mr. Trump couldn’t silence her or the millions of women from speaking out “about the unfitness and shame you have brought to the Oval Office.”

She is expected to join a field that already includes Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and could grow to include several of her Senate colleagues.

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., listen as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 27, 2018. (Tom Williams/Pool Photo via AP)

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., listen as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 27, 2018. (Tom Williams/Pool Photo via AP)

Following a midterm election cycle in which Democratic women took center stage, Ms. Gillibrand has championed electing more women to office and has been a leading voice in the #MeToo anti-sexual harassment and assault movement.

In this photo from January 29, 2017 US Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts speaks to people gathered at Copley Square in Boston, Massachusetts. (Ryan McBride/AFP)

But some Democrats have accused her of opportunism, pointing to her evolution on issues such as immigration and gun control and her role as the first Senate Democrat to call for the resignation of former Minnesota Sen. Al Franken after the Democrat was accused of sexual misconduct.

Ms. Gillibrand’s advisers said at the time that she was standing up for her values.

Write to Ken Thomas at ken.thomas@wsj.com

Kamala Harris sounds like a 2020 candidate: ‘I think this is that moment’

January 8, 2019

Sen. Kamala Harris indicated Tuesday that she’s seriously considering a 2020 White House run, by saying her mother would have wanted her to fix what’s wrong with Washington, D.C.

In an ABC interview, Harris said her mother, who died in 2009, would think DC is a “hot mess.”

Image result for George Stephanopoulos, Kamala harris, pictures

“And Kamala has to fix it?” George Stephanopoulos asked.

“Well yeah,” Harris said. “I mean, I was raised that when you see a problem, you don’t complain about it, you go and do something about it.”

[Read: 45 Democrats jostling to challenge Trump in 2020]

“I would get so upset at her when I got older,” Harris added. “I would come home with a problem, other parents would say, ‘Oh darling, I’ll take care of it.’ My mother, the first thing she would do, she’d look at us and she’d say, ‘Well, what did you do?'”

“So I think this is that moment,” she said. “And I believe for all of us, history will say and our children and our grandchildren will ask, at that inflection moment, where were you, and what did you do in service of your family, your neighborhood, your community and your country.”

While Harris sounded like she’s on the verge of running, she said at the top of the interview that she is “not going to decide right now.”

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/kamala-harris-sounds-like-a-2020-candidate-i-think-this-is-that-moment

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Probably a long shot.   Photographer: Nicholas Kamm/AFP

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Image result for Kirsten Gillibrand, pictures

Kirsten Gillibrand

Image result for Beto O’Rourke, pictures

Julian Castro cites 90 percent tax on rich in defending Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on tax hikes

January 7, 2019

Likely 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro agrees with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that tax rates on some of the wealthiest Americans should skyrocket.

“Oh, I can support folks at the top paying their fair share,” Castro told ABC News’ “This Week” on Sunday when asked directly whether he could endorse the high-profile New York Democrat’s idea.

The Obama-era Housing and Urban Development secretary, who is expected to officially announce he’s running for the White House this week, made the comments after Ocasio-Cortez caught flak for suggesting people earning more than $10 million could be taxed between “60 or 70 percent.”

Image result for Julian Castro, photos

Julian Castro

In offering support to Ocasio-Cortez, Castro provided historical context given the current highest marginal income tax bracket is 37 percent for those receiving more than $500,000 a year.

“There was a time in this country where the top marginal tax rate was over 90 percent, even during Reagan’s era in the 1980s it was around 50 percent” the former mayor of San Antonio, Texas, said.

Castro also floated “that we get more serious about making sure the corporations pay their fair share,” so the country can fund policy programs like “Medicare-for-All,” as well as universal pre-kindergarten and higher education.

“During this campaign, if I run, I’m going to be very up front with the American people on how we would do that because I think that they are owed that, but it is worth it. It is worth it in this country for us to do that,” he said, vowing not to be “a single issue candidate.”

Castro additionally responded to criticism he didn’t have the foreign policy experience to be the next occupant of the Oval Office. He said his time serving in former President Barack Obama’s Cabinet and as San Antonio’s mayor “certainly qualifies one to be commander in chief.” Last month Castro said he believed U.S. troops should be pulled from Syria though he would have handled the situation differently to President Trump.

Castro formed a presidential exploratory committee in December. He is scheduled to hold a press conference to discuss his 2020 plans.

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Joe Biden will shape the Democratic race for 2020

December 27, 2018

December is proving a tumultuous month for US President Donald Trump, not least with the latest government shutdown adding to political uncertainty in Washington. With attention turning to 2019, focus is growing on the emerging Democratic presidential nomination battle, which could see the largest field of candidates for the party in a generation.

Former US Vice President Joe Biden. (AP)

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In the near term, the single biggest decision that will shape the race could come as soon as January, with former Vice President Joe Biden announcing whether he will run for a third White House bid after running in 1988 and 2008. He has promised a decision in the first few weeks of the year, after visiting more than 30 states in 2018.

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While Biden could yet surprise many in Washington by not putting his hat in the ring, he is the early favorite. This despite him being 76 years old, in what could ultimately become the first ever clash of septuagenarian Democratic and Republican candidates in US history if Trump, 72, seeks re-election too.

By Andrew Hammond

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Although the first nomination contest in Iowa on Feb. 3, 2020, remains over a year away, a slew of new polls indicate Biden’s frontrunner status. For instance, one taken from Dec. 10-13 for the Des Moines Register,

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CNN and Mediacom put Biden at 32 percent among Iowa voters. A survey for Focus on Rural America from Dec. 10-11 put him at 30 percent. To put this in context, no other candidate reached even 20 percent in either poll.

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Yet he would potentially face a significant field, including the man some are claiming to be the “new Obama,” Beto O’Rourke, the congressman who in November’s Senate election nearly became the first Democrat to win a state race in Texas since 1994.

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O’Rourke came in third place in the Des Moines Register / CNN / Mediacom poll with 11 percent, trailing behind not just Biden but also Sen. Bernie Sanders, who scored 19 percent. In the Focus on Rural America survey, O’Rourke secured third place with 11 percent, with Sanders on 13 percent.

Among the potential other contenders for the Democratic crown are US senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Tim Kaine and Amy Kobuchar.  Outside the Senate, potential runners include New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, actress and TV celebrity Oprah Winfrey, businessman Michael Bloomberg and former Secretary of State John Kerry. While it is widely presumed that Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, will not run again, she has not categorically confirmed this.

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While the Democratic race is fluid, Biden (who would in 2020 be the oldest presidential nominee in US history) may yet consolidate his early position to become his party’s standard bearer. While he is not a prohibitive favorite yet to secure the nomination in the way Clinton was at this stage in 2016, by numerous benchmarks he has key advantages against other Democrats, if his good health remains.

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The past few decades of US political history indicate that the victor in nomination contests for both major parties frequently leads national polls of party identifiers on the eve of the first presidential nomination ballot in Iowa, and also raises more campaign finance than any other candidate in the 12 months prior to election year.

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From 1980 to 2016, for instance, the eventual nominee in around half the Democratic and Republican nomination races contested (that is, in which there was more than one candidate) was the early frontrunner by both of these measures. Moreover, in at least four partial exceptions to this pattern, the eventual presidential nominee led the rest of the field on one of the two measures.

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On both the fundraising and national poll measures, Biden could become the clear favorite for the Democrats in 2020, so much so that some other potentially first-class candidates may decide not to even enter the race.

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Presuming Trump seeks re-election and wins the 2020 Republican nomination, which would be probable but by no means certain, he could face a very tough race against Biden or whoever the eventual Democratic nominee is. One of the key factors that will influence the latter party’s prospects of defeating the Republicans will be whether, and how quickly, it can unite around its own nominee given the potentially large number of contenders.

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While the circumstances of 2020 will be different from 2016, when Clinton and Sanders were engaged in a protracted fight, it is nonetheless the case that another divisive Democratic nomination contest would probably only benefit Trump if he is the Republican nominee again. Indeed, should Trump emerge easily as the Republican nominee in 2020, this may prove a tipping point in another tight general election contest.

  • Andrew Hammond is an associate at LSE IDEAS at the London School of Economics
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News’ point-of-view

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1426591

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

December 23, 2018

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

@MeetThePress

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.

Includes video:

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/julian-castro-on-beto-orourke-theres-room-for-two-texas-democrats-in-2020