• Paul Steinhauser

On NH trip, Castro says he’ll wait until 2019 to announce bid for president

Likely Dem. presidential candidate Julian Castro kicks off his 3rd NH trip this year with house party in Nashua organized by New Hampshire Young Democrats

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro says if he does run for the Democratic presidential nomination, he’s in no rush to announce his candidacy.

Before his trip to New Hampshire Wednesday, Castro said he’s likely to make a bid for president.

“I’m likely to announce after the first of the year if I decide to run. I don’t feel rushed to actually announce.,” he said Wednesday in Nashua. “So it’s not likely until after the first of the year.”

The former San Antonio, Texas mayor who later ran HUD under President Barack Obama was interviewed during his first stop in New Hampshire on Wednesday. The trip was his third this year to the state that traditionally holds the first primary in the race for the White House.

Castro explained that next month’s midterm elections may factor into his final decision on a White House run.

“These midterm elections set a tone and that they do send a message from the American people,” he added. “I want to see what message the American people are sending.”

If a Democratic blue wave turns into a ripple, Castro said he’d weigh his options.

“I don’t know if it would dissuade me from running, but it’s something that I’ll take into account,” he said. “First of all I believe that the Democrats are going to take back the House on Nov. 6. But whether they do or they don’t, on Nov. 7 Donald Trump is still going to be the president and we still need leadership change in the White House.”

Castro arrived in New Hampshire a wave of pipe-bomb attacks by mail that targeted Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, other prominent Democrats and CNN dominated media headlines. While the attacks were thwarted with no one harmed, the incidents heightened already an already tense political climate with less than two weeks to go until the November elections.

“It’s just another reminder that we’re on the wrong path in this county,” Castro said as a spoke to a group of Democratic candidates and activists at a house party in Nashua organized by the New Hampshire Young Democrats.

He pointing some of the blame towards President Trump.

“Instead of leadership that divides us and fans the flames of separation at every turn, we need leadership that unites us, that gets us back to thinking about how we can move forward as a country together. And this election in 13 days is a real opportunity to get on the right path,” he said.

Castro also took aim at Trump’s heated rhetoric and misleading comments regarding migrant caravans slowly moving through Central America and Mexico towards the U.S. border.

“The president is acting like this is something that we can’t deal with and I believe that we can deal with it,” Castro said.

“Do I believe that all of those folks should be let in – of course not,” Castro said. “Do I believe that if some of them have legitimate asylum claims, should they be let in, yes. But you need to go through that process. And what the president is saying is that basically no matter what someone has experienced, whether in theory they would qualify for asylum or not, they should be turned away. I don’t believe that we should do that.”

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