How many times can Joaquin Castro bash Donald Trump in less than five minutes?
A lot, turns out. While he wasn’t given the prime Democratic National Convention speaking slot his twin brother got four years ago, the San Antonio Congressman delivered one of the many short speeches leading up to Hillary Clinton’s address Thursday night. And in a pretty short amount of time, Castro managed to cram in lines about his family’s roots in Mexico, a jab at Ted Cruz (who he’s apparently considering challenging in 2018) and his support for both cops and Black Lives Matter, all while mocking some of the most absurd moments of Trump’s rise to the top of the Republican Party ticket.
Like how Trump launched his campaign by calling Mexican immigrants criminals and “rapists.” Castro responded by citing his family history, how in 1922 his grandmother became one such immigrant. “She wasn’t a rapist or a murderer,” he said. “She was a six year old orphan,” who as a girl walked past storefront signs that read “no dogs or Mexicans allowed.”
Castro talked about other immigrants who put up with racism and worked hard in the hope that America would offer their children and grandchildren something better. Like Japanese Americans thrown in internment camps during World War II, “the same camps Donald Trump has defended,” Castro said. (In reality, it's not so much that Trump defended the camps but rather that he refused to condemn them, instead offering up this curious line: "I certainly hate the concept of it. But I would have had to be there at the time to give you a proper answer.")
Castro then referenced Trump’s comments that the judge overseeing the lawsuit against Trump University (which the New York Attorney General has called “straight up fraud”) presents “an absolute conflict” because he’s “of Mexican heritage.” Then, pivoting to national security, Castro insisted you can keep America safe and still welcome the next generation of immigrants “without a religious litmus test,” referencing Trump’s call to bar all muslims from entering the country.
Support Local Journalism. Join the San Antonio Current Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.